Monthly Archives: July 2018

Rufous Hummingbird

This morning (07/12/18) was a fun morning…heard a new hummingbird in the yard and come out to a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD defending my water and feeder against Allen’s, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds. Also had a black-headed Grosbeak return for the first time since May? And a Nuttals woodpecker which I haven’t heard in months…

Anthony ”TooFly” Fife
La Mesa, Ca
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rufous hummers

The last two days I’ve seen a Rufous Hummingbird in my back yard in San Carlos. At first I thought that was unlikely, but I checked in the Bird Atlas and discovered that early migrant RUHUs have been seen this early in the past, so I thought I would mention it. 
Phil Pryde 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Emory Cove Reddish Egret and Common Terns

This afternoon about 3 o’clock the adult Reddish Egret was present on the mud flats at Emory Cove. Also seen were two first year Common Terns standing at the edge of a flock of about 250 Elegant Terns.
Many other shorebirds as well, and a Peregrine Falcon carrying a large shorebird (Willet?) at the Marine Research Area.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Summering Red-breasted Merganser continues in Penasquitos Lagoon, Del Mar July 9

This subject bird (I think found originally this season by Steve Perry on June 25) continues its summer vacation, loafing with 5 Double-crested Cormorants today on a muddy sand bar in Los Penasquitos Lagoon, somewhat viewable from Carmel Valley Road, Del Mar.  I wonder if this may be the same bird that summered here  with the Red-necked Grebe as reported by Nancy Christensen in mid June 2016?  It is either a female or basic plumage male, but  could not judge amount of white in forewing, and even if I could, would not be sure!

   Most of these mergansers are gone by May, but  in Unitt (2004)*, I read that  some do occasionally choose not to migrate and then stay the summer here.  From eBird I see that summering Red-breasted Mergansers over the past couple of years have not been all that unusual, with birds spotted also at Oceanside, Lake Hodges, Point La Jolla,  north and south San Diego Bay, and  Tijuana River Slough and Tijuana River mouth areas.  Sometimes more than one individual at a time has been sighted, up to 4 and 5 in one day at the Tijuana NWR area in summer!.  I wonder have these summering birds increased, or are sightings in recent years similar to those in the past?  I read in Birds of North America online " Overall, the Red-breasted Merganser remains one of the least understood species of waterfowl in North America." 
* My Unitt 2004 is falling apart–I need another copy! (I know it's online, but I like to have the hard copy,  too, to thumb through)

Susan Smith

Seiurus Biological  Consulting
Del Mar, CA 

Susan Smith
Seiurus Biological Consulting
Del Mar, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Migrating Red Knot; Batiquitos W. Basin 8JUL 2018

I made a quick stop this morning at the Western Basin of Batiquitos Lagoon at 10:40 AM. The tide was closer to low tide resulting in exposed sand bar and mudflat to the south. On the mudflat, a single alternate plumage RED KNOT was found in a migrating mixed flock of shorebirds that also included ~20 whimbrels and 3 short-billed dowitchers (all alternate plumage). I had a nice side by side comparison with the dowitchers. 12 July was the earliest arrival date during the SD Bird Atlas period.


I also observed the immature REDDISH EGRET reported yesterday from 10:45 to 11 am. So if Gjon observed the San Elijo bird (reported today) in that time frame there must be at least two individuals. The two locations are about 5 miles apart.



Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Re: An odd night-heron

As there is only this one photo, it is difficult to determine whether this heavily-worn, one-year-old bird is either a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (YCNH), or a hybrid with Black-crowned (BCNH). Given that the preformative molt is "similar" in these night-herons (Pyle 2008), whatever seems odd in the molt-timing of this bird should be equally odd for both species. I was able to find photos online of YCNH of a similar age lacking streaks on the chest, and of BCNH of a similar age sporting them. The broad bill devoid of yellow, the tapered shape of the incoming secondary coverts (prebasic-2)and the long tarsi are pro-YCNH, but I suspect photos of this bird in postures other than this dozing pose are necessary before determining whether it might be a hybrid.

As a sidenote, I found it interesting that a breeding-colony study in Virginia found that one- and two-year-olds night-herons (YCNH, anyway) occasionally breed (usually females that are typically paired with 'adult' birds). Link:

Jim Pike
Huntington Beach   

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego Bird Festival Field Trip openings

We are still looking for a few field trip leaders for the San Diego Bird Festival. Trips will be Feb 28-Mar 3, 2019.  Some of the remaining openings are:

Half Day trips Feb 28, March 1
Co-leader for Big Day trip March 1, March 2
Photo workshop and field trip March 1, March 2
Hawk Alley March 2
Co-leader for Inland County trip March 2
Co-leader for Birding the Border March 3
Leader for Silverwood trip March 3

If any of these trips are of interest to you, please contact me at (801)671-9505 or hajj@…  Field trip leaders receive a stipend of $125.

If you have already indicated an interest in other trips, I'm really close to sharing the full schedule. Please stand by!

Jen Hajj

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego Bird Festival Call for Workshop Presentations

San Diego Bird Festival 2019, which will be February 27-March 3, is looking for presenters to do workshops on all days of the festival. The hours are typically in the afternoons.  Program presenters receive a stipend of $75. Topics can range from the general to the specific. Our audience is mostly serious birders, ages 50+ but also includes beginning birders.
Some subjects we would love to feature:
Bird ID (warblers, waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, sparrows, etc)
In-depth looks at what you can see in particular places (local, national, international destinations)
Conservation Success Stories

If you have an interest, please let us know. We are in the process of creating the Festival Brochure which will be published in August.
Jen Hajj

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

An odd night-heron

A group of us saw what seemed at first to be a young Yellow-crowned
Night-heron on the mudflat at Bayfront Park (J St.) on July 4. Sue
Smith's photo is in her eBird checklist at

After looking at the photo, I asked Guy McCaskie and Paul Lehman for
help in aging the bird, because I couldn't figure it out. Here's my
summary of their comments: It is not a juvenile and not right for a
1st-summer Yellow-crowned Night-heron. (For the latter, the front is
too white and the head pattern is not advanced enough.) It may be a
hybrid with Black-crowned, hatched in 2017. My understanding is that
discussion is continuing. (Thank you, Guy and Paul.)

— Sara

Sara Baase Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports