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Monthly Archives: July 2023

juvenile shorebirds, miscellanea

8:46 am

As is very typical the last week of July, several species of shorebirds have seen the first juveniles arrive. This year, two species set all time early arrival dates, including the well watched lesser yellowlegs at Robb Field that first was seen on the 26th, and also a short billed dowitcher juvenile seen elsewhere on the 28th. Both of those were 3 days earlier than the previous early juvenile arrival date. Other species with juvenile arrivals recently include semipalmated plover, Wilson’s phalarope, marbled godwit, long billed curlew, and finally Western sandpiper today actually a few days late.

In other news, for those who might be unaware, the three neotropic cormorants that frequent the San Diego River channel and occasionally famosa slough, actually roost every night in a eucalyptus tree with double cresteds that is on the Marina Village conference center property immediately south of Seaforth Sportfishing. Yesterday, the 30th, a large number of shorebirds roosting at high tide in the salt works impoundment off 13th Street included about 50 Wilson’s Phalaropes, with smaller numbers of Red-neckeds.
Paul Lehman, San Diego

#399 Not as bad as it has been

9:23 am

Went out on the Hornblower yesterday.
Should have gone today: perfect conditions for frigatebirds today.
Yesterday, almost no wind, the birds were sitting on the water for the most part.
Surface was calm, great for seeing alcids, but 3 Scripps’ murrelets were the only alcids of the day.

We headed directly south until we were 150 yards from the Mexican border. Spent almost a hour sitting there, waiting for a blue whale lallygagging on the other side of the border to come closer—it didn’t.
Then motored 11 miles west, getting almost to the eastern edge of the 9-Mile Bank before just turning around. Spent no time on the bank.

For the past 6 weeks, there have been extremely few inshore pelagic birds. That pretty much continues.
We came across several very large pods of feeding common dolphins: a single sooty shearwater was the only seabird accompanying them.
But as we sat near the Mexican border I could see birds sitting on a current south of the border 1/4 mile.
10 sooty shearwaters and a Laysan albatross, which did not move from its little patch of ocean for the entire hour we were there.
Just thumbed its bill at us, nyah-nyah-nyah, I’m not coming into U.S. waters.

Nicest birds were 11 Sabine’s gulls in a single flock. All females except for the ones that weren’t.
4 adult common terns.
A total of about 35 sooty shearwaters, 13 black-vented shearwaters in a single flock, and a single pink-footed shearwater.
4 black storm-petrels, near the 9-Mile Bank.
No jaegers or boobies. No phalaropes. but a single red knot.
Not a lot of birds for what was essentially 30 miles of sailing.

The 16-mile trip back was devoid of seabirds, except for one sooty shearwater. Still, that’s one more than last trip.

Next weekend will be trip #400.

Stan Walens, San Diego
July 30, 2023; 9:17 am

Frigatebird at La Jolla

3:32 pm

I just got a note from Celia Condit ( Searcher ) that Capt. Arron spotted a frigatebird picking chum up behind a sportfisher at La Jolla today.

My message was time stamped 3:14 p.m.
Dave Povey

Poway yellow billed cuckoo continues… sort of!

8:42 am

Wednesday morning the Poway yellow billed cuckoo finally made an appearance for fewer than 10 minutes starting at 7:38, but it was a bit farther north than usual, basically starting at the north end of where people have been seeing it the past couple days but then going another hundred feet or more to the north of that into an area of thicker sycamore, oak, and willow where it’s just almost impossible to see in. In sum, I probably saw 25% of the bird in three views! And that was better than most. Although one other person saw it in full view for about 1 and 1/2 seconds. Perhaps this thicker area even farther to the north is where it spends a bunch of time when people can’t find it for hours on end in the “usual” stretch.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

[OrangeCountyBirding] Mountain Chickadees

6:35 pm

Thought this summary from Ryan Winkleman of lowland breeding chickadees in OC would be of interest to SD County birders with the expansion into our N County.
Matt Sadowski

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman@…>
Date: Tue, Jul 25, 2023, 18:20
Subject: Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] Mountain Chickadees
To: Braxton Landsman <balbhl@…>
Cc: Sue Foster <suefoster@…>, Orangecountybirding <>

Mountain Chickadees have been expanding their breeding range in lowland Orange County for the last 20 years beginning with the first known lowland OC breeding record in 2003 at O’Neill Regional Park here in Rancho Santa Margarita by Marshall Iliff. The first coastal OC breeding record was in 2006 at Harbor View Nature Park in Newport Beach by Peyton Cook, and the species continued to expand its summering range throughout the late 2000s and 2010s throughout lowland OC in other cities like Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, and Anaheim to name a few, with documentation of breeding happening more and more as the years have gone on. I believe Zachary Perry found the first breeding record at Laguna Niguel Regional Park in 2015, and Robert McNab has documented breeding at his house in Laguna Niguel more or less annually for years. 
All of which is to say that your report is another dot on the ever-expanding map of Mountain Chickadee’s summer range in Orange County.

Re: Yellow-billed cuckoo in Poway

9:38 am

Cuckoo continued this morning at sunrise. Two or three times made very brief calls. Perched in sun for a long period of time on the back side of an oak tree maybe 10 yards north of Steve’s GPS location. Most active around 6:30 or a bit later as sun was beginning to touch the tips of the trees. Very difficult bird!

Nancy Christensen

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
Chinese Proverb