Monthly Archives: July 2018

Tijuana River Mouth and Imperial Beach Sports Park – 7/1/2018


I did the slog down the sand to the Tijuana River Mouth from the south end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach mid morning yesterday (7/1). Lots of ELEGANT TERNS making the trip back and forth from the Salt Works for fish. Carrying fish on the way back, so must be feeding young. Lots of WILLETS. Very few SNOWY PLOVERS. No chicks. Not a large number of LEAST TERNS either. I counted 13 adults and 3 chicks. Had one REDDISH EGRET down near the river mouth. It was distant, hanging out near where the Cormorants, Pelicans, and Gulls were on the interior side. Needed my scope to ID it. Couple of GULL-BILLED-TERNS. Several LONG-BILLED CURLEW, WHIMBREL and MARBLED GODWITS No peeps or other smaller Shorebirds. There was a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON visible from the dune. Never seen one that far south before. It was on the west bank of a wide section of channel in the estuary.

I also stopped by the Imperial Beach Sports Park.
The nest trees were quite active. A pair of Snowy Egrets were feeding at least one smallish young in a nest in the tree near the road. There was a recently fledged Night Heron out and about, and other juveniles up in the tree by the bathroom. A few adult Yellow-crowned Night Herons, and one Black-crowned were also in the tree by the bathroom. There was a pair of Little Blue Herons, but I don't know if they had a nest. Seems likely if they were hanging around there.

Lists and photos:

River Mouth and walk:

Sports Park:

If anyone knows whether the juvenile Night Heron that was standing in the small tree in my photos from the Sports Park is Yellow-crowned or Black-crowned, please let me know. I'm leaning towards Yellow-crowned, but I'm really not sure about it.

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs

Lisa Ruby
Sabre Springs
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

CBRC review and request for documentation

SD Birders,
If you saw any of the species below, especially the Masked Boobies (9 or 10 June) and Nazca Booby (10 June), please send photos and/or description to Tom Benson, CBRC Secretary. Note no one has submitted anything related to the boobies seen during the June 10th pelagic.
Hopefully, Guy’s recent SDFO talk impressed upon you the importance of direct submission of review species documentation to the Committee.
Justyn Stahl

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Thomas Benson tbenson@… [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply@…>
Date: Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 9:39 AM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] CBRC review and request for documentation
To: calbirds@… <calbirds@…>


California birders,


The California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) will begin reviewing the following records in late July. If you have any documentation to submit for these records, please do so as soon as possible. Feel free to forward this request to local
listservs as appropriate. Thank you.




Thomas A. Benson

Secretary, California Bird Records Committee



2018-039 Masked Booby,             1 May 18,         Port of Los Angeles, LA                   (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-040 Masked Booby,             1 May 18,         San Diego Harbor, SD                      (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-043 Masked Booby,             13 May 18,       off Dana Point Headlands, ORA      (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-052 Masked Booby,             31 May 18,       off Dana Point Headlands, ORA      (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-058 Masked Booby,            9 Jun 18,          Pt. La Jolla, SD                               (documentation from 2 observers,
add’l documentation requested)

2018-059 Masked Booby,            10 Jun 18,        Offshore San Diego County, SD   (no documentation received, documentation requested)

2018-063 Masked Booby,             11 Jun 18,         Catalina Island, LA                          (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-064 Masked Booby,             7 Jun 18,           off Manhattan Beach, LA                (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-065 Masked Booby,             15 Jun 18,         off Long Beach, LA                         (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-036 Nazca Booby,                1-5 May 18,     Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve, SD   (single observer and specimen, documentation complete)

2018-050 Nazca Booby,                25 May 18,       San Nicolas Island, VEN                 (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-060 Nazca Booby,               10 Jun 18,        Offshore San Diego County, SD   (no documentation received, documentation requested)

2018-041 Masked/Nazca Booby,  12 May 18,       Pt.
, LA                                   (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-051 Masked/Nazca Booby,  28 May 18,       Offshore San Diego County, SD     (single observer, documentation complete)

2018-038 Red-footed Booby,        6 May 18,         Pt. Cabrillo, SD                               (single observer, documentation complete)



What kind of documentation should one submit to the CBRC? Following are some guidelines for submitting media and written descriptions that will be useful for helping the CBRC evaluate records and archive documentation. Documentation may
be submitted directly to the secretary via email (secretary@…) , or by using the online submission form (


Media: This includes photos, audio recordings, and video. Photographs are usually the most useful documentation for evaluating records. If you have reasonably good (=identifiable) photos, please submit them. If possible, please crop the
photos before submission so that the bird fills most of the frame. Also, please send originals whenever possible, and not screenshots or back-of-camera photos. How many photos should you submit? That really depends on the record. If it is a long-staying rarity
that is easily identifiable and seen by dozens of people, then a few photos (1-3 per person) are sufficient. If it is a mega-rarity that is difficult to identify and only seen by a one or few people, then send as many photos as possible that show the bird
at different angles, postures, lighting, etc. Sometimes it is also useful to submit audio and/or video recordings of the bird, as some birds are more easily identified by their vocalizations. If relatively short, most audio recordings are small enough to be
submitted via email; please submit those along with a brief note indicating the date and location of the recording. Large audio files and video files can be submitted by using a file sharing service; please contact the secretary if you need to submit a file
that is too large for email.


Written descriptions: Some written details should always be provided – even the best photos should be accompanied by the name of the observer, the date, and the location, at a minimum. Sometimes a photo can’t be obtained or vocalizations
can’t be recorded. In some cases, behaviors might be noted in the field that aren’t preserved well by photos. In these cases, it is helpful to submit a written description of the bird. Ideally, this description should be written as soon after observing the
bird as possible; it is often helpful to make written notes in the field, or even dictate notes into the voice recorder on your smartphone while observing the bird, from which you can later generate a written description. The most important aspect of a written
description is that you report only what you observed, and not a general description of the bird from a field guide. At a minimum, your description should include the date and location of the observation, and a description of the bird (size and structure,
plumage, vocalizations, behavior). A brief discussion of how the bird was identified, and how similar species were eliminated is also helpful. Other useful information you might report includes optics used, distance from bird, lighting or weather conditions,
length of time viewed, and other observers present.




Posted by: Thomas Benson <TBenson@…>

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

California Gnatcatcher RFI

Hello SD Birders,


I will be visiting San Diego in 2 weeks and will have one full day dedicated to birding.  My top two targets are Yellow Footed Gull and California Gnatcatcher.  My tentative plan is to start at sunrise at the south end of the Salton Sea and bird a few locations, hopefully coming across a Yellow Footed Gull or two.  Then I plan to  head towards the coast and bird the La Orilla Trail at San Elijo Lagoon until I get satisfactory looks at a Gnatcatcher or have to leave to catch my evening flight home.


I am writing to see if that’s the best place to try for the gnatcatcher as I’m basing the above off of ebird searches.  Any other locations where they are more reliable or any specific directions would be greatly appreciated.



John Facchini

San Francisco

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

offshore San Diego: 10 Craveri's Murrelets, 140 Ashies

On Sunday, July 1, several folks ventured offshore, out as far as the 30-Mile Bank, with calm seas. Highlights were 10 CRAVERI'S MURRELETS, between 16 mi. W of La Jolla and 26 mi. W of Pt. Loma. This is now the fourth or fifth year in a row with "early arriving" Craveri's in numbers off San Diego, as before that it was generally thought the species arrived no earlier than mid-July, or later. The other highlight of today's trip was the very high (near-record) count of 140 ASHY-STORM-PETRELS, many associated with several rafts of birds over the San Diego Trough just a little shy of the 30-Mile Bank, near several large rafts of Black Storm-Petrels.  Offshore totals for the trip included:

Pink-footed Shearwater:  9

Sooty Shearwater:  70

Black-vented Shearwater:  550  (mostly in one large aggregation a few miles off La Jolla)


Black Storm-Petrel:  1700

Red-necked Phalarope:  17


Cassin's Auklet:  10

Blue Whale:  1

Loggerhead Turtle:  1

The next scheduled pelagic trip out of San Diego is on August 19th aboard "Grande." There will also be single trips in both September and October.  See for details.

–Paul Lehman,  San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports