Crossbills, Agua Dulce, Laguna Mountains
Mel and I went to Agua Dulce today, and were able to find Red Crossbills at the location reported by others. We saw one juvenile bird come in to drink water. Very dull above, streaked below. Our view was quite obscured by vegetation. We also saw a male crossbill, which had not been reported. We had heard calls from various locations, but had not spotted the bird(s). The male was finally spotted perched high in a pine tree and he was singing, not doing the gyp gyp gyp calls we had been hearing. He sat for almost 10 minutes calling and singing. I did manage one recording (someone failed to push the record button properly and missed getting any of the calls recorded) of the song which I have included on our checklist. I put the recording in unedited, and also included a cleaned up version with the background noise subtracted out. Hopefully someone will be able to tell what type of crossbill this is!
We arrived at 7am. The creek was VERY birdy, with numerous warblers, chickadees and nuthatches. When we retraced our steps around 11am, we saw almost nothing. Gary had recommended we try from 9-10 am at “the spot”. The sun is just reaching that area around then, and many birds were coming in to bathe. We were hearing crossbills by 9:30sih and saw the male close to 10am. A Yellow-breasted Chat showed up to bathe. While trying to photograph that bird, I saw a second bird side by side with the chat. I believed it to be a warbler. Olive on entire back and back of head, complete white eyering, and it seemed to be walking and picking at stuff on the ground, not hopping. It got blocked by the larger Chat, and I never refound it. Now I wonder if I didn’t have a Connecticut warbler, or of there was a second chat. I am looking at my chat pics and hoping I have an accidental view of this bird.
Directions: From the parking lot we walked up the road towards the north (past the gate). Turn right on the fire road. We took the right hand fork from that road which took us to the pumphouse. Cross the creekbed, turn LEFT and travel downstream. The old fire road meets the trail. From that junction it is almost exactly one mile to the spot the crossbills were seen. We were in sight of a Y-junction, but did not walk that far. There is a puddle of water with dense vegetation nearby. I included the trip track from Ebird as a photo on the checklist. The GPS from my photos is: 32°52'3" N 116°26'22" W
We found a pair of reading glasses at that exact spot. If any of you dropped yours, please let me know.
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports