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Monthly Archives: May 2024

La Jolla Summit – rarities

5:26 pm

This morning, I visited the La Jolla Summit area and came across a couple rarities. First, there was a Hepatic Tanager “chupping” in the scrub on the north side of the Caminito Cruzada x Caminito Capa intersection. Later, a singing Tennessee Warbler was visiting a ficus and a bottlebrush shrub by the community pool off Caminito Valverde. 

Apologies for the late report…

Rose-breasted Grosbeak #11, new Vermilion nest site

11:20 am

Although it’s been a sub-par spring for eastern vagrants in the county, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are doing just fine, with now ELEVEN this month in all: 8 coastal and 3 inland. Today’s (Tuesday) addition was a male on outer Point Loma. The errant California Quail continues in residential Point Loma. Late-season western migrants continue in mediocre numbers, with just two each of pewees, Warbling Vireos, and Black-headed Grosbeaks (where they don’t breed). Yet another new coastal nesting site for Vermilion Flycatchers today: family group at the east end of Riverwalk Golf course in Mission Valley.
Still wondering when someone will find nesting Reddish Egret in San Diego (and California), as yesterday there were three breeding-condition adults together at the J Street mudflats, and today an uncertain number of adults continue in the San Diego River mouth (Robb Field) area. Still a few Bonaparte’s Gulls around South San Diego Bay. Low shorebird diversity.
May 26th at Jacumba had the continuing Harri’s Hawks and Least Bittern, a getting-late flock of 15 Cedar Waxwings heading east to west well overhead, and an east-of-normal wandering juvenile White-tailed Kite. Other landbird migrants were all the expected species for the date: W. Wood Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Black-hd. Grosbeak, and Lazuli Bunting (typical last date).
Paul Lehman, San Diego

Possible Golden-crowned Kinglet? Palomar Mountain Doane Valley Nature Trail

11:41 pm

Hi all. On Sunday afternoon, May 26, I heard a possible Golden-crowned Kinglet on the Doane Valley nature trail, near the stream crossing where the Weir Trail splits off. I recorded the audio with my phone using Merlin, which suggested Golden-crowned Kinglet as the ID, but there was a lot of noise from the stream, and there were a lot of people around for the Memorial Day weekend. I tried to clean up the audio a bit in Audacity, applying a 250Hz high-pass filter and normalizing to -3dB, but it is still quite noisy. I never saw the bird.
Aaron Polichar
Scripps Ranch, San Diego

general late spring trends, miscellanea incl. another Rose-breasted Grosbeak

10:14 am

Saturday AM, a failed attempt at Black Swifts at Mount Soledad did produce a fly-by adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak down on the south slope. This brings the May total of RBGRs in the county to an above-average six. With this morning’s Tennessee Warbler addition in residential Point Loma, the May total for that species is now an above-average four. But overall, rarity numbers this month have been below normal, and most have involved low-end rarities, and the number of regular western landbird migrants continues this year’s trend of being somewhere between low and, at best, locally so-so. It also seems as if many shorebirds cleared out early and that the number and variety of likely summering shorebirds is somewhat below average.
Amongst the usual several lingering Ring-necked Ducks and Buffleheads through mid-May, there are still a couple Buffleheads today (25th) at the San Diego River mouth. But lingering waterfowl numbers are pretty ho-hum overall. Still a flock of a dozen worn one-year-old Bonaparte’s Gulls at J Street, and still single worn one-year-old Glaucous-winged Gulls at the Salt Works and La Jolla. The errant California Quail continued in residential Point Loma through at least the 23rd, and a single Vaux’s Swift remained that day at the downtown swift roost. The recently established tern colony on West Ski Island in Mission Bay is very crowded this year, with some nesting Forster’s and Caspians, increasing numbers of Royals, and a few thousand Elegants. This is unfortunately perhaps the only particularly good tern nesting news currently. On the 24th, an Elegant Tern was slightly inland near Dairy Mart, and a count of 9 Brown Pelicans at Sweetwater Reservoir ties the high count there and continues the theme of above-average numbers of inland Brown Pelicans.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Tennessee Warbler – Point Loma

8:26 am

This morning there was a TENNESSEE WARBLER on Warner in the residential area of Point Loma in a large oak near the intersection with Silvergate.

(32.7159647, -117.2444117)

Otherwise fairly quiet so far.

Alex Abela
San Diego, CA

Carmel Valley Red Crossbills

9:08 am

Some interesting behavior this morning (May 21) from the crossbills that have been in Carmel Valley on and off since late December, with brief exaggerated begging observed in one of two perched birds, then begging bird flying short distance between two trees chasing first bird with weak fluttery flight.  

Perhaps this was some sort of courting behavior rather than an actual fledgling. If folks are in the vicinity over the coming days, it might be worth checking out. Seen here: 32.9515558, -117.2267879, which is just north of the Windwood Park eBird hotspot on Carmel Creek Road. 

Dan King
San Diego

Mt Soledad – Black Swift and crossbills

9:50 am

A single Black Swift flew by the summit at Mt Soledad heading N/NW today around 8AM. I’ll post (poor quality) pictures in an eBird report later today. Conditions seemed decent for Black Swifts – low, overcast cloud coverage and cold. Similar conditions are expected the rest of this week.

Other interesting flybys this morning: a northbound flock of seven Red Crossbills giving their distinctive “jip jip jip” flight calls and a northbound Great-tailed Grackle getting harassed by a Cassin’s Kingbird 

Blackburnian Warbler at Batiquitos Lagoon (N side trails)

12:32 pm

I’m a visiting birder from the San Francisco Bay Area. I was birding the north side trails along Batiquitos Lagoon today when I spotted a Blackburnian Warbler foraging in the eucalyptus canopy on the lagoon side of the trail at (33.0918151, -117.2902238) at about 10:15 am. The bird was foraging unhurriedly, probably moving West, but I lost sight of it after about 5 minutes. It may be possible to refind. 
EBird checklist:
ID Details:
Yellow-orange face with dark auricular patch, yellowish under eye crescent, dark wings with white wing bars, blurry grayish flank streaks. It lacked the dark spur on the side of the breast that bleeds into flank streaks in TOWA, no yellow on flanks. I was unable to view the diagnostic pale back streaks, but the ID was clear. 
See pics below.
Zac Denning
Albany, CA