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Monthly Archives: May 2023

miscellanea; erroneous American Goldfinches

11:50 am

Minor news the past couple days includes a getting-late MIGRANT Lazuli Bunting flying past Mount Soledad on 30 May; a small uptick in migrant Willow Flycatchers along the coast; and on May 31st a slightly inland Elegant Tern at the Dairy Mart Ponds and a continuing territorial American Robin south of usual at the Bird & Butterfly Garden area.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned the continuing issue of over-reported and mis-identified Ring-billed Gulls and Rufous Hummingbirds. I was reminded that one of the perennial favorites in this category is AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, especially between April-September. This species is MUCH SCARCER AND MORE LOCALIZED in distribution than many folks realize. They are regularly over-reported in eBird not only by visiting birders who do not know their true status and distribution, but also by plenty of local birders as well. During the breeding season, this species is pretty much restricted to riparian habitats or areas bordering riparian.They are NOT typically found in drier scrubby areas, chaparral, most residential areas, etc., where Lesser Goldfinches are common but where are sometimes lacking from checklists which then include Americans. Observers are encouraged to be extra careful in reporting this species, even in fall and winter when they tend to be much more localized than are Lessers. Currently the South County hot-spot for this species, as always, is the community gardens on Hollister in the Tijuana River Valley, where today I saw a high concentration of 20 birds for the date.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Weekend feeder frenzy at the Sub Base

7:41 pm

During an absolutely crazy weekend for our family — a dozen people staying at the house, my daughter’s college graduation, and my toddler granddaughter running around, we have had correspondingly crazy birds.

Thursday, we had one of the many Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, as well as a Baltimore Oriole, and an Inca Dove.
Friday the Rose Breasted Grosbeak continued, then Saturday the Inca Dove returned. 
And today, the Inca Dove returned briefly, and tonight we had a Scarlet Tanager. 
Unfortunately, none of the birds have been particularly predictable nor easily findable when not sitting on/around the feeders, although the Inca Dove has been the closest, swinging by the feeder between 11am and 2pm on the days it returned. It’s likely hanging around the base somewhere else when not snacking at our feeder.  
Not sure what to expect tomorrow, since we have one more day of weekend coming!
Happy Birding,
Mike and Tera

Re: Mexican Whip-poor-will returns to the Lagunas

12:17 pm

Hi everyone, 

Has anyone tried for the Mexican whip-poor-will in the last couple days? I know it wasn’t expected to stay long, last reported in eBird 5 days ago. 
Erin Whitaker 
Bay Park 

Erin Whitaker, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine Hospitalist
Scripps Mercy Hospital
San Diego, CA