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Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mountain Bluebirds, etc.

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mountain Bluebirds, etc.
By {authorlink} – 11:31 am

Early Sunday morning I went to the very east end of Main Street in Chula Vista (east of the 805), turned left on Heritage Road, and went up the hill into a brand new development that borders the Chula Vista landfill. Parked near the Chevron and self-storage facility and was lucky to have the 300+ gulls at the landfill sitting all along the southeast flank of the landfill so in good view (with a scope!). One adult Lesser Black-backed, plus first-winter “Thayer’s” and Glaucous-winged. For a few years now they have been actively discouraging gulls at the landfill, using explosion sounds and flying falcons. thus, often there are NO gulls there. But Sunday the dump is closed, so maybe the birds try to find some food there early in the day. Not sure if they also try right after dawn or not on the dump days, to beat the discouragement techniques–if that is even possible. I was actually in that area because I also turned right (south) on Heritage to check the large number of mature tipus that ring the South Coast Credit Union Amphitheater and which can be easily checked from the outside sidewalk. First time I checked it was in Dec on the CBC and had a Yellow Warbler there. Bird numbers are now reduced, but worth future checks between Oct-Jan.
Also today, I stopped by the fairly new TRV campground located at the west end of Monument Road near the entrance to Border Field State Park, to check on the flock of up to 30 Mountain Bluebirds that have been there all winter. Saw about 10, but didn’t stay long. These birds are very photogenic. But a possible complicating factor is that 3/4 of the campground is signed “Campers Only Beyond This Point.” Don’t know how serious they are about this or not, but probably best to ask permission from a ranger first, if one is present.
Also an imm. Glaucous-winged Gull and 8 Bonaparte’s at the end of 10th St. at the salt works–which I mention only because Glaucous-wingeds have been very scarce this winter.
Lastly, a couple days ago I had a Merlin perched on a utility line at Point Loma, only about the fifth time in my life that I have seen a Merlin perched on a wire.
Paul Lehman, San Diego