Monthly Archives: March 2019

Re: High Elevation Burrowing Owl

This fairly large grassland along Hwy. S7 (aka East Grade Rd.) is named Dyche Valley on the USGS topographic map covering it. It would be good Burrowing Owl habitat but certainly on the cool side now. However, Birds of North America Online says scattered winter records exist as far north as Montana.


Geoffrey L. Rogers

San Diego, CA


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

High Elevation Burrowing Owl

I decided to go owling on Palomar Mountain on a whim tonight. Visibility was quite awful in most places, and it was snowing off and on. Much to my surprise, the only owl I located was Burrowing Owl that was sitting in the middle of the road at the coordinates 33.2898, -116.8247. For those familiar, this is the larger meadow area of East Grade Rd. Checking online now that I'm home, this is at about 4,700ft in elevation. I can't imagine this bird wintered here, given how much snow Palomar has had this winter but I suppose the habitat is possibly sufficient. Anyway, thought some might find this record of interest. Pictures will be up on ebird tomorrow.

Ryan Andrews
Valley Center, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Lawrence's Goldfinch at Mountain Palm Springs, Anza-Borrego Desert SP

On Monday, March 11, Janis Cadwallader and I observed two small flocks of Lawrence's Goldfinch (a total of 16 birds), the first at the beginning of the trail to Southwest Grove, and a second flock a few hundred yards farther up the trail. We also observed fiddlehead flowers in bloom in some parts of the canyon, although these birds were not seen at the flowers. The birds were at the small stream flowing down the canyon. We have been camping at this spot each winter for more than 30 years. This is the first time we have seen this bird at this location. We saw no orioles, which also surprised us. We usually see one or two species, and one year we saw Hooded, Bullock's, and Scott's.

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Rufous Hummingbird Mar. 12, 2019

I had a male Rufous Hummingbird at my feeders this morning here in Dulzura Summit.

Arrival timing here is about as expected, although a female or immature Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird

has been present here since March 5th. Allen's migrates somewhat earlier than Rufous, but

Allen's are not a regular spring migrants up at this elevation.

Dave Povey


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

results of 11 Mar 2019 san elijo monthly bird count

Thanks to 7 participants for conducting the 11 March 2019 San Elijo Lagoon monthly bird count: Maryanne Bache (beach, West Basin); Alys Arenas (Pole Rd); Jayne Lesley (CBS= Rios to freeway); Patti Koger, Elizabeth Venrick (EBS = La Orilla to Sta Inez); Steve Perry (EBE = Stonebridge Mesa); Robert Patton (EBNW = area of old dike; EBNE = Escondido Cr; Cardiff Cove, nature center site, I-5 fill).

 114 species were reported.  Species of interest included the continuing male Eurasian wigeon NNW of Santa Inez, three ring-necked ducks near the El Camino Real trailhead, a loggerhead shrike to the NW of the overlook NW off Santa Carina, a leucistic bushtit below Santa Helena, two rufous-crowned sparrows along the trail east of Rios Ave & Holmwood Canyon, and a male hooded oriole near the Sta Carina trailhead.

Species included:

Pacific loon, red-throated loon, pied-billed grebe, western grebe, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, Brandt’s cormorant, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, black-crowned night-heron, white-faced ibis, green-winged teal, mallard, northern pintail, blue-winged teal, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, gadwall, Eurasian wigeon, American wigeon, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, bufflehead, 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, Ridgway’s rail, sora, American coot, black-bellied plover, snowy plover, semipalmated plover, killdeer, American avocet, greater yellowlegs, spotted sandpiper, willet, whimbrel, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, ruddy turnstone, black turnstone, sanderling, western sandpiper, least sandpiper, Heermann’s gull, ring-billed gull, California gull, western gull, Caspian tern, royal tern, rock pigeon, 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, northern rough-winged swallow, swallow sp., California scrub jay, American crow, common raven, bushtit, Bewick’s wren, house wren, marsh wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-gray gnatcatcher, California gnatcatcher, western bluebird, hermit thrush, American robin, wrentit, northern mockingbird, California thrasher, American pipit, loggerhead shrike, European starling, Hutton’s vireo, 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, hooded oriole, house finch, lesser goldfinch, American goldfinch, house sparrow, scaly-breasted munia.

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 8 April.  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

Re: The Allen Canyon Painted Redstart

Thanks for the good info Paul! I just found out about the trail from a neighbor so I thought I’d check it out. Yes, it’s the trail at the cul-de-sac on Allen Road officially named Allen Road Nature Trail. The Redstart was about halfway down the trail, just north of the tire swing. The lighting was poor and it was raining, but still quite birdy. Anyone wanting to check it out, it looks like a private road but there is a marked trail just past the metal gate. Parts of the trail are wet, rocky, and eroded, so be safe. 

Checklist with photos here:

Nathan French

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

The Allen Canyon Painted Redstart

Interesting to hear that Nathan found a painted redstart in Allen canyon, which I assume he probably accessed via Allen road or Allen Street which is a cul-de-sac that we used to bird fairly regularly 5 to 10 years ago in winter and spring. But then they cut down a bunch of the eucalyptus trees in the canyon and it's not as good as it used to be. There was a painted redstart there near the bottom of Allen road several winters ago but then not the last couple Winters but it was only checked once or twice at most per winter and could have been missed, so it is possible it's the same bird returning. Of course it might also be a new bird this year….  Also, fwiw, it is essentially impossible to age and sex painted redstarts in the field other than juveniles still in juvenile plumage, not long after they fledge out of the nest. After that they all look the same.

Paul Lehman (currently in New Jersey)

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Painted Redstart in Mission Hills

I checked out Allen’s Canyon in Mission Hills for the first time this morning and found an adult Painted Redstart and think I heard another. Still down here waiting out the rain under a tree and going to try and relocate.

Nathan French
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

San Pasqual Valley 3-10-19

I was encouraged by Nancy’s report of Lawrence’s Goldfinches at the Battlefield (the westerly site).  

Even with my burned-out ears I was able to find the finches in the olive trees and later feeding in fiddleneck.  There were about 12 birds.  They eventually wandered off to the east.  There is lots of fiddleneck in the valley.  Some of the stands are quite large.

Also seen at the Battlefield were BG Gnat, Cactus Wren and WC Sparrows.

At the Verger Dairy (the cows are long gone) a Common Ground Dove flew directly overhead. There were a few Western BBs, a single Loggerhead Shrike, and lots of Yellow-rumps, many picking through a ripe garbage heap. Also several Brewer’s Blackbirds.

Just down the road road a bit from the Verger Dairy there were ~60 Cedar Waxwings raiding a ripe Pyracantha.

A few photos posted at:

Eric Kallen
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports