Join/Renew (2022 Dues)

Monthly Archives: June 2022

2 Pigeon Guillemots at La Jolla

2 Pigeon Guillemots at La Jolla
By – 9:36 am

An early-morning seawatch at La Jolla produced two adult Pigeon Guillemots flying south, together, at 6:40 AM. Otherwise, 400+ Black-vented and 7 Sooty Shearwaters, as well as 4 continuing Surf Scoters.

–Paul Lehman & Dan Jehl, San Diego

June 18-19 miscellanea, and the infamous Santee scaup

June 18-19 miscellanea, and the infamous Santee scaup
By – 11:37 am

A June 19th check of several North County lagoons turned up a female-type Lesser Scaup at the upper end of Batiquitos Lagoon, which is very rare in summer. Another small flock of alternate–plumaged Willets–undoubtedly more “fall” arrivals.

Yesterday, the 18th, an early-morning seawatch at La Jolla produced yet another southbound, alternate-plumaged Common Murre and 3 (continuing) Northern Fulmars. An uptick to 200+ Black-vented Shearwaters.

A word about the long-staying male scaup on Lake #4 at Santee Lakes: This bird has now been present continuously for at least two years, first reported in June 2020 and still present a few days ago on the 16th. We have been treating the bird all along as an exceptional inland over-summering Greater Scaup, as it does show a number of characters of that species (large head and bill, gleaming white sides), whereas at other times we get worried that the head shape varies from good to not-so-good, the bill nail may not be quite wide enough, and the white wing-stripe is definitely more typical of a Lesser (although variation within Greater is known). But, after two years of feeling “nervous” and somewhat uncertain, we have decided to change this bird to a Greater/Lesser Scaup. We all believe that it is NOT a pure Lesser, but whether it is an odd Greater or a hybrid (good luck diagnosing that in the field!!) we are not so sure. Lots and lots of good photos of the bird are viewable in the many eBird reports over the past two years.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Common Tern

Common Tern
By – 6:15 pm
There was a common tern at the Tijuana River Mouth this morning. I believe we also saw it last week, when we briefly saw a tern with a black-tipped red beak, but didn’t have time to note any additional marks, so did not report it as such. But this time I was able to get a picture.https://ebird.org/checklist/S113207887

miscellanea, incl. coastal Bald Eagles

miscellanea, incl. coastal Bald Eagles
By – 11:16 am

On Friday the 17th, two immature Bald Eagles, probably continuing birds (?), were at Sweetwater Reservoir. One with more white on the head than the other and both sitting along the shoreline. Very rare on the coastal slope, especially in summer. A male Wood Duck was at the northeast corner of Lower Otay Lake, where one was last August. Probably an early post-breeding disperser.

On 16 June, one or two somewhat wayward Acorn Woodpeckers continued at Mast Park in Santee. The long-staying problematic male scaup continues at Lake #4 at Santee Lakes.

On 15 June, 1 or 2 Northern Fulmars continued off La Jolla, with a couple Sooties and small numbers of Black-venteds, plus a few summering Surf Scoters and the continuing several Black Oystercatchers.

On 14 June, an adult Reddish Egret continued on South San Diego Bay.

On 13 June, there was another southbound, alternate-plumaged Common Murre at La Jolla. The first appreciable surge of adult Heermann’s Gulls had arrived.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Late Warbling Vireo at Famosa Slough and dark breeding- plumaged Willet at Robb Field, Wednesday, June 15

Late Warbling Vireo at Famosa Slough and dark breeding- plumaged Willet at Robb Field, Wednesday, June 15
By – 4:33 pm

This morning while birding with Char Glacy, Jan Nordenberg and Mel Senac,   we saw two interesting birds.  One was an alternate plumaged Willet in the mudflats off Robb Field, a day later than the earliest fall arrival date given by Paul Lehman in his Bird Atlas update file.  This Willet seems to be an example of one of the real dark types of “Western” subspecies ( Tringa semipalmata inornata ),  similar to the darker “eastern 

” subspecies,  T. s semipalmata, but with other marks, like bill shape, seeming to be fine for “Western.”   Records of the eastern ssp. are also nearly non-existent   in the West.  It is presumed to be one of the early adult arrivals from the breeding grounds.   Checklist with photos by Mel are at                              https://ebird.org/checklist/S112993659 . 

    Another bird of interest was a late migrant Warbling Vireo at Famosa Slough in a coral tree area along Mentoni St. singing almost continuously.  Photo by Mel and song recording by Char are at https://ebird.org/checklist/S113001334  .  There was also another bird in the same tree that looked like a possible Yellow-green Vireo, since it was slightly larger than the Warbling Vireo, had a bright yellow-green back, and much bright yellow below, but we lost it and it was silent.  If anyone is birding in this area, they might want to see if they can re-find it.   Good birding to all.   Sue 

Susan Smith 

Seiurus Biological  Consulting 

Del Mar, CA 

seiurus@…

— Susan SmithSeiurus Biological ConsultingDel Mar, CA

Re: Yesterday’s Pelagic

Re: Yesterday’s Pelagic
By – 5:03 pm
I was not even ON Sun’s pelagic…But- just a brief mention, to ‘second’ George Miller’s thoughts (and Nancy C’s from awhile back)-  THANKS as always, guys, for all you do on the SD pelagic trips   :-)See you (at latest) on Oct 1!Paul ChadUniversity City

Yesterday’s Pelagic

Yesterday’s Pelagic
By – 4:08 pm
I just want to extend my gratitude to Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Dave Pereksta, and Stan Walens for working to make the trip an immensely rewarding experience, especially for a pelagic novice like myself. Your expert knowledge and dedication to San Diego’s birding community is an invaluable asset to all of us. For those who have not yet done a pelagic birding trip, I strongly recommend that you get out there and take the plunge. You will definitely be a better birder having experienced this memorable, unique environment. Thanks again guys!Warmest regards,George Miller Banker’s Hill 

Addenum to San Diego pelagic trip June 12th. report.

Addenum to San Diego pelagic trip June 12th. report.
By – 6:58 am
Paul Lehman did a very nice job and has given an accurate report for yesterday’s June 12th. trip. Paul single handedly directs the boat, spots the many of the birds, and acts as the clearing agent for the reports coming in from the, no easy jobs. Thanks from all of us who benefit from his skills.The only thing I would add to this report is that the marine mammals show was exceptional. Not just multiple close in Blue Whales, but two species of dolphin, Elephant Seals,and  a rare Guadalupe Fur Seal among others. Although that is not the focus of these birding trips, their presents and location creates an opportunity for pelagic birders that would like a short excursion offshore, the whale watch boats!The Blue Whales are on the Nine Mile Bank, and just off the edge to the west. This puts those whale watching boats right in the area where we were seeing the Craveri’s and Scripps’s Murrelets. Again these are whale watching boats, so expect them to ignore sea birds, and chase mammals. That’s their job, but that doesn’t stop you from looking.The whale watch boats are short trips of usually 3 hours, and relatively inexpensive ( look for coupons money off ).Unfortunately the word is out, so they can be crowded, many take a hundred or more folks. I notice some list FULL for some dates.There are multiple whale watch operations out of both San Diego and Mission Bays. We use and recommend Legacy at www.sdwhale.com.  There are several others.BTW, although the July16th. pelagic birding trip is currently full.  If you wish to go, I would encourage you to call Seaforth Landing 619 224 3383 and go onto a waiting list. Someone will drop off the trip between now and then.All of our trips are posted at www.sandiegopelagics.com.Good BirdingDave PoveyDulzura