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Monthly Archives: August 2022

Sweetwater & Lower Otay Reservoirs

Sweetwater & Lower Otay Reservoirs

By – 11:30 am

A Friday morning check of Sweetwater Reservoir and Lower Otay Lake. Sweetwater has plenty of shorebirds, although most are a long way’s off. There were some, including a juv Lesser Yellowlegs, right next to the main parking lot right after opening time at 7AM–but were flushed not long thereafter by arriving fishermen. There was also a Bank Swallow flying around there briefly, with lots of Cliffs and a few Rough-wingeds. At the upper end of the lake (a one-mile walk) was a rare-in-fall-inland Whimbrel (with a few curlews, godwits, and Willets), a record-high-inland-count of 34 juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers, and a couple fall-arrival alternate Eared Grebes. There is certainly plenty of shorebird habitat, but many of the peep are too far away to identify to species.

Both of the past two times I’ve been at Sweetwater (open Fri-Mon), the staff have checked on my paying the $3 parking fee, even if I only scan from the parking lot. So please follow the rules and pay the nominal fee.

In contrast, the upper (northeast) end of Lower Otay Lake continues disappointing for shorebirds this month, with most days producing only a small number of Least Sandpipers. The summering Ring-necked Duck continues, as do the parading-in-the-open Soras and Virginia Rails.

Landbird migrant numbers continue low. A check yesterday morning of “outer” Point Loma produced only 2 Red-shouldered Hawks (scarce but somewhat regular there in fall), 1 W. Kingbird, 1 juv cowbird, and 3 Bullock’s Orioles.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Baird’s sandpiper South San Diego Bay 8-18-22

Baird’s sandpiper South San Diego Bay 8-18-22

By – 3:22 pm
A juv Baird’s sandpiper was initially seen along SSE then ESE pond 22 in the closed portion of the South San Diego Bay NWR saltworks at 12:22 pm today (18 Aug 2022) but was possibly viewable from the Bayshore Bikeway near the second bridge to the east of 13th St in Imperial Beach.  It then flushed to the ENE after all birds in the area were disturbed by a peregrine, a turkey vulture, and then a kestrel.  I refound it later at an interior pond from 13:04 through 13:20.  It’s worth watching for either from the bikepath or checking the flats at J St or Emory Cove/South Bay Bio Study Area in case it moves to adjacent areas.R. PattonSan Diego, CA

continuing Harris’s Hawks, etc.

continuing Harris’s Hawks, etc.

By – 11:32 am

On 13 August, a birder-photographer photo’d a group of 7 continuing Harris’s Hawks at Shelter Valley (Coffee Pot X Windfall Trails). One bird appeared to be a sub-adult, but none younger than that. We had been hoping for possible nesting activity this year. And today, 16 August, I had 4 continuing Harris’s Hawks at Jacumba. Two started off along the north edge of town just after dawn, as usual. And then three hours later there were four birds together along the main road at the extreme southeast end of town. Also present there today were 2 slightly wayward (easterly) White-breasted Nuthatches; summering Lesser Nighthawk, Scott’s Orioles, and the usual several Cassin’s Kingbirds; a new local high-count of 60 White-winged Doves; and a sprinkling of expected western landbird migrants.

The hummingbird feeders in Pine Valley have a reasonable number of hummers in attendance, including about 20 Black-chinneds.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Re: Black Terns at TJ River mouth

Re: Black Terns at TJ River mouth
By – 9:41 am
I can personally confirm that there at three Black Terns at the Tijuana River Mouth. All three flew right past me in a group at the river mouth about 30 minutes ago (8/16). On another note, it appears I lost my binocular eyepiece cover somewhere along the beach :(If anyone sees it while looking for the Black Terns, please let me know. I walked along the edge of the reserve for the first third from the parking lot, then stayed along the harder sand nearer the water for the rest to the mouth and back.– Nick ThorpeUniversity Heights

Manx Shearwater on Saturday pelagic trip

Manx Shearwater on Saturday pelagic trip
By – 3:13 pm

We are on a roll !!!  For the THIRD scheduled pelagic trip in a row (June, July, August), despite our attempts to sift through flocks of Black-vented Shearwaters in hopes of finding a very rare Manx Shearwater, but to no avail, a Manx has indeed been found after the conclusion of the trip via folks looking carefully at their photos. This trip’s installment of the saga is courtesy of Barbara Wise, who studied her many trip photos from yesterday and found a Manx sitting in a large flock of Black-venteds in the eastern San Diego Trough. Her photos of the bird are date-stamped between 9:27-9:32 AM, so other participants who took photos of that flock during that period might wish to also go through their photos carefully.

Undoubtedly, Barbara will add some of her photos of the Manx to her ebird list once the lists are shared in a couple more days and made public.

Our apologies for the oversight, but we really, truly are looking carefully at the good numbers of Black-venteds on these trips. Maybe in September or October….!

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Black Terns at TJ River mouth

Black Terns at TJ River mouth
By – 12:52 pm
HI All,  Rachel Smith and I had 2 possibly 3 BLACK TERN’s in flight between the TJ River mouth and the Seacoast Dr. foraging just over the surf. I’ve added a link to our ebird checklist. Keers (as the MAMU says)Kerry RossBay Park

Re: Red-eyed Vireo continues

Re: Red-eyed Vireo continues
By – 12:12 pm
Correction. It was in what Matt is calling Fern Pine trees initially, not the Tamarisks. Initial coordinates32.55401,-117.08625Last seen around here32.55437,-117.08610Lisa Ruby Sabre SpringsSent from ProtonMail mobile

Red-eyed Vireo continues

Red-eyed Vireo continues
By – 11:56 am
5 of us just had the Red-eyed Vireo at the B&B Garden. Matt and Dan heard it in Tamarisks between the two drips. It then moved south and then north, to north end of the line if Tamarisks. It’s quiet now. Lisa RubtlySabre SpringsSent from ProtonMail mobile– Lisa RubySabre Springs

San Diego pelagic: Cook’s Petrel, Least & Townsend’s Storm-Petrels, 3 B-f Albatrosses

San Diego pelagic: Cook’s Petrel, Least & Townsend’s Storm-Petrels, 3 B-f Albatrosses

By – 5:14 am

The San Diego pelagic trip on Saturday, 13 August, aboard “Legacy” and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society visited the 9-Mile & 30-Mile Banks, San Diego Trough, and “The Corner,” out to the edge of San Diego County waters. The seas were moderate on the way out, but lightened the remainder of the day. It was a very good trip, with some of the highlights being a well-seen Cook’s Petrel at The Corner, at least three different Black-footed Albatrosses (The Corner, 30-Mile Bank, w. SD Trough), 3 or 4 Least Storm-Petrels (The Corner & 30-Mile), 1 Ashy, 12+ Townsend’s & 22+ Leach’s Storm-Petrels (some of which were closer to shore than usual, as close as the 9-Mile Bank), 11 Craveri’s Murrelets, 5 Long-tailed Jaegers, 9 Sabine’s Gulls, 1 Arctic Tern (30-Mile), a good count of 50 Common Terns, 3 Northern Fulmars (very rare at this time of year), and 9 Brown Boobies. Offshore (beyond one mile out) totals for the day were as follows:

Red-necked Phalarope 135

Red Phalarope 3

Pomarine Jaeger 5

Long-tailed Jaeger 5

jaeger sp. 3

Craveri’s Murrelet  11

murrelet sp. 4

Cassin’s Auklet 12

Sabine’s Gull 9

Heermann’s Gull 13

Western Gull 140

Common Tern 50

Arctic Tern 1

Elegant Tern 180

Black-footed Albatross 3

Leach’s Storm-Petrel 22

Townsend’s Storm-Petrel 12

Leach’s/Townsend’s Storm-Petrel 13

Ashy Storm-Petrel 1

Black Storm-Petrel 75

Least Storm-Petrel 3

Northern Fulmar 3

Cook’s Petrel 1

Sooty Shearwater 14

Pink-footed Shearwater 40

Black-vented Shearwater 1200

Brown Booby 9

Brandt’s Cormorant 1

Brown Pelican 15

Also a Guadalupe Fur Seal.

–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Dan King, Gary Nunn, San Diego

Black Tern continues at Tijuana River Mouth

Black Tern continues at Tijuana River Mouth
By – 12:43 pm
Hi, All,The Black Tern recently reported here continues.  It was hanging out with a flock of two dozen adult and immature Least Terns a bit north of the river mouth, where the fence curves eastward.Checklist with photos:  Tijuana River Mouth & BeachAnother rare sighting:  three ice cream vendors laboriously pushing their carts up the beach.  Apparently the only way for them to get out of the turmoil in Tijuana itself to do business here.Cheers,  Tuck RussellHillcrest