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Monthly Archives: July 2022

Lake Hodges mudflats

Lake Hodges mudflats
By – 9:55 am

I visited much-lowered Lake Hodges again early this morning, Monday. Given that we have entered southbound shorebird season, and we have pitifully few good freshwater shorebird sites around the county (but add upper Sweetwater Reservoir and Ramona Pond to the list), it is worth noting that there are two sites at Lake Hodges worth checking. The area of mud easily scoped (but a fair distance away!) from along Lake Drive just south of Del Dios had remarkably few birds on it today, but still certainly shows potential. One can get closer to the water’s edge by hiking down there from a pullout along Lake Drive, or from the closed-to-vehicles but open-to-pedestrians road to the marina. A second area has even somewhat better mudflat habitat and is at the current eastern end of the lake, which is about a half-mile east-southeast of the marina. Unfortunately, it is not at all easy to access. I scoped it from FAAAR away looking northwest from the northwest corner of the Barnardo Bay Trail loop (about a mile hike in from W. Bernardo Drive), but it would likely be much better seen from the North Lake Hodges Trail to the east-southeast of the Marina–but that would require a long hike in from Lake Drive–probably a good two miles each way–and even farther if one came in from the opposite direction from W. Bernardo Drive near I-15.

Anyway, the highlight from that east-end mudflat, with my very distant scoping, was several Am. Avocets including one mid-sized fuzzy chick. This species is an irregular breeder inland. Also a few Western/Least Sandpipers.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Manx Shearwater on Saturday San Diego pelagic

Manx Shearwater on Saturday San Diego pelagic
By – 5:20 am

From our 16 July pelagic trip off San Diego, participant Nick Thorpe just went through all his photos and discovered a MANX SHEARWATER he had photo’d at 9:14AM. At that time, we were down fairly close to the border and near (inside) or on the 9-Mile Bank. The photos are clear as to the species involved (unfortunately!). Photographers on the trip might wish to look at their own photos for that same time and see if they may have also captured this bird.


–Paul Lehman, San Diego

No Tattler

No Tattler
By – 4:10 pm
We left the marina at noon and paddled around the north shore and down the jetty without finding the Tattler.  We ran into kayakers and boaters who had been to the south shore with no luck.  Other kayaks on the north side also did not see the Tattler.  As the wind picked up off the jetty we gave up around 2:30.  Wonderful afternoon on the water though.Alison HiersCarlsbad, CA

NEGATIVE REPORT – Gray-tailed Tattler

NEGATIVE REPORT – Gray-tailed Tattler
By – 2:26 pm
Went out on kayaks with m.obs to search for the Tattler. To my knowledge, the bird was not seen up to the point when we left around 2:00, but there were still folks looking.David TrisselSan Diego, CA

RFI please- boats and S SD Bay

RFI please- boats and S SD Bay
By – 10:50 am
Looks like (next step up from kayak) to try for Tattler, could be a small, shallow row-boat type boat with a small motor. Could (legally and ethically) offer a look at some of shoreline (north and west side of L-shape peninsula) where bird is sometimes seen,Please pardon the interruption, but- if anybody knows where (rental outfit, private individual, whatever) one may seek such rental, please help (by email), THANKS,Good Birding,Paul ChadUniversity Citypaulchad4@…

early Sora, continuing Bald Eagle & hybrid oystercatcher

early Sora, continuing Bald Eagle & hybrid oystercatcher

By – 10:16 am

On Sunday, 17 July, a young Sora prancing around the upper (northeast) end of Upper Otay Lake is presumably a very early migrant arrival, in fact one of the earliest arrival dates on record. Also there was a continuing summer American Wigeon and good mid-July tallies of 15 Cinnamon Teal, 12 Common Gallinules, and 139 American Coots! Also on 17 July, one of the sub-adult Bald Eagles continues at upper Sweetwater Reservoir, where also my first fall-arrival Long-billed Dowitcher of the season, as well as migrant flock of 37 Avocets and a Semi Plover.

The hybrid oystercatcher at La Jolla since at least 10 July (or much earlier) also continues, and apparently it is NOT the same bird as has been seen recently farther to the south around Point Loma and Zuniga Jetty.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

San Diego pelagic: Guadalupe Murrelet, Red-footed Booby, Townsend’s S-P, 77 Craveri’s, 2 Long-taileds, Black Tern

San Diego pelagic: Guadalupe Murrelet, Red-footed Booby, Townsend’s S-P, 77 Craveri’s, 2 Long-taileds, Black Tern

By – 5:04 am

The 16 July San Diego pelagic trip out to the 30-Mile Bank/The Corner area, aboard “Legacy” and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society, was blessed with light seas and some good birds. The star of the show was the extremely cooperative Guadalupe Murrelet halfway across the San Diego Trough (32.626, -117.584; 19.9 miles W of tip Point Loma)–a species that is only casual within San Diego County waters. Only brief or distant views were had of a Red-footed Booby only a mile off Ocean Beach, of a Townsend’s Storm-Petrel along the outer edge of the 9-Mile Bank, and of a Black Tern in the San Diego Trough. The smooth seas were great for alcids, and we also had a super total of 77 Craveri’s Murrelets which is possibly a new one-day record for the county (previous high 68?), 35 Cassin’s Auklets, and 2 Common Murres. Other highlights included two immature Long-tailed Jaegers at the 30-Mile Bank/The Corner, a falling-apart Northern Fulmar, two Sabine’s Gulls, and small numbers of both Leach’s (dark-rumped) and Ashy Storm-Petrels. Lots of photos will be posted with the many eBird reports in a couple days. Offshore totals for the day were:

Whimbrel 3

Western Sandpiper 17

Red-necked Phalarope 7




Craveri’s Murrelet 77

Cassin’s Auklet 35

Sabine’s Gull 2

Heermann’s Gull 1

Western Gull 120


Least Tern 2

Elegant Tern 275

Leach’s Storm-Petrel 7


Ashy Storm-Petrel 5

Black Storm-Petrel 250


Pink-footed Shearwater 40

Sooty Shearwater 130

Black-vented Shearwater 1500


Double-crested Cormorant 3

Brown Pelican 50

–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Nancy Christensen, Jimmy McMorran, Gary Nunn, San Diego

Re: Gray-tailed tattler update. 7-16-22

Re: Gray-tailed tattler update. 7-16-22
By – 6:40 pm
Did you have any trouble kayaking from Chula Vista Bayfront Park? Or does anyone know of how the sewage spill in the Sweetwater Channel is affecting the possibility of kayaking tomorrow?For reference:“ Bayside Park at J Street in Chula Vista – Closure
A closure has been issued for Bayside Park at J Street in Chula Vista as a result of a confirmed sewage spill in the Sweetwater Channel. Avoid water contact in the closure area due to sewage impacts.”
Thanks,Mark WilsonLos Angeles, CA