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Monthly Archives: July 2022

Whale watch pelagic birding opportunities

Whale watch pelagic birding opportunities
By – 6:25 pm
In the last few days I’ve done two whale watches out of Mission Bay, neither of which produced any whales, but it is possible to sample some of the local pelagic avian species in 2-3 hours for as little as $25. People have been doing this for years, but it may be worth repeating for those who don’t want to commit to a 12-hour trip offshore, or for those on a budget!On Thursday, Matt Sadowski and I went out with Legacy Whale Watch and although on this trip we promptly turned north upon exiting the Mission Bay channel and never got very far offshore, we did have one Common Murre and 750 or so Black-vented Shearwaters (plus a few Sooty and Pink-footed shearwaters) and Elegant Terns. This morning, Nicole Desnoyers and I went out on the Privateer with San Diego Whale Watch and went straight west for something like 13 miles, nearly hitting the very north end of the Nine Mile Bank before turning north towards the La Jolla Canyon and looping back to Mission Bay. Needless to say, the birding was better further off shore: Red-necked Phalarope 10Craveri’s Murrelet 2-5Ashy Storm-Petrel 1Black Storm-Petrel 25 (some fairly close!)Pink-footed Shearwater 25 (a raft with Common Dolphins)Sooty Shearwater 6Black-vented Shearwater 50 Brown Booby 1Hummingbird sp. 1 I’m not sure when and where these boats plan on going (Blue Whale season and trips further offshore appear best) but the experience was much better on the latter trip. Granted, these are designed for whales and dolphins, and getting the captain to turn to go inspect a distant speck isn’t possible, the good news is the feeding dolphins are often associated with terns and shearwaters which may attract other stuff like boobies. You do have to spot your own birds as well and hope the intriguing things come close to the boat!I note that the Legacy has half-off midweek trips, but you can get roughly the same deal any day via Groupon (and greater savings in 2-4 packs of tickets) for the Privateer, but there may be restrictions on times they can be used. Always worth calling to check ahead of time. Legacy:https://www.sdwhale.comPrivateer:https://sdwhalewatch.comGroupon deal for Privateer:https://www.groupon.com/deals/san-diego-whale-watch-gray-whale-season?deal_option=a273aa12-00d0-41c8-850a-a70c3466507aOf course if you want the real deal, there are four organized pelagic trips left this year that go well offshore:August 13September 11October 1October 22 (a shorter 6 hour trip)https://sandiegopelagics.comJustyn StahlNorth Park

Baird’s Sandpiper…..P.S.

Baird’s Sandpiper…..P.S.

By – 9:16 am
Also, be aware that there are a couple breeding plumage Sanderlings amongst all the peep at the salt works Pond 20, and an unsuspecting observer could quite possibly confuse that with a Bairds Sandpiper. I also had my first juvenile Willet of the season. Total of 300 Wilson’s Phalaropes, mostly to the west on Pond 22.Paul Lehman, San Diego Sent from the all new AOL app for Android

Hawk at San Elijo

Hawk at San Elijo
By – 12:30 pm
I was birding the lagoon between the RR tracks and Rios when I saw a group of crows chasing an accipiter around a large pine tree and into the neighborhood on the bluff.  It was either a Cooper’s or Sharp due to coloring/pattern but the size of it was significantly smaller than the crows.  The tail appeared blunt in flight but that can be deceiving.  It’s the tiny size compared to the crows that makes me question it being a Cooper’s, but from all accounts I can find in the Bird Atlas a Sharp would be very rare.  I am listing it as Sharp/Coop but if anyone else is out that way maybe you can watch for it.Alison HiersCarlsbad, CA

Link to program by P Lehman : Rare Birds and Bird Chasing in California

Link to program by P Lehman : Rare Birds and Bird Chasing in California
By – 3:26 pm
In case you missed the July SDFO meeting, here is a link to the presentation by Paul Lehman“Rare Birds & Rare Bird Chasing in California, 1960s to 2010,” an informative and entertaining look at significant records and the pursuit of rare birds in California beginning in the 1960s.The link will be available for 30 days should you wish to watch it. Meeting Recording:https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/fg_8vBBtefK6W3Vxg0fZmf4Vas0AAZu8Kd-ewA71ycsMXbMfM6x0TkWC5klzN7Qm.3xV1c31RaA_kR9tLNancy ChristensenRamonaA bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.Chinese Proverb

Magnificent Frigatebird La Jolla Seawatch 7/19/22

Magnificent Frigatebird La Jolla Seawatch 7/19/22
By – 5:56 pm
At 5:33pm Jim P and I saw a juv frigatebird (assuming the same one from this morning) from the LJ Seawatch Hotspot. It was chasing a gull and heading south quickly and is probably in Mission Beach by now if anyone in the area wants to look. Nathan FrenchHillcrest

phalarope glut

phalarope glut
By – 7:02 am
Tuesday morning at the salt works pond off the end of 13th Street there is a large concentration of 260 Wilsons Phalaropes, as well as reasonable numbers of Red-necked Phalaropes. This is actually not all that surprising a total for this site and date, although typically the bigger numbers are seen in the interior ponds and not often visible in large numbers from public viewing sites. Also a few one-year-old Common Terns continuing at both this site and at Emory Cove. Very large numbers of fledgling Elegant Terns, and fair numbers of young Royal terns, are now smothering the dikes and making a massive racket.Paul Lehman, San DiegoSent from the all new AOL app for Android

Re: Manx Shearwater on Saturday San Diego pelagic

Re: Manx Shearwater on Saturday San Diego pelagic
By – 12:05 pm
For anyone still looking through their photos, I just double checked my camera clock vs my phone (internet) clock, and my camera was slow by 8 minutes. So the Manx was actually seen at 9:22am. — Nick ThorpeUniversity Heights

Little Stint, 18 July 2022

Little Stint, 18 July 2022
By – 12:01 pm
The adult Little Stint is back on pond 23 island at the N end of 10th in Imperial Beach. There’s probably no point in looking for it now with the midday heat distortion, but will probably be worth a look later in the p.m. and definitely tomorrow a.m.This will be her (probably a female based on bill length and relatively muted colors in alternate plumage) 5th winter here.Viewpoint:32.5896747, -117.1129516Matt Sadowski

July pelagic checklists

July pelagic checklists
By – 10:49 am
The checklists have been posted, but two user names bounced as invalid. If you did not receive the checklists for some reason, please let me know and I will take care of it! Many many thanks for a truly lovely trip offshore! Participants and leaders both were wonderful! Nancy ChristensenPresident, SDFORamona