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W-w & Black Scoters, Pacific Golden, Nashville, Bl+wh. Summer

This morning, 11 Dec, just after dawn, there was a very impressive ca. 2000 Surf Scoters right off the beach between the Imperial Beach Pier and Tijuana river mouth, with the main core right off the south end of Seacoast Drive. I was able to pick out one immature female White-winged Scoter (two obvious white oval patches on the face) and one female Black Scoter. But I wasn't able to sift through all of the birds before the light started deteriorating and the increasing number of surfers started flushing subsets of birds away, with about a third going down closer to the river mouth and two-thirds going north to right off Camp Surf. But if these numbers continue for a while, definitely worth keeping an eye on. Also today, at the saltworks pond island off the end of 10th St. at high tide, the Pacific Golden-Plover continues with the flock of Black-bellieds, as does a single Black Skimmer, rare in winter on San Diego Bay. There were also a very small number of W. Sandpipers on the island, so if you're in the area, perhaps worth a Hail Mary check for the Little Stint… A new, female Summer Tanager was in the small park at Florida X Calla in residential Imperial Beach. White-crowned Sparrow numbers, which have been depressed all fall, seem to have gone up somewhat during this past week, and I had three different Golden-crowned Sparrows this morning in various WCSP flocks.

Yesterday, the 10th, there was a Nashville Warbler in residential Hillcrest/North Park, bordering the north end of Balboa Park, where also yet 3 more Western Tanagers to add to this month's glut. And the continuing, returning (now for at least 4 years or so) Black-and-white Warbler was in its favorite tipu trees at 28th & Beech in se. Balboa Park–although it took two visits to find it.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports