Monthly Archives: January 2019

Eastern Phoebe, Pala (Not-chasable)

Hi Birders,
This morning, January 18, 2019, I observed a Eastern Phoebe at a defunct dairy farm on private property, approximately 5 miles east of Interstate 15, along highway 76. It was an area I was working with construction crews, so my camera was in the car at the time, but got sufficient/great views through my binoculars. It then flew to an area I could not access when I had the opportunity to look for and attempt photos. I say “not-chasable” because you’d need to search from the 76 over a wide area and an extremely dangerous location. So not worth it. I only report this because I haven’t heard of one in SD County this fall/winter season that I recall. And always a good day when you get three phoebe species within 100’ feet of each other!
Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA

Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran,
Leucadia, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

[CALBIRDS] Red-Flanked Bluetail – special hours Monday 1/21

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Rebecca Marschall" <rebecca.fenning@…>
Date: January 18, 2019 at 9:34:24 AM PST

Subject: [CALBIRDS] Red-Flanked Bluetail – special hours Monday 1/21

My colleagues and I have received at least a hundred phone calls and emails in the last 3 days, inquiring if the Clark Library will be open this holiday weekend for birders to look for the Red-Flanked Bluetail. I'm happy to say that:

** I will be able to open the library grounds on Martin Luther King Day, Monday 1/21 from 9am until 1:30pm. **

We will NOT be open on Saturday or Sunday this weekend (1/19 and 1/20) or next weekend (1/26 and 1/27)! This Monday will be our only exception to our regular hours (M-F, 9a-4:45p except for national/state holidays) this month. I do not have any information
about potential weekend openings in February yet.

Since birders will be the only library users on Monday 1/21, please feel free to park inside the library grounds. There will be a security guard in the parking lot for directional help and to monitor cars.
*Use caution when walking off of maintained pathways, and also use caution when walking on u-shaped brick pathways behind the library – they can be quite slick for weeks after rainstorms!
*Please respect any caution tape or orange cones, as they are there for your safety
*Please don't stand on top of any statuary or benches – they have been sitting outside since 1926 and we can't vouch for their stability or structural integrity!
The Clark Library is located at 2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles 90018. We are a UCLA special collections library and more information about library collections, programs and tours are on our website (
The property is fully gated and the grounds are closed when the library itself is closed (again, M-F, 9a-4:45p). 
The bird is still being seen (at least as of yesterday 1/17) in the eastern half of the library property, especially in the southeast corner behind the historic library building. 
Thank you to all who have already come to see the RFBL and shown my non-birding colleagues how well-behaved birders can be! 
Rebecca Marschall
Clark Library/Valley Village

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Diego Audubon Bird Festival pelagics trips.

Subject: San Diego Audubon Bird Festival pelagics trips.


Hello all,

The San Diego Audubon 2019 Bird Festival is approaching quickly. The Festival  dates are Feb. 27, to Mar. 3, 2019.

Among the many field trips, expert speakers, vendors, fun activities, and sales items, are three days of local pelagic trips.

These trips are aboard the modern 85 ft. New Seaforth out of Mission Bay. The trips will explore local waters that

may include the Nine Mile Bank, Point Loma, and La Jolla. Trips are about to 7-7.5  hrs. The boat is relatively dry and excellent

for photography.

We've had fairly good success in finding expected winter seabirds, such as our local specialties Black-vented Shearwater,

Brown Booby and Scripps's Murrelets. Occasionally we get rarities such as the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (2-25-18) seen on

one of our trips last year. Other winter visitors vary year to year, such as Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed Shearwater, Red

Phalaropes, Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers, Common Murre,  Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets. Bonaparte's, Glaucous-winged,

Herring, Mew, and other gulls, Black-legged Kittiwake, Royal and Elegant Terns.

Early March is also a good time to see Gray Whales, and several other species marine mammals.


The New Seaforth's captains are knowledgeable of local waters, and safe boat operations. Each trip will have several leaders to help get

you on the birds. Food and drinks are available for purchase onboard.


These trips are filling  quickly, and I suggest you contact San Diego Audubon soon if you wish to coming along with us.

The trips are Friday March 1st ( only one spot left )., Saturday the 2nd. , and Sunday the 3rd.

See details at, , no bookings are handled by the Seaforth Landing.


See you at the Festival,

Dave Povey





Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Laguna Mountains – very rare sapsucker hybrid?, Jan 11, 2019

Been doing a bit of armchair birding what with the rain and everything.  I noticed an interesting sapsucker report submitted to eBird by Ryan Pottinger from the Laguna Mountains (Noble Canyon Trail) on Jan 11, 2019.  The report has some distant photographs which show what superficially appears to be a male Williamson's Sapsucker.  But, as noted by Ryan in his description, the photos show red coloration in the front of the crown.  This red coloration seems to indicate the bird could be a hybrid with Red-naped Sapsucker, as Ryan also suggests.  Williamson's Sapsucker is sympatric with both Red-naped and Red-breasted Sapsuckers but there does not appear to be red coloration evident elsewhere about the head on this bird which might exclude Red-breasted involved as a parent.
Looking about in the literature, and online for photographs, it seems there are very few documented reports of such a hybrid.  I have not spent a huge time looking but I cannot seem to find a photo or report.  The only place I found mention of this hybrid is in a publication by Short & Morony (1970) describing in detail a male example discovered in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History.  That specimen collected on January 1, 1891 in northern Chihuahua, Mexico.  Their description matches the photographs by Ryan Pottinger.  In the publication the authors also note one other known specimen of a female collected in the Huachuca Mountains, Arizona on October 25, 1929.  Could this Laguna Mountains bird be a third example of this little known hybrid?
A very interesting looking sapsucker.  If anyone obtains closer more detailed photographs please let us know!
Ryan Pottinger's photos in his eBird checklist here
Short & Morony (1970) publication with description of male and female specimens here

Gary Nunn,
Pacific Beach

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Mission Valley – possible Hepatic Tanager, late report, Jan 13, 2019

Visiting British birder Graham Etherington reported an interesting male tanager on Bachman Place in Mission Valley seen on Sunday Jan 13, 2019.  Photo, exact location by map link and some notes about the tree it was seen in can be found in the eBird report below.
Hard to be certain from the one photo, overhead and back lighting could be causing this, but bill looks dusky blue-gray colored, and plumage seems to have a darker gray coloration to feather bases.  It might be a male Hepatic Tanager.  If anyone is inclined to take a search for it please post if relocated!

Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Continuing rarities

Yesterday, January 14th, the Black-and-white Warbler was seen in the Tipu tree north of the restrooms in 28th St. Park. It has been here since October 1. On January 13th I saw the male Vermilion Flycatcher behind the Las Americas mall that was reported by Eric Kallen and Trent Stanley on January 5, right by the metal fence. The bird wasn’t bothered in the slightest by all the vehicle traffic in the parking lot.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

results of today's 14 jan 2019 san elijo monthly bird count

Thanks to 12 participants for braving the rain and conducting the 14 January 2019 San Elijo Lagoon monthly bird count: Maryanne Bache (beach), Steve Brad (West Basin, nature center site); Elizabeth Venrick, Emma Havstad (Pole Rd); Steve Perry, Don Johnson (CBS= Rios to freeway); Kathy Aldern, Kevin & Ginnie Brooks (EBS = La Orilla to Sta Inez); Patti Koger, Gjon Hazard (EBE = Stonebridge Mesa); Robert Patton (EBNW = dike; EBNE = Escondido Cr; Cardiff Cove, I-5 fill).


112 species were reported.  Species of interest included continuing male Eurasian wigeon south of the intersection of Manchester Ave & Ocean Cove, 2 hooded mergansers off the WSW edge of the eastern mesa, a jaeger sp. offshore, an adult mew gull near the lagoon mouth, 10 barn swallows along the beach and 4 over the east mesa; and uncommon at this site, three ring-necked ducks near the El Camino Real trailhead, a loggerhead shrike to the NW of the overlook NW of Santa Carina, and three rufous-crowned sparrows photographed along the trail east of Rios Ave.


Species included:

Pacific loon, red-throated loon, pied-billed grebe, western grebe, black-vented shearwater, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, Brandt’s cormorant, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, green-winged teal, mallard, northern pintail, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, gadwall, Eurasian wigeon, American wigeon, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, surf scoter, bufflehead, hooded merganser, red-breasted merganser, ruddy duck, osprey, white-tailed kite, northern harrier, Cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, merlin, peregrine falcon, California quail, Virginia rail, sora, American coot, black-bellied plover, snowy plover, semipalmated plover, killdeer, black-necked stilt, greater yellowlegs, willet, whimbrel, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, black turnstone, sanderling, western sandpiper, least sandpiper, dowitcher sp., jaeger sp., Heermann’s gull, mew gull, ring-billed gull, California gull, herring gull, western gull, royal tern, Forster’s tern, rock pigeon, Eurasian collared-dove, mourning dove, Anna’s hummingbird, Allen’s hummingbird, Allen’s/rufous hummingbird sp., belted kingfisher, Nuttall’s woodpecker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, black phoebe, Say’s phoebe, Cassin’s kingbird, tree swallow, barn swallow, California scrub jay, American crow, common raven, bushtit, Bewick’s wren, house wren, marsh wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-gray gnatcatcher, California gnatcatcher, hermit thrush, wrentit, northern mockingbird, California thrasher, American pipit, cedar waxwing, loggerhead shrike, European starling, orange-crowned warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, common yellowthroat, spotted towhee, California towhee, rufous-crowned sparrow, Belding’s savannah sparrow, migrant savannah sparrow, song sparrow,  Lincoln’s sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbird, western meadowlark, great-tailed grackle, house finch, lesser goldfinch, house sparrow.

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 11 February.  Counts are conducted by volunteers on the second Monday of each month, rain or shine.  Please spread the word or join us if you can (no RSVP required).  Meet at 7:30 am at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach (north from Lomas Santa Fe Dr, west of I-5) to divide into groups to cover different subareas.  A compilation generally follows around noon at the nature center on Manchester Ave (bring your own lunch).

R. Patton
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Cabrillo tidepool question

Hi all,

I'm visiting San Diego this week and will be doing some birding (in the rain apparently!), but also want to visit tide pools. I see the Cabrillo National Monument is closed to everyone, and since I've never been there before, is there still a way to access tide pools in the vicinity, or are they all in the park and truly off limits? What are the Point Loma tide pools – are they in the park? Is there a way to park somewhere and walk along the beach to access?  If these are inaccessible, are there any other awesome tidepools nearby?
Thank you! 

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports