Monthly Archives: November 2019

Re: Point La Jolla seawatch – Sabine's G, Kittiwake, bird movement, 28 Nov 2019

Just to add to Gary’s report:
Seawatching started out excellent this morning before the storms hit.
For me, having the Swarovski 95 scope makes all the difference in being able to see distant birds.
Everyone else there this morning before Gary arrived was looking through camera lenses, binoculars or 50mm scopes.

When I arrived at the leisurely hour of 6:45, there were Pacific loons passing well offshore at the rate of 4/second.
That flow lasted for 90 minutes.
That’s 18K loons.
Several thousand black-vented shearwaters were wheeling in a gigantic swirl of birds 3 miles out.
At least 1000 Bonaparte’s gulls.

I left during the height of the rain when I, my clothes, shoes and optics were all covered in water.
So didn’t see the good post-rain birds.

And those mystery shorebirds (2 together at one point in the rain, then the one Gary saw on the wall after I had left): I am utterly bewildered as to what they might have been.

Stan Walens, San Diego
Nov. 28, 2019; 3:50 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Point La Jolla seawatch – Sabine's G, Kittiwake, bird movement, 28 Nov 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, a wet and wild one too!
Seawatching was very slow in the morning, winds changeable but mostly north, south, and east ha-ha!, but after the large storm front passed the wind set more to the southwest sustained and delivered some nice birds.  About 10:15 am the worst wind and rain came through then 10-15 minutes later some interesting birds started coming around the point.
Juvenile Sabine's Gull, first cycle Black-legged Kittiwake, many Bonaparte's Gulls, few Herring Gulls, nice movement of gulls heading southward around the point including a first cycle Glaucous-winged Gull.
Strangest sighting was a *mystery* shorebird that I saw at close range three times.  Also seen by Stan Walens.  The third time I saw it, just a glimpse as it exited away, it actually landed on the little footwall above the sealions.  It was medium sized, larger than turnstone or Surfbird, with medium length legs and bill, dark brownish all over paler on the belly.  Did not call.  Definitely not Surfbird, tattler or turnstone.  I only caught glimpses of it so really have no idea!

Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Little Stint, Pacific Golden-, Wilson's Phal., odd Surfbird

Thanksgiving morning, visiting birder Jon Dunn and I went to south San Diego Bay to look for the Little Stint, despite several recent misses of the bird recently by others, and reports of higher water levels at its favorite saltworks island off the end of 10th St. After missing the bird on our first try early on, we then found the LITTLE STINT on the island around 9AM, but all the birds soon flushed due to a passing raptor, and the stint did not come back over the next hour. So, it is still using the island, but probably less than it had been before the water levels went up a bit. During our vigil there today we also had the continuing PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER and WILSON'S PHALAROPE, an adult MEW GULL, and an out-of-habitat SURFBIRD on the island. Three Black Skimmers continue there, which is late, as typically all the skimmers that nest there disappear during the winter, many of which then move north to Mission Bay. Otherwise, 2 Western Tanagers continue in Nestor Park.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Gray Flycatcher in Anza Borrego Desert

Gray Flycatcher in backyard in Vallecito on 11/25/2019. Incidental observation. Gray Flycatcher. White below. Long tail dipping. Orange-ish bill with dark tip. Faint eye ring. Perching in small shrubs near nyjer feeder, then flying down to the ground for insects … 3 photos:

On an entirely different note, had 2 Scaly-Breasted Munia aka Nutmeg Mannikins on 11/14/2019. Large Brown Finch with imposing black bills at top of Carob tree in backyard in Vallecito near water drip. Brown color appears indicative of Juveniles. 3 photos:


Britta Lee Shain, Vallecito
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Kittiwakes at La Jolla, 11/27 PM

A few hours in the wind and rain this afternoon at Point La Jolla alongside Gary Nunn produced 4 juvenile Black-legged Kittiwakes, all of which were moving south singly or with small groups of Bonaparte’s Gulls in a burst between 1330 and 1430. Other birds of note included singles of Northern Fulmar, Mew Gull, and “Thayer’s” (Iceland) Gull.
Jim Pawlicki
La Mesa

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Some minor notes

I spent the day checking various small parks and other locations before the rain hit, mostly around National City and Chula Vista. I started off at Switzer Canyon where the only species of note was a heard-only Western Tanager. Nearby Hollywood Park didn't produce much, but there is a small flock of wintering Chipping Sparrows (I tallied 6, probably more) as usual. At Kimball Park in National City I found a male Wilson's Warbler in some willows along the ditch on the south/southeast side of the park. Eucalyptus Park (Chula Vista) didn't have much, but an out of place California Scrub-Jay was a surprise. Hilltop Park, also in Chula Vista, produced the best bird of the day in the form of an apparent Tropical Kingbird in the sycamores right next to the parking lot. I say "apparent" because it was only in view for about a minute and never called, so I am technically not able to entirely rule out Couch's. I briefly checked for the Little Stint with no luck but did see a Reddish Egret west of 7th St (in the pond south of the bikeway). I was surprised to tally 113 (rounded to 115) Dunlin at El Carmel Point in Mission Bay, by far the highest count I've had in the winter. The Cackling Goose continues on Santa Clara Point.

All in all a nice morning checking some parks that aren't covered frequently. 

Ryan Andrews
Valley Center
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

[CALBIRDS] Introduced birds in California

See below for information regarding introduced species in California.
Justyn Stahl
San Clemente Island

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Thomas Benson <tbenson@…>
Date: Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 3:38 PM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Introduced birds in California
To: <>

Good afternoon and happy early Thanksgiving California birders,


Have you ever wondered why some introduced species in California are not on the official state list–even though they have been here for years, have been recorded breeding, or it seems like you see them every time you walk outside your
front door? Well, the California Bird Records Committee (CBRC), who maintains the official California state bird list, has just published on its website an Annotated Watch List of established, naturalized bird species in California: This list provides some basic information on populations of naturalized species in the state, as well as their potential for being added to the state
list, and the rationale for that potential. Assuming you actually care or bother to read the list, you may also wonder why species with high potential have not yet been added to the state list. There are two main reasons: 1) the CBRC maintains specific requirements
for adding a population of an introduced species to the state list (see below), and 2) someone has to write a proposal to add the population to the state list, showing that it meets these requirements. This latter responsibility is usually taken up by the
members of the CBRC’s Introduced Birds Subcommittee as time allows, but anyone who wants to may submit a proposal. I hope you have a good holiday weekend, and enjoy some introduced turkey (already on the official state list).




Thomas A. Benson

Secretary, California Bird Records Committee



CBRC Bylaws

VI. Bird Records

B. Records Treated

8. The Committee will also review records of breeding populations of introduced species not on the state list, but only if evidence is submitted that attempts to prove (a) the correct identification of the species and (b) the viability
of the population. To be judged viable, a population must: (i) have bred in the state for fifteen (15) consecutive years, (ii) in general, be increasing or stabilized after an initial period of increase, (iii) be judged to have occupied all geographically
contiguous suitable habitat to such a degree as to sustain the population and be thought unlikely to significantly diminish, and (iv) occupy an environment judged similar enough in ecological factors (e.g., climate, vegetation, food, shelter, competitors,
predators) to the species’ natural habitat, or to other successful introductions, that permanent establishment seems likely.

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Massive Bonaparte's Gull Flock Offshore Encinitas (11/27/19)

Hi Birders,

After looking over checklists from the La Jolla Seawatch today (11/27/19), I was surprised to see the exact opposite numbers of Bonaparte's Gull  from what I observed up here seawatching in Enicinitas, and why I'm posting. There was a massive group from a 1/4-1/2 mile stretch that I could see that was pushing 1500-2000 birds. It was quite a sight.
Maybe they didn't make their way down the coast or simply headed further out to sea. Otherwise it was slow with only a few loons and scoters. My brief seawatch was from about 0900 – 1030.
Good Birding,
Jimmy McMorran
Leucadia, CA

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

Greater Pewee continues in Balboa Park 11/26/2019

I stopped by Balboa Park while doing errands today and saw the Greater Pewee found by Nathan French yesterday in almost exactly the same trees on the west side of Balboa Park a couple of blocks north of Laurel Street. It was sally feeding from the live oak trees out over the canyon and the returning to its perch. The lower bill is solid orange and the head has a more distinct crest than a Western Wood-Pewee. I didn’t hear it call during the few minutes I spent there today after missing it yesterday.

Dan Jehl
San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports