The Escondido CBC, sponsored by the Palomar Audubon Society, was
conducted on December 28. Approximately eighty observers in twenty-five
teams recorded (a preliminary)155 species. The top five rarities, based on
the number of previous records were: Nashville Warbler, one at Kit Carson
Park in Escondido (2nd record); Harris’s Hawk, one near the Ramona
Airport (3rd CBC in a row); White-winged Dove, two near the Ramona
Airport and ten near Black Canyon Road (3rd CBC in a row); Barn Swallow
at Rangeland Road in Ramona (3rd record); and Summer Tanager, two at
the Safari Park (3rd record).
I noted at least eighteen species on the Escondido count that were not
recorded on the San Diego CBC in 2018. Observers noted seventeen
species of raptors including Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Zone-tailed
Hawk, and Prairie Falcon. Songbirds oserved that are not frequent in
winter on the coastal counts included Mountain Bluebird, Lawrence’s
Goldfinch, Bell’s Sparrow, Scott’s Oriole, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Over-wintering birds more typical of the immediate coast than inland
included Plumbeous Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler,
Wilson’s Warbler, and Western Tanager.
Some interesting observations included over 50 Selasphorus
hummingbirds including many adult male Allen’s, twenty-four Scaly-
breasted Mannikins spotted by six teams, more than two hundred Eurasian
Collared-Doves, and a Black-throated Magpie-Jay present at Kit Carson
Park. On an encouraging note, many of our coastal sage scrub birds
(California Quail, Wrentit, Cactus Wren, California Thrasher) are finally
showing increasing numbers following the disastrous fires of 2003 and
2007 which hit this CBC circle especially hard.