Join/Renew (2023 Dues)


SDFO March 21 Program Zoom Recording Link

SDFO March 21 Program Zoom Recording Link
By {authorlink} – 7:35 am

Hello Birders,
case you missed the SDFO
March 21, 2023 Zoom meeting, the program with Nathan Goldberg who spoke on “Islands and Mangroves, Forests and Beaches: Remote Birding throughout Indonesia and Bangladesh.”

or just want to watch it again, the recording can be viewed
here for the next 30 days:

Happy Birding,
Char Glacy
San Diego


more storm groundings of waterbirds inland

more storm groundings of waterbirds inland
By {authorlink} – 3:10 pm

This morning’s (21 March) foul (or fowl?) weather grounded quite the collection of interesting waterbirds at inland bodies of water. In addition to the early and exceptional flock of 6 Sabine’s Gulls at Lake Murray as reported by Matt S., I hear that David T. had a flock of 10 Brant land at the Borrego Springs settling ponds, Brennan M. had 2 Surf Scoters at Santee Lakes, and Sweetwater biologist Pete Famolaro reports a single flock of 81 (EIGHTY-ONE) Surf Scoters on Sweetwater Reservoir (closed to the public Tues-Thurs).
–Paul Lehman, San Diego

alcid chase trips, Yellow-billed Loon departure, inland waterbird groundings

alcid chase trips, Yellow-billed Loon departure, inland waterbird groundings
By {authorlink} – 12:37 pm

Inclement weather in spring (March-May) often “grounds” notable waterbirds on inland bodies of water. This morning, 20 March, at Sweetwater Reservoir there was a drake Surf Scoter, drake Red-breasted Merganser, Horned Grebe, Whimbrel, and a large concentration of 360 Double-crested Cormorants. As well as the expected good numbers of swallows and continuing Bald Eagle (but the nest there has failed). Also continuing Bald Eagle and plenty of swallows at Lower Otay Lake. Barabara Wise had a nice-sized “inland” flock of 43 Bonaparte’s Gulls at Lake Murray.
Currently, the “last” definite date for the wintering Yellow-billed Loon is 15 March. It has been missed several times since then. So either it has become less reliable, has shifted to a different part of Mission Bay, or has departed. But any future reports of this bird that extend the dates more than just a single day or two will require more documentation than just saying it is “continuing.”
With the recent sightings offshore during the past month of both a Parakeet Auklet and a Tufted Puffin, a few folks have asked about the possibility of organizing rare alcid “chase trips.” That may be something that has a small but worthwhile chance of success with trying to re-find a rare albatross or a bunch of Cook’s Petrels, but it is another matter with a single alcid swimming around somewhere in the ocean. Finding such a bird even an hour later is unlikely. There is also the issue of needing a fairly flat ocean surface to effectively look for alcids. Having said that, during the past month there have been 2 or 3 Tufted Puffins not far offshore off Southern California, another Parakeet Auklet washed up dead in Marin County, and I just heard that there may have been a Horned Puffin off Santa Cruz over this past weekend. So, perhaps there is a “northern alcid” surge beginning, and which will hopefully continue well into the spring (in past years, puffin invasions often peak in May and even into early June). There are scheduled pelagic trips aboard “Legacy” out of Seaforth Sportfishing on 7 May and 3 June (see And there is always the availability of whalewatch trips, although you never know how far offshore they will go and of course it is doubtful they would be too interested in going out of their way to get closer to a possibly interesting distant alcid….but taking such a trip on a calm morning might be worthwhile.
–Paul Lehman, San Diego

SDFO Zoom Meeting Tuesday March 21 at 6 PM

SDFO Zoom Meeting Tuesday March 21 at 6 PM
By {authorlink} – 9:33 am

Hello Birders,
The San Diego Field Ornithologists is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Program: Nathan Goldberg will speak on “Islands and Mangroves, Forests and Beaches: Remote Birding throughout Indonesia and Bangladesh.”

Time: March 21, 2023 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 8952 7927
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is the last meeting notice going out to non-members this year!  If you
want to continue to receive meeting notices from SDFO, please send your $25
dues to:
San Diego Field Ornithologists
c/o Eve Martin
1155 Camino del Mar, Suite 102
Del Mar, CA 92014
Char Glacy
San Diego


Re: offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET

Re: offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET
By {authorlink} – 3:41 pm

Just an FYI that this checklist is currently showing up as flagged (hidden), but that is because it is still being processed at eBird. It might take a little while before the checklist and photos can be viewed.
Bruce Rideout
La Mesa

offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET

offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET
By {authorlink} – 3:11 pm

Several folks ventured offshore to the Nine-Mile Bank area off San Diego and La Jolla on the morning of 19 March and were rewarded with the first county record of a live Parakeet Auklet, some 12.5 miles WSW of the tip of Point Loma. The bird was swimming around the boat for almost a half hour, seemed healthy, and was well photographed. The only previous record of Parakeet Auklet in the county involved three beached specimens (one preserved) near La Jolla in January 1937. This also establishes a new southern-most record for the North American west coast.

Photos of the bird taken by Barbara Wise may be viewed at:

Otherwise, the trip recorded just standard pelagic fare: 14 Scripps’s Murrelets, 5 Cassin’s Auklets, 72 Rhinoceros Auklets, 2-3 Parasitic Jaegers, 4 Pink-footed and 1 Sooty Shearwaters, and only 5 Black-vented Shearwaters.

I hear rumor that a dead Parakeet Auklet was found recently in Marin County. These two birds combined with the 2 or 3 Tufted Puffins seen recently off San Diego and Los Angeles Counties may give hope that there will be additional “northern alcids” found during this spring.

–Paul Lehman et al., San Diego

Mountain Bluebird, Weston Park in Santee

Mountain Bluebird, Weston Park in Santee
By {authorlink} – 10:31 am

Saturday morning 3/18/23 about 9:45 AM, there was a male Mountain Bluebird at Weston Park in the northwest part of Santee.  Weston Park is in the new Weston subdivision west of Santee Lakes.  Specific location was on the dam of the small pond.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee CA