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Red-necked Grebe returns, miscellanea

7:22 am

Saturday morning at first light I went to Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and set up my scope at the mini parking lot overlook of the bay where one is looking essentially straight down on the bait barges. But if you look farther to the left toward the northeast is the protected mini embayments formed by various navy docks, including the main refueling pier, and right in front of that main pier was a flock of about 25 Western grebes and a bunch of scoters. Within the group of Westerns was the returning Red-necked Grebe. It used this exact site late last winter as well. I arrived at 6:25 a.m. and by 6:35 the Red-necked all by itself started steaming to the northeast farther into the bay, through the small boat facility, and then was nearing the wildlife rehab facility when I lost track of it. If it keeps going to the inside edge of the wildlife rehab facility then it would be visible with a good scope from the end of Shelter Island. To put it mildly,  the views are incredibly distant and I had my scope jacked up to virtually full power to be able to identify the bird fairly easily, so be aware that the views are fairly awful. If one wants to get close up to it and it keeps doing this roost scenario, one would need a small boat. Obviously one could also try for the bird at the end of the day as well as pre-dawn, though then there might be some heat distortion issues? Hopefully it uses this roost site with the other grebes and scoters nightly, as it is protected from any possible wave action and boat traffic.

Yesterday I poked around several community parks in Otay Mesa and San Ysidro and all I could produce was a female-type Summer Tanager at Howard Lane Park, a Western tanager at Vista Terrace Park, a Bullock’s Oriole at Montgomery Waller Park, and two Bullocks and a Western tanager at Sunnyslope Park.
Paul Lehman, San Diego