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San Diego CBC, 14 December, 211 species

The 67th San Diego Christmas Bird Count occurred on 14 December 2019. The preliminary total stands at 211, just 1 below our 10-year average of 212. As of the compilation at 130pm, 206 species had been reported, and we then added 5 additional species that afternoon: Ross’s Goose, Tricolored Heron, Short-eared Owl, Mew Gull, and Hooded Oriole. Weather was overcast and cool, starting at 56F before clearing around mid-day with a high of 66F. Approximately 150 participants were in the field, with those coming to the compilation treated to lunch sponsored by San Diego Audubon Society. Thanks to SDAS, area leaders, and participants (including 6-8 first time CBCers!). 

Highlights include:

Snow Goose (3) – Three on Sweetwater Reservoir

Ross’s Goose (1) – One flew in at dusk at J Street

Greater White-fronted Goose (1) – A long-staying bird at Bonita Golf Course

Eurasian Wigeon (1) – A male in the Sweetwater River

Black Scoter (6+) – At least 4 in south San Diego Bay, 2 in the ocean between Imperial Beach and Coronado

White-winged Scoter (3) – Three off and south of the Imperial Beach Pier

White-winged Dove (1) – One in Guy McCaskie’s yard in Imperial Beach was a new yard bird for Guy

Costa’s Hummingbird (3) – One in Imperial Beach and 2 east of Balboa Park

Black Oystercatcher (5) – Five were on the Zuniga Jetty

Pacific Golden-Plover (1) – One in south San Diego Bay

Wandering Tattler (1) – One at the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools

Mew Gull (1) – An adult in Salt Works

Lesser Black-backed Gull (1) – A fresh first-cycle at the Chula Vista landfill

Black Skimmer (3) – Three in the Salt Works (most have moved to Mission Bay by now)

Masked Booby (1) – A 2nd-3rd cycle on the Zuniga Jetty appears to the be same bird released by Sea World after rehab

Brown Booby (7+) – Six or seven from Dave Povey’s boat and 1 from a seawatch from Seacoast Drive

Tricolored Heron (1) – One at the Sweetwater NWR

Reddish Egret (3) – Two in south San Diego Bay and 1 at J Street

Bald Eagle (1) – An immature at Sweetwater Reservoir

Short-eared Owl (1)  – One at Sweetwater NWR

Greater Pewee (1) – One in Balboa Park near where one was in 2017, but not seen in 2018?

Pacific-slope Flycatcher (1) – One in Coronado

Tropical Kingbird (1) – One in Nestor Park

Thick-billed Kingbird (1) – A bird at Poggi Creek greenbelt back for its 10th winter

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (2)  – Returning birds at Poggi Creek and in Coronado

Cassin’s Vireo (1) – A returning bird at Nestor Park

Plumbeous Vireo (3) – Singles at Kimball Park, Southcrest Trails Park, and El Toyon Park

Golden-crowned Kinglet (1) – One at Memorial Park in Chula Vista

Grasshopper Sparrow (1) – One in Balboa Park

Green-tailed Towhee (3) – One at Dairy Mart and two west of Hollister on the beach trail

Yellow-headed Blackbird (2) – Two at Sweetwater Reservoir

Orchard Oriole (2) – An adult male in Coronado, a returning female at Nestor Park

Hooded Oriole (1) – A young male in west Balboa Park

Black-and-white Warbler (3)  – Singles at 28th St Park in Balboa, Rohr Park, and Friendship Park

Nashville Warbler (3) – Singles north of Balboa Park, Heritage Park, Southcrest Trails Park

Pine Warbler (1) – A returning dull female in Coronado

Additional scarce wintering species included several Black-throated Gray Warbler and Yellow Warblers, a few Summer Tanagers, very few Bullock’s Orioles, and a few Red-naped Sapsuckers. 

Count week birds (so far) missed on count day include White-faced Ibis, Swainson’s Hawk, and American Redstart. 

A single Lark Sparrow, a single California Quail, and a few Cactus Wrens hang on inside the circle.

After all data are submitted and checked, I will post a follow-up post with additional context and the final count, hopefully by next weekend.

Thanks again to all who came out (especially those of you who answered the call to get out for Great Horned Owls, a species we missed last year, but not this year!). Special thanks to Paul Lehman for S&D oversight and relentless scouting.

Justyn Stahl 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports