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Posts Written By: russadmin

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

May 18th San Diego pelagic trip

4:47 am

The San Diego pelagic trip on 18 May sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society aboard “Legacy” out of Mission Bay went out to the 9-Mile Bank, San Diego Trough, 30-Mile Bank, and “The Corner.” Ocean conditions were excellent, with light seas and a high marine overcast all morning. Large numbers of several species were noted in the waters from about 4 miles offshore out to the 9-Mile, with smaller numbers farther out. Especially impressive totals included the 20 Blue Whales, 115 Scripps’s Murrelets, 3000 Sooty Shearwaters (including one bird with a fully white head and neck), and 6 Brown Boobies. The two Common Murres were scarce and getting latte. Offshore totals for the day (once a couple miles offshore) were:
Surf Scoter  4
Eared Grebe  1
Red-necked Phalarope  35
jaeger sp.  1
Common Murre  2  (off Mission Bay)
Scripps’s Murrelet  115  (high count)
Cassin’s Auklet  65
Rhinoceros Auklet  1
Bonaparte’s Gull  2
Heermann’s Gull  2
Western Gull  175
California Gull  50
Least Tern  3
Elegant Tern  1300
Common Loon  4
Pacific Loon  12
Ashy Storm-Petrel  2
Black Storm-Petrel  160
Pink-footed Shearwater  80
Sooty Shearwater  3000
Black-vented Shearwater  4
Brown Booby  6
Brown Pelican  70
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Brandt’s Cormorant  3
hummingbird sp.  1
warbler sp.  1
Blue Whale  20  (very high count)
Fin Whale  5
Black Oystercatcher 2, hybrid American X Black Oystercatcher 1 (Mission Bay jetties)
The next scheduled pelagic trip is on Saturday, 8 June. See for further information.
–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Dan King, Jimmy McMorran, San Diego

Miscellanea, and Red-billed Tropicbird

9:02 am

Nothing too exciting going on where I’ve been onshore the past couple days. The dominant western landbird migrants are what one expects in mid-May and include Western Kingbird and Western Flycatcher and pewee and Swainson’s Thrush and Yellow and Wilson’s and Townsend’s Warblers and Warbling Vireo and Western Tanager, within small trickles of several other species. The least common migrants I’ve seen were an Olive-sided Flycatcher yesterday and a Hammond’s Flycatcher today, the 17th, which is starting to get borderline a little bit late. Still small numbers of Bonapartes and Ring billed Gulls and Red-breasted Nuthatches and waxwings floating around.

Much more interesting was somebody posted online yesterday a couple nice photos of a Red-billed Tropicbird they photographed yesterday, the 16th, just 3 mi off Oceanside. 
Paul Lehman, San Diego 

Adult & Fledgling Mountain Chickadees in Encinitas

10:48 pm

On Tuesday in my yard in Encinitas on Crest Drive near the corner of Melba Road, I observed two Mountain Chickadees in a Coast Live Oak.  One was a fledgling, fluttering its wings (begging), and the other was an adult foraging in the tree and delivering food to the fledgling.  Both were vocalizing softly, but the fledgling was vocalizing more so than the adult.  I was thrilled as I just happened to be out getting the mail.  I didn’t even have binoculars, but the adult came within 10 feet of me once.  I have been hearing and seeing them more often this year than in years past, but usually just individuals.   

My yard is quite near the Wotan/Melba alley where Susan Smith reported a pair of Mountain Chickadees on May 7th. 


eBird Checklist – 14 May 2024 – 1050 Crest Drive, Encinitas, CA – 1 species


Steve Cameron

Pelagic Birding San Diego. Saturday May 18th. 2024

8:10 am

Hello Birders,

Just a quick reminder that this Saturday is the first of several Buena Vista Audubon sponsored pelagic birding trips out of Seaforth Landing in San Diego’s Mission Bay.
Those of you signed on to that trip need to be at the landing between 6 and 6:15 a.m. Please check in with the office then gather on the patio.
Parking is free, but can be tight. Fishing is quite good now and I expect all the landing’s boats will be out or departing that morning.
Most importantly, the landing’s parking lot is directly in front of the building, or you can use the on street parking. Parking lots to the east and west of the landing are permit only, and they may tow your vehicle! You might plan to be dropped off or carpool. Anyway, be prepared. Street parking is usually available early, barring some special event.
Looks like we have a nice weather and sea’s forecast for the weekend.
Remember even if we have overcast, do sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses. Stay hydrated. If you do motion meds, take them beforehand. Layered clothing is always wise, as it can be quite cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon.
We do have a small number of spaces available. They can be booked at or see trip details at Lastly if you wake up early Saturday and have a sudden urge to go. Show up by 6:15 and see me.
I also, might I remind you that the June 8th. trip is coming on quickly. You may wish to get your spot for that trip.
I hope to see you out there.
Good Birding,
Dave Povey