© Callyn Yorke

                                      SAN DIEGO COUNTY


      Lake Henshaw,Oceanside, Batiquitos Lagoon, Encinitas, San Elijo Lagoon, La Jolla,   Balboa Park, Famosa Slough, Tijuana River Valley and Borderfield State Park



          SPRING & FALL 2015; SPRING 2017; WINTER & FALL 2018



Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) SW San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA  15 August 2015

                                                         © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) Dairy Mart Pond San Diego County CA  5 April 2015

                                                                         © 2015 Callyn Yorke










Links to Previous Bird Surveys of San Diego County


Winter, Spring, Summer 2014

Spring 2013              

December 2009 - January 2012










September 1, 2018 San Elijo Lagoon

August 30 & September 2, 2018  Encinitas

August 31, 2018 Lake Henshaw

January 27, 2018  La Jolla

January 25, 2018  Oceanside

January 23-27, 2018  Encinitas

May 27, 2017  San Elijo Lagoon

April 7, 2017 Tijuana River Valley

April 6, 2017 Balboa Park

April 4,5 & 8 April, 2017 San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas

April 4, 2017  Oceanside

April 3, 2017 San Elijo Lagoon

April 2-6  2017  Encinitas

November 21, 2015 Tijuana River Valley

November 20, 2015 Encinitas

August 14, 2015 Oceanside

August 12, 2015 Tijuana River Valley

August 10, 2015 San Elijo Lagoon

August 9, 11 &15, 2015  Encinitas

April 9, 2015  San Elijo Lagoon

April 8, 2015 Balboa Park

April 8, 2015 La Jolla

April 7, 2015 Batiquitos Lagoon

April 7, 2015 Oceanside

April 6, 2015  Encinitas

April 5, 2015 Tijuana River Valley



September 1, 2018  San Elijo Lagoon (36 Species)



    Northwest San Elijo Lagoon: Dredging, channeling, drainage, fencing  and other modifications resulting in a major change to the habitat.


                                                                                                                                                                 © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Weather: Overcast; 65F; wind wnw 2 mph.; low tide @ 0615 hrs.

Time: 0645- 0838 hrs.

Area Covered: Northwest San Elijo Lagoon Visitor's Center trail loop. I walked the trail loop twice, in a counter- clockwise direction from the visitor center. A major "restoration" project is underway in the lagoon, paralleling construction on the adjacent railway and freeway systems. It is difficult to see what benefit this project, is having on wildlife of the area. Dredging has resulted in an absence of mudflats and vegetation along the main channel which would normally be available to migratory birds at this season. Consequently, relatively few shorebirds were found during the survey this morning. Several people with leashed dogs were on the trails this morning.




Gadwall  12 (m,f)   gregarious; two flocks overhead.

Mallard  6  (m,f) dabbling at edge of main channel.

Pied-billed Grebe   2  swimming at edge of main channel.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  on adjacent utility lines.

Mourning Dove  5  on adjacent utility lines.

Anna's Hummingbird  12  (m,f)  gregarious, vocal; chasing and other interactions among individuals throughout (photo).


                         Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  1 September 2018


                                                                                                                       © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Allen's Hummingbird  6  (m,f) vocal, active in riparian woods and coastal sage scrub.

Whimbrel  4  flying over marsh, w.

Long-billed Curlew  1  vocal in flight around marsh, w.

Least Sandpiper  1  flying over main channel.

Willet  1  calls (unseen) w.

Heermann's Gull  1 (imm)  flying, w.

Ring-billed Gull  6 (ad) gregarious;  flying over marsh; a small flock standing on dredged mud.

Western Gull  2  (imm)  C1 individual eating a dead fish at the edge of the main channel (photo).



           Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) first cycle,  San Elijo Lagoon  SDCO CA  1 September 2018


                                                                                                                  © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Caspian Tern  2  vocal; flying 30 ft agl over main channel.

Double-crested Cormorant  16  on ground at edge of channel, w.

Great Blue Heron  3  edge of main channel and marsh.

Great Egret  10  edge of main channel, standing on dredged mud.

Snowy Egret   5  edge of main channel, standing on dredged mud.

Osprey  1  flying over channel and marsh.

Northern Harrier 1 (f) flying low, back and forth over central marsh.

Red-shouldered Hawk  3   two adults vocalizing; flying to trees in riparian woodland; one immature on fence post at edge of main channel (photo).


                               Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) immature   San Elijo Lagoon  SDCO CA  1 September 2018


                                        © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Downy Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging on a small diameter, vertical willow limb (photo).




                             Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) male   San Elijo Lagoon  SDCO CA  1 September 2018


                                         © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Black Phoebe  2  vocal; sallying from low perches near water.

American Crow  12  vocal, gregarious; most flying over.

Barn Swallow  1  flying about 30 ft. agl over main channel.

House Wren  2  vocal at edge of marsh-riparian.

Marsh Wren  1  vocal (unseen) marsh at southeast end of trail.

California Gnatcatcher  2  (m,f) vocal; a pair foraging in separate low shrubs, 5 - 10 ft. apart; female sallying from roped fence to ground on trail, twice briefly; staying well concealed in buckwheat and other dense shrubs next to the visitor center (photo).


                California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) female   nw San Elijo Lagoon  SDCO CA 1 September 2018


                                © 2018 Callyn Yorke



House Finch  5 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; coastal sage and riparian.

Lesser Goldfinch  1 vocal;  coastal sage next to visitor center.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4 (all relatively dull-plumaged subspp.) vocal, gregarious in coastal sage.

Common Yellowthroat  4  (m,f) vocal, gregarious; coastal sage at edge of marsh.

California Towhee  2  calls (unseen) coastal sage around visitor center.

Song Sparrow  4  calls; edge of marsh-coastal sage.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  2  in salt marsh near visitor center.



AUGUST 30 & SEPTEMBER 2, 2018  Encinitas: Moonlight Beach and Cottonwood Creek (41 Species)


                                         Moonlight Beach, Encinitas CA  31 August 2018


                   © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Weather: Fair (8/30) to overcast (9/2); 65F to 72F. wind WNW 2 - 5 mph; low tide @ about 0600 hrs.

Time: 0630- 0920 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) I began both surveys by walking to Moonlight Beach on 'B' Street (MB). A few people were playing volleyball; others were walking, running on the beach (two unleashed dogs were chasing thrown objects into the sea, 9/2). I scanned the shore line and offshore waters at low tide, using a 10x42 binocular. Aside from a mixed species flock of gulls on the beach, few other waterbirds were observed. I revisited MB once at sunset (8/31), but a large crowd of people on the shore left little room for birds. 2) Continuing on foot, I walked the main path through Lower Cottonwood Creek (LCC), which now has a well-developed riparian-coastal sage habitat, including a shallow, slow stream following a channel to MB. There was only one other person (and his dog) in the area during my survey. 3) I continued walking up B Street and entered Upper Cottonwood Creek (UCC). This park also has a well developed riparian-coastal sage habitat on the southern margin, including small coast live oaks. But most of the park is developed for recreation. Increasing numbers of visitors arrived in the park by 0830 hrs., many with leashed dogs. I walked the pathways along the riparian corridor, including an undeveloped easement paralleling I-5 in the northern section. The same areas were surveyed on both mornings.


BIRDS NOTED (numbers of individuals are the from the highest single survey count; dates are noted for those species found on only one survey).


Mallard  2 (m,) flying over, MB;  swimming in catchment basin, UCC (9/2).

Feral Rock Pigeon  30  gregarious; foraging with gulls on beach and flying around picnic areas, MB.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4   on utility wires; ubiquitous.

Mourning Dove  14  on utility wires; flying over park; ubiquitous, except outer MB.

Anna's Hummingbird  10 (m,f)  sometimes gregarious; vocal; hovering around sycamores and willows; ubiquitous, except outer MB.

Allen's Hummingbird  6  (m,f)  vocal; ound coastal sage and riparian trees; ubiquitous, except outer MB.

Selasphorus sp. (m,f) 3  possibly RUHU;  silent but fairly aggressive when other hummingbirds were present, UCC.

Whimbrel  2  flew over and landed on a relatively undisturbed section of shoreline, MB (8/30).

Heermann's Gull  5  (ad; C2; bsc. plmg.)  on shore with RBGU, WEGU and CAGU, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  4  (ad)  on shore but generally keeping 20-30 ft. away from larger gulls, MB.

Western Gull  30  (95% ad; remainder C1, C2, C3) most on shore around creek outlem MBt ; flying over, ubiquitous.

California Gull  12  (80% ad; remainder C2,3); most on shore around creek, MB.

Caspian Tern  6  vocal; loosely gregarious; flying 20 ft agl over shore and nearshore waters (8/30), MB.

Elegant Tern  2   flying 30-50 ft., ne, about 300m offshore (8/30), MB.

Brandt's Cormorant  1 flying 5 -10 ft. above surface, ne, about 400m offshore (8/30), MB.

Brown Pelican  2  flying 30 - 50 ft above surface near shore, MB.

Green Heron  1 (ad) vocal; at edge of catchment basin, UCC (photo).



       Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA 30 August 2018


                      © 2018 Callyn Yorke






Cooper's Hawk  2   a pair flying to a large cottonwood, UCC (9/2).

Nuttall's Woodpecker 2  vocal (unseen), LCC, UCC.

Willow Flycatcher 1 calls (unseen) southwest edge of riparian patch, UCC (8/30).

Black Phoebe  8  vocal; individuals sallying to ground from low perches, ubiquitous.

Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 flying between perches in tall shrubs and trees on coastal sage hillside, UCC (8/30).

Cassin's Kingbird  3  vocal; on utility wires, UCC.

Hutton's Vireo  1 (extensive molting) vocal (calls and song); gleaning foliage in oaks, UCC (photo) (9/2).



         Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA  2 September 2018


                      © 2018 Callyn Yorke



California Scrub-Jay  3  vocal; flying over coastal sage, UCC (8/30).

American Crow  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, except outer shore, MB.

Cliff Swallow  5  flying east over riparian section, UCC (8/30).

Bushtit 8  vocal, gregarious; foraging in large shrubs, LCC (9/2).

House Wren 3  vocal in dense shrubs, LCC, UCC.

House Sparrow  5  vocal, gregarious; residential area on B Street.

European Starling  8  gregarious; flying over; on utility wires, LCC, UCC.

House Finch  10 (m,f) gregarious, vocal, ubiquitous, except outer shore, MB.

Lesser Goldfinch  calls (unseen) UCC (8/30).

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  loosely gregarious; foraging in willows, LCC, UCC (8/30).

MacGillivray's Warbler 1 calls (unseen) dense shrubs at edge of riparian patch LCC (8/30).

Yellow Warbler  1  repeated song atop a large cottonwood, LCC (8/30).

Wilson's Warbler  1 (f) foraging in willows with OCWA, LCC (8/30).

Common Yellowthroat  8  (m,f) calls; often in pairs in dense herbaceous growth along stream; ubiquitous, except outer shore, MB.

California Towhee  3 vocal (unseen) dense cover along riparian corridor, LCC, UCC.

Song Sparrow  8  vocal; dense cover along riparian corridor, LCC, UCC.

Bullock's Oriole  1  gave a loud, distinctive chatter-call; eucalyptus at edge of adjacent yard, UCC (8/30).

Brown-headed Cowbird  2  flying e over riparian, UCC (8/30).
































AUGUST 31, 2018  Lake Henshaw (58 Species)



Weather: Fair; 59F to 94F; winds calm.

Time: 0820-1116 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked down to the southwest shore of the lake from the tunstyle gate on CA-76, continuing northwest along the shore and into a willow-riparian-pastureland; returning the same route, covering a total distance of about 3 miles. The remainder of the lake and shore was surveyed visually with a 10x42 binocular, though numbers of most birds on the distant eastern shore could not be reliably counted. No other people were present in the lake area during my survey. The lake water level appeared very low; a receding shoreline of sand and mud was sufficiently dry to allow passage on foot in most areas. Adjacent foothills, covered by and ecotone of coast live oak, pine and chaparral, were not included in the survey.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Brown Pelican (1)  Baird's Sandpiper (2), and Purple Martin (1).





Mallard   5  (m,f) perched on emergent debris in shallows.

Cinnamon Teal  12  (m,f) dabbling in shallows.

Green Winged Teal  6  (f)  dabbling in shallows with CITE.

Western Grebe  3 (probably many more on east side of lake); vocal, gregarious.

Clark's Grebe  6  vocal (as above), vocal.

Mourning Dove  8  ubiquitous.

Anna's Hummingbird  4 (m,f) vocal; active; riparian and edge.

American Coot  3  swimming in shallows.

Black-necked Stilt  30  vocal, gregarious; foraging in shallows.

American Avocet  12  (bsc. plmg.) vocal, gregarious; foraging in shallows with BNST.

Semipalmated Plover  2 (ad, imm) on outer shore with WESA and LESA.

Killdeer  12  vocal, gregarious; inner and outer shore.

Least Sandpiper  60  (ad, imm) gregarious; foraging on shore and in shallows.

Baird's Sandpiper  2  (imm) a pair probing deeply into mud on shore and in shallows with WESA (photo).



Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) front and Western Sandpiper (C. Mauri)  Lake Henshaw, SDCO CA  31 August 2018


                                                                                                                © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Western Sandpiper  20 (ad, imm)   gregarious; foraging mostly in shallows near shore with LESA and BASA.

Ring-billed Gull  1 (ad) flying low over the shoreline.

California Gull  1 (ad) swimming near shore.

Herring Gull 1 (C3) swimming in shallows near shore.

Caspian Tern  4  vocal; loosely gregarious; flying 30 - 50 ft agl over shore and edge of lake.

Forster's Tern  2  (ad, imm) perched on emergent debris in shallows.

Double-crested Cormorant  10  (ad, imm) gregarious; perched on pilings in shallows.

American White Pelican  250  most in a large, cohesive flock on northeast side of lake; a few swimming in middle and southern end of lake.

Brown Pelican  1 (bsc. plmg.) perched on pilings with DCCO (photo).



                Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) right  with DCCO,  Lake Henshaw, SDCO CA  31 August 2018


                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Great Blue Heron  6  in shallows around edges of the lake.

Great Egret  10  in shallows around edges of the lake.

Snowy Egret  2  on shore and in shallows.

Turkey Vulture  3  soaring over shore and adjacent foothills.

Red-tailed Hawk  2  (ad, Imm) riparian edge; ad flushed from a tall tree.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 vocal, tall trees in riparian woods.

Downy Woodpecker  1 vocal, flying over stand of young willows.

American Kestrel  1 (m) gleaning something from the ground in dry grass.

Western Wood Pewee  1  perched on outer bare branch of a large cottonwood.

Black Phoebe  6  vocal; sallying from low perches on and near shore.

Say's Phoebe 5  gregarious; sallying to ground from snags on shore.

Western Kingbird  1  sallying from a low snag to shore with nearby SAPH.

California Scrub-Jay  2  vocal;  tall cottonwoods.

American Crow  15  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Common Raven  3  on shore, s.

Purple Martin  1  flying 50 ft. agl over willow riparian patch.

Violet-green Swallow  4   gregarious;  flying 10-20 ft. back and forth, low over shore and lake.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  4  flying 2 - 20 ft. agl, back and forth over shore.

House Wren  1  vocal; active at edge of willow riparian patch.

Western Bluebird  10  (m,f) gregarious; on ground and in small willows near shore.

House Finch  6  vocal, gregarious; riparian edge.

Lesser Goldfinch  1 (m) foraging on dry bull thistle.

Orange-crowned Warbler 1  foraging with WIWA in willows at edge of shore.

Yellow Warbler 1 repeated song from tall willows.

Townsend's Warbler  1  foraging at mid-level in edge of willow patch.

Wilson's Warbler  3  (m,f) vocal, loosely gregarious in willows.

Chipping Sparrow  4   (ad, imm) gregarious; edge of willows and pasture.

Brewer's Sparrow  1  flushed from edge of willows in clearing near shore.

Vesper Sparrow  1  flushed from edge of willows near BRSP and SOSP.

Savannah Sparrow  1  flushed from edge of pasture-willow patch.

Song Sparrow  5  vocal; foraging on shore and on ground in sapling willow patch.

Red-winged Blackbird  12  (m,f) gregarious; in willows and on shore.

Western Meadowlark  2   on ground at edge of pasture.

Brewer's Blackbird  4  (m,f) foraging on shore.

Brown-headed Cowbird  4  (imm) foraging on shore.
























JANUARY 27, 2018  La Jolla (16 Species)



Weather: Fair; 55F to 60F; tide medium; surf 2-3 ft; seas calm.

Time: 0810-1000 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked the sidewalk and pathways between Goldfish Point and Children's Pool, through Rocky Point Park, surveying birds in the park, on the cliff ledges, on shore, tidepools, and to about 0.5 mi. offshore. Large numbers of tourists, including photographers, arrived by 0900 hrs. Some were clambering around on the wet rocks and on the shore. Sea lions, gulls and nesting cormorants were abundant on the rocks and cliff ledges.



                                California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) Rocky Point La Jolla, San Diego County CA 27 January 2018                       


                                                                                                                                                                                              © 2018 Callyn Yorke






             BIRDS NOTED




Feral Rock Pigeon  6  resting on cliffs.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m) foraging on flowering  cliff sage.

Black Turnstone  7  gregarious; foraging on rocks and cliff ledges amongst BRCO nests.

Spotted Sandpiper  1  foraging on wet rocks near the tideline and upper ledges (photo).



               Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)  La Jolla, San Diego County CA  27 January 2018                

                                                                                                                   © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Ring-billed Gull   2 (ad) flying n over shore.

Western Gull   40  (90% ad) ubiquitous; none found nesting.


Brandt's Cormorant  30  at least 10 pair nesting; two nests observed with a single, white egg, and incubating adult getting up to reposition the egg with its bill; much interaction between pairs on nest and those in nearby nests. Individuals flying offshore with nest material; fresh sea grass added to one nest by an individual returning to its mate on a nest. All nests on narrow cliff ledges between Rocky Point Park and Goldfish Point (photos).


                 Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) note incubated egg in nest, La Jolla San Diego County CA  27 January 2018


                                                                                                                                                         © 2018 Callyn Yorke





         Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) a pair interacting on nest, La Jolla San Diego County CA   27 January 2018


                                                                                                                                            © 2018 Callyn Yorke





Double-crested Cormorant  8 ad.  individuals on cliffs with nesting BRCO; none seen on nests.

Brown Pelican   60 alt. plmg.  individuals and small flocks on cliff ledges (photos); flying offshore.



         Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) La Jolla  San Diego County CA  27 January 2018


                                                                                                                                 © 2018 Callyn Yorke





Snowy Egret   3  one foraging on shore; one on cliff ledge with nesting BRCO; one flying over shore.

Osprey  1 imm    remaining stationary and alert on cliff ledge rock for at least 20 minutes (photo).


                      Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) immature      La Jolla  San Diego County CA  27 January 2018


                                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Black Phoebe  1 sallying to tide pools from base of cliff.

European Starling  6  vocal, gregarious in park.

House Sparrow  4  vocal, gregarious, in park garden and trees.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3  vocal, gregarious, in park garden and trees.

Song Sparrow  3  vocal, in cliff sage at edge of park.


























JANUARY 25, 2018  Oceanside (22 Species)


Weather: Partly cloudy; 46F; tide medium low; surf 3- 5 ft.

Time: 0830-1013 hrs.

Areas Covered: I walked from the overpass on San Luis Rey River estuary (SLR), to the main beach between two breakwaters (OB), then along the west side of the harbor (OH). A narrow channel on the north side, with flowing water, connected the estuary to the outer shore. About twenty surfers were between the two breakwaters; long-boarders were being photographed and filmed by people on the beach. Boat traffic in and out of the harbor was light. Most of the area surveyed was quiet and little disturbed by human activities.



                                             Longboarders at Oceanside Beach, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018 


                                                                                             © 2018 Callyn Yorke







Pied-billed Grebe  4 diving in tidepool in channel;  one imm. attacked by female GTGR (photo). SLR.



    Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) imm. attacked by female Great-tailed Grackle, SLR, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018


                                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke






Eared Grebe  2  swimming together near the docks, OH.

Western Grebe  6  most offshore in loose flocks; one beached individual (photo) was attacked briefly by a first-cycle WEGU, which retreated after the grebe defended itself by lunging forward at the gull, OB.


                         Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) sick or injured on the beach, Oceanside SDCO CA  25 January 2018


                                                                                                                                © 2018 Callyn Yorke





Feral Rock Pigeon  2  flying around the harbor, OH.

Marbled Godwit  3  individuals foraging on the edge of a sandbar, SLR.

Sanderling  1   on shore, OB.

Willet  1  foraging on shore, OB.

Heermann's Gull  12, several in  alt. plmg.; (2 imm), gregarious, OB (photo).



      Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni) adults (l)  imm (r)   Oceanside Beach, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018


                                                                               © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Ring-billed Gull  70  (95% ad) gregarious on outer and inner beach, OB (photo).



          Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) adult   Oceanside Beach, San Diego County CA 25 January 2018


                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Western Gull  50  (90% ad) ubiquitous, gregarious, e.g. on sandbar and in shallows, SLR.

California Gull  35  (90 % ad) ubiquitous, but most abundant in SLR.

Royal Tern  6 (4 ad; 2 imm) one in alt. plmg.; gregarious; resting on outer shore, OB (photo).



          Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) adults  Oceanside Beach, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018


                                                                                                                  © 2018 Callyn Yorke







Brown Pelican  50-60   resting outside breakwater and flying offshore; on dock in harbor, OB, OH.

Brandt's Cormorant  5 resting on outer breakwater; flying offshore, OB.

Double-crested Cormorant  20   flying, swimming, SLR, OH.

Great Egret  1 alt. plmg.  on dock, OH (photo).


                     Great Egret (Ardea alba) alt. plmg.  Oceanside Harbor, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018


                                                                                                                          © 2018 Callyn Yorke






  Snowy Egret  3  foraging in tidepool in estuary channel (photo), main beach, and dock in harbor, SLR, OB, OH.


             Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  alt. plmg. San Luis Rey River estuary, San Diego County CA  25 January 2018


                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Belted Kingfisher  1 (m) perched in palm at edge of tidal channel, SLR.

Black Phoebe  1  sallying to sand from breakwater rocks, inner beach, OB.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  1  on ground in parking lot, OH.

Song Sparrow  1  vocal from perch on concrete wall next to estuary, SLR.

Great-tailed Grackle  10 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; mostly in harbor area and adjacent estuary, SLR, OH..



































JANUARY 23-27, 2018  Encinitas: Moonlight Beach, Cottonwood Creek and San Diego Botanic Garden (51 Species)



Weather: fair; 43F to 50F. winds variable; mostly light, NNW, SW 2 - 10 mph. Surf 2 - 4 ft. seas generally calm; low tide 0700-0800  hrs.

Time: 0650 - 1740 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Moonlight Beach (MB): I walked the shoreline about 0.1 mi in each direction, surveying the cliffs, shore and nearshore waters to about 0.5 mi. Increasing numbers of visitors began arriving by 0900 hrs. Shorebirds and gulls were scarce in the heavily trafficked sections; In the late afternoon of 1/24, a large flock of gulls and pelicans were feeding 0.5 mi. offshore, with dolphins and at least one Gray Whale moving northward (1/23;24); Cottonwood Creek (LCC; UCC): I surveyed birds in riparian, stream bed, coastal sage and parkland habitats. Significant noise (leaf blowers; adjacent auto traffic) and other disturbances (dogs, leashed and unleashed), interferred with observations. 3) San Diego Botanic Garden (BG): I walked a meandering route on pathways throughout the gardens, surveying all sections, including adjacent coastal sage scrub. The grounds were relatively quiet, and disturbances due to visitors was minimal until about 1030 hrs.  (1/26: 0910-1110 hrs.).






Mallard  4  (m,f) two pair dabbling in the upper drainage pond, UCC.

Feral Rock Pigeon  20  flying around suburbs, LCC.

Eurasian Collared Dove  6  LCC, UCC.

Mourning Dove  4  on utility wires, LCC.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 LCC;  1 UCC;  2 BG.

Allen's Hummingbird 1  LCC; 2 UCC;  10 BG.

Sanderling  8   gregarious; foraging at tide line on shore in early morning and late afternoon, MB (photo).


                               Sanderling (Calidris alba) Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  23  January 2018


                                                                                                                             © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Willet  1  foraging at the tide line with SAND, MB.

Bonaparte's Gull  1  flying low, back and forth, 0.2 mi offshore.

Heermann's Gull  7 (ad; 2 C1) gregarious on inner beach, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  10 (90% ad),  gregarious on outer beach, MB.

California Gull  6  on inner and outer beach, MB.

Western Gull  20 (90 % ad;  5 % C1,  5% C2 & C3)  ubiquitous on and offshore; flying over MB, LCC.

Red-throated Loon ?  1  diving on outside of surf zone, MB.

Pacific Loon  2  diving outside of surf zone, MB.

Common Loon  2  flying; swimming, 0.1 mi offshore, MB.

Brandt's Cormorant  6  flying low, s  MB.

Brown Pelican   60  most 0.5 mi offshore in feeding frenzy with gulls, MB.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flying low over gardens, BG.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2  vocal; circling over gardens at 100 ft. agl.; in tall treea. BG.

Belted Kingfisher  1  vocal; perched and flying around pond, UCC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  vocal, LCC;  1  vocal, BG.

American Kestrel  1 on utility pole, UCC.

Black Phoebe  2  inner beach at base of cliffs, MB; 1 LCC..

Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal on utility wires, LCC;  3  vocal, a pair interacting in flight, BG.

California Scrub-Jay  3  vocal, in conifers, BG.

American Crow  8  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Oak Titmouse calls (unseen) BG.

Bushtit  6  vocal, gregarious; in shrubs and trees, BG.

House Wren  1  vocal, LCC.

Bewick's Wren  3  vocal, LCC, UCC, BG.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1 vocal (unseen) coastal sage hillside, BG.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 UCC; 2 BG.

Wrentit  1  vocal (unseen) coastal sage scrub hillside, BG.

Hermit Thrush  1  UCC;  1 BG.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal with imitations of Ash-throated Flycatcher, coastal sage hillside, BG.

California Thrasher  1 vocal,  coastal sage scrub, BG.

European Starling  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow  5 in suburban gardens, LCC.

House Finch  8 vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  vocal, LCC;  2  BG.

American Goldfinch  1 (m) in dense riparian growth, UCC.

Orange-crowned Warbler  vocal; often in msf with YRWA;  1 in willows, LCC; 2  UCC; 5 BG.

Common Yellowthroat  2  vocal, LCC;  1  UCC;  2 BG.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  vocal, gregarious, foraging at veg. height levels, 4 LCC;  8 UCC;  12 BG.

Townsend's Warbler  2 (m,f) foraging in flowering coral tree, BG.

Black-throated Green Warbler ?  1  seen briefly; noted olive green back; whitish undersides; foraging amongst coral tree flowers, BG.

Spotted Towhee  2  vocal, BG.

California Towhee  2  LCC;  2  UCC;  4 BG.

Song Sparrow  2  weedy area along drainage, MB; 2 LCC; 2 UCC;  4  BG.

White-crowned Sparrow   4 gregarious; vocal;  along drainage, MB; riparian thickets; foraging on ground; 2 UCC;  8 BG.












MAY 27, 2017  San Elijo Lagoon (49 Species)



Weather: Partly cloudy; 60F to 70F; wind WSW  2 mph. low tided @ 0630 hrs.

Time: 0705- 1256 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Birds of Southern California class (4 students) and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Annie's Canyon Trail, from North Rios Rd., Solana Beach (ACT). We initially surveyed the suburban ACT trail head area on N. Rios Rd, which included ornamental trees (e.g. palms), lawns and shrubs bordering hillside coastal sage. Continuing on foot, we proceeded east along the dirt track, encountering several other visitors and their dogs (some unleashed). The trail traverses hillside coastal sage, riparian woodland (including mature eucalyptus at the east end of the trail) and an extensive salt marsh (about 200 acres surveyed visually) with exposed mudflats and slough shorelines at low tide. Numerous private aircraft passed overhead during our survey, presumably participating in Memorial Day festivities. A roadside construction project was underway along I-5 (0705-0952 hrs.)  2) San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center (SELNC). We walked the dirt trails and boardwalk in the vicinity of the nature center, which traversed coastal sage scrub, riparian woodland, freshwater marsh and tidal salt marsh. The incoming tide inundated the sloughs in the marsh by 1100 hrs. Numerous visitors (some with dogs) were on the trails during our survey. After class, we had lunch on the observation deck of the nature center; a few of us returning to the boardwalk and trails afterwards to resurvey the area. Relatively few waterbirds were found during today's survey (1005-1256 hrs.).





Gadwall   2  (m) flying low over the marsh; swimming in slough, ACT;  1(m) on shore of main slough, SELNC.

Mallard   16 (m,f; imm)  swimming together in sloughs; flying over marsh, ACT, SELNC.

Double-crested Cormorant   5  several perched on utility wire over inlet slough; one on mudflat below, nw  SELNC.

Brown Pelican  10  individuals and small flocks flying over outer coast, SELNC.

Great Egret   1  on slough shore, SELNC.

Snowy Egret   3  foraging in shallows of sloughs, ACT, SELNC.

Black-crowned Night Heron   4 (ad) vocal; individuals and a pair flying over trail and marsh, ACT.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) circliing high (200 ft. agl) over east end of salt marsh, ACT.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  vocal (unseen) in canopy of adjacent suburban eucalyptus; two AMCR perched nearby, SELNC.

Western Gull  5  flying over outer coast, SELNC.

Feral Rock Pigeon  5  flying around suburbs, ACT, SELNC.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  vocal, on utility wires and in suburban gardens, ACT.

Mourning Dove   10 vocal, ubiquitous, except in salt marsh,; individuals and pairs.

Anna's Hummingbird  6 (m,f) perched conspicuously atop tall shrubs and trees, ACT, SELNC.

Allen's Hummingbird   6  (m,f)  hovering around flowering shrubs and trees, ACT, SELNC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (f) vocal; active in emergent willows, SELNC.

Downy Woodpecker  1 vocal (unseen) riparian woodland, SELNC.

Black Phoebe   2  vocal; sallying from low perch at edge of salt marsh, ACT.

Say's Phoebe 1  vocal (unseen) vicinity of trail head, ACT.

Cassin's Kingbird    3  vocal; active in emergent trees along trail, ACT.

California Scrub-Jay  1  vocal; coastal sage-riparian hillside, ACT.

American Crow  6  vocal, ubiquitous; mostly pairs in flight over coastal sage-riparian.

Common Raven  2   flying above ridge along east end of trail, ACT.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  8   pairs flying low over coastal sage, mudflats and salt marsh, ACT.

Cliff Swallow  1  flying low with NRSW over middle of salt marsh, ACT.

Bushtit  2  active in riparian edge, ACT.

Bewick's Wren   3  vocal; active in riparian-coastal sage, ACT.

House Wren    4  vocal; active in dense tangles beneath eucalyptus and riparian edge, ACT.

Wrentit  5  vocal; pairs and individuals active in riparian-coastal sage edge, ACT.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher ?  1  gave a brief scold call (unseen) dense understory of riparian woodland, SELNC.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal,  suburbs around trail head, ACT.

European Starling  4    a small flock foraging at edge of salt marsh, SELNC.

California Thrasher  2  vocal; one singing from exposed perch in shrub atop ridge, east ACT.

Orange-crowned Warbler   2  vocal; active in middle to upper level willows in riparian woodland, ACT.

Yellow Warbler  4  (m) vocal;  in exotic trees, ACT; active in mid-levels and outer canopy in riparian woodland, SELNC (photo).


Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) male, San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  27 May 2017

                                                                                          © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Yellow-breasted Chat  2   1 vocalizing in riparian woods (unseen), SELNC; another individuals vocalizing intermittently in dense riparian-coastal sage edge w, ACT. Remaining secretive, so that we were unable to obtain more than fleeting glimpses of the bird in the undergrowth. One student (YBH) returned to the same area the following day and observed the bird on an exposed perch (photo).




Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)  sw San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  28 May 2017


                                                      © 2017 Yvonne Burch-Hartley





Common Yellowthroat    6  vocal; active in undergrowth of coastal sage, riparian and salt marsh edge, ACT; SELNC.

Spotted Towhee  4  vocal; coastal sage-riparian; suburban gardens, ACT.

California Towhee  10 vocal; ubiquitous, except in salt marsh.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow   4  vocal; active in salt marsh at edge of slough, ACT; SELNC.

Song Sparrow  20  vocal; active throughout the area.

Black-headed Grosbeak    2 (m)  singing in riparian areas from exposed perch in canopies, ACT, SELNC (photo),




Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) male,  San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  27 May 2017


                                                                                           © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Hooded Oriole  1  flying to palms, trail head, ACT.

Brown-headed Cowbird  3 (m,f) individuals perched in canopy of willows, ACT, SELNC.

House Finch  10  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, except in salt marsh.

Lesser Goldfinch   8 (m,f)   vocal; often in pairs; ubiquitous, except in salt marsh.

American Goldfinch  2  (m,f) active in riparian woodland; leafless outer canopy of a willow, SELNC.

Scaly-breasted Munia  1 perched on tall shrub at edge of riparian woodland, ACT.

House Sparrow   8  (m,f) vocal; active in and around gardens, ACT.




































APRIL 7 2017 Tijuana River Valley (78 Species)



Southwest corner of the U.S.A. marker, Border Field State Park, San Diego County CA  7 April 2017

                                                                                                                                                                  © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Blainville's Horned Lizard (Phrynosomal blainvillii) Border Field State Park, SDCO CA  7 April 2017                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2017 Toan Ngo






A young, beached harbor seal, se Border Field State Park, SDCO CA  7 April 2017

                                                                                                                                                     © 2017 Toan Ngo








  Border Field State Park, San Diego County CA, viewing south east along the US Mexican border  7 April 2017                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Fair; 50F to 65F; wind WSW 2 -10 mph.

Time: 0730 - 1425 hrs.

Observers: Toan Ngo and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Dairy Mart Pond (DMP- 0730-0910 hrs.).We walked the trails bordering the main pond and adjacent flooded areas with snags, coastal sage, ruderal fields, and fresh water marsh. A few joggers and hikers were present in the area during the survey; otherwise, there was little human disturbance to wildlife.  2) Bird and Butterfly Garden (BBG - 0920-1020 hrs). We walked the trails through the garden, coastal sage, ruderal fields, riparian strip and tamarisk grove. 3) Border Field State Park (BSP - 1030-1238 hrs): We walked about 2 miles from the parking area entrance, west to the shore, then south to the border, surveying saltbush scrub, coastal sage, riparian patches, shoreline and nearshore waters. About five other visitors were present in the survey area, with little or no effect on wildlife. We returned to the parking lot along the same route. 4) Tijuana Estuary National Preserve (TRE - 1315-1403 hrs.). I walked the McCoy Trail to its terminus and back to the visitor center, surveying birds in salt marsh and coastal sage-riparian habitats. A shirt-less man was illegally walking his dog through this area during my survey, leaving behind a fresh pile of feces on the trail. 5) Sea Coast Drive (SCD - 1410- 1425 hrs). From a wooden observation platform at the end of SCD, we briefly surveyed waterbirds in a distant  tidal slough bordered by mudflats and salt marsh.





Gadwall  2 (m,f) swimming near edge, DMP.

Mallard  2  (m,f)  near edge of marsh, DMP.

Cinnamon Teal  6  (m,f)  swimming in flooded snag area, DMP.

Northern Shoveler  6  (m,f) in main pond and flooded snag area, DMP.

Red-breasted Merganser   4  swimming in tidal channel, SCD.

Ruddy Duck   20  (m,f) in tidal channel, SCD.

Pied-billed Grebe   4  in main pond, DMP.

Eared Grebe  6  in main pond, DMP.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  TRE.

Brown Pelican  3  flying offshore, BSP.

Great Egret  1 DMP.

Snowy Egret   10  (alt. plmg.) aggressive chases in flooded snag area, DMP.

Little Blue Heron  1  flying along tidal channel, TRE.

Green Heron  1  in flooded snag area, DMP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  4  (alt. plmg.) in flooded snag area, DMP.



Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Dairy Mart Pond, SDCO CA 9 April 2017

                                                                                                © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Turkey Vulture 1  on elevated utility box, DMP (photo).



Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) Dairy Mart Pond, SDCO CA  7 April 2017

                                                                                         © 2017 Callyn Yorke







Northern Harrier  1 (m) flying low over open field, BSP.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2 vocal, flying around, BBG.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  flying over marsh, TRE.

Merlin  1  perched in tree with AMCR at edge of main pond, DMP (photo).


Merlin (Falco columbarius) Dairy Mart Pond, SDCO CA 7 April 2017

                                                                                           © 2017 Callyn Yorke





American Coot  20  gregarious; swimming in main pond, DMP.

Snowy Plover  2  foraging on outer shore; one color-banded individual (see photo), BSP.



Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexdrinus) se BSP, 7 Apr 2017: Banded 6/21/16 on Naval Amphibious Beach, SDCO, CA


                                                                                                                    © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Killdeer  1  vocal,  along trail, TRE.

Black-necked Stilt  2  on muddy edge of tidal channel, SCD.

American Avocet   3  in shallows and on mudflats, SCD.

Greater Yellowlegs  vocal, flying TRE.

Willet  2  on outer shore, BSP.

Whimbrel     6  a tight flock flying over open fields, DMP.

Marbled Godwit   4  foraging together on outer shore, BSP (photo).



Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) Border Field State Park, SDCO CA  7 April 2017

                                                                                                      © 2017 Toan Ngo





Western Sandpiper   30  a loose flock foraging on mudflats of tidal channel, SCD.

Dunlin   4  resting on mudflats and in shallows with WESA, SCD.

Dowitcher (spp.)    60  a cohesive flock on mudflats and in shallows of tidal channel, SCD.

Ring-billed Gull  1(ad)  flying over marsh, TRE.

Western Gull  4 (ad) resting in open water on main pond, DMP.

California Gull   1  (C1) in main pond with WEGU, DMP.

Forster's Tern    1  flying back and forth above tidal channel, TRE.

Elegant Tern   vocal, flying over outer shore, BSP.

Feral Rock Pigeon  10  flying around entrance, BSP.

Mourning Dove  4  riparian patch near pond, DMP; flying over field, BSP.

Anna's Hummingbird 12 (m,f) DMP;  4 BSP.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  vocal, riparian woodland, DMP.

Northern (RS) Flicker  1  vocal, riparian woodland, DMP.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1  vocal, in tamarisks, BBG.



Pacific Slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) BBG San Diego County CA  7 April 2017


                                                                        © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Say's Phoebe  1  on utility line,  DMP.

Black Phoebe  1  along trail, TRE.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal, on utility wires, flying around suburbs, TRE.

Bell's Vireo  4  vocal; establishing territories in riparian patches around boardwalk, DMP.

American Crow  6  vocal; flying over adjacent fields, DMP.

Horned Lark  2  alkali flats, BSP.

Tree Swallow   8  flying over ponds and fields, DMP.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  flying over field, DMP; 4 gathering fragments of plant material on ground on ground in parking lot, BBG.

Cliff Swallow  15  a cohesive flock gathering mud and other material from edge of tidal channel, TRE (photo).



Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) Tijuana River Estuary National Preserve, SDCO CA  7 April 2017

                                                                                                                         © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Bushtit  2  vocal,  brushy border of pond, DMP.

Bewick's Wren  vocal,  tamarisk grove, BBG.

House Wren   3  vocal, active in canopy of willows overhanging main pond  DMP.

Marsh Wren  2  vocal (unseen), DMP.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1  vocal (unseen) brushy area along roadway, BSP.

Wrentit  1  vocal (unseen) brushy fields adjacent to flooded snag area, DMP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal,  DMP.

California Thrasher  vocal, BBG.

European Starling 8  entrance to BSP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5  vocal; active in riparian patches around ponds, DMP.

Yellow Warbler   3  vocal; active in tall willows around main pond, DMP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3  vocal, gregarious in shrubs and trees, DMP.

Common Yellowthroat    12  vocal, brushy fields, riparian and marsh, DMP.

Yellow-breasted Chat  2  vocal;  establishing territories in riparian patch around boardwalk, DMP; 1 vocal in willow, BSP (photo).



Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) Border Field State Park  SDCO CA 7 April 2017

                                                                                                                 © 2017 Callyn Yorke






California Towhee   6  vocal; active in brushy areas throughout, DMP.

Large-billed Savannah Sparrow  1 in  roadside alkali sink with low halophilic herbs and shrubs, BSP.

Song Sparrow  10  vocal, ubiquitous, DMP.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  vocal, brushy area next to main pond, DMP.

Black-headed Grosbeak   1 repeated song, riparian patch, DMP.

Great-tailed Grackle  10  (m,f) vocal, gregarious,  marsh in main pond area, DMP.

Hooded Oriole 1  active in riparian patch, BBG.

Bullock's Oriole  1 (f)  in cottonwood, BBG.

House Finch  5  vocal, DMP; 2 BSP.

Lesser Goldfinch  vocal,  BBG.

American Goldfinch   2  (m,f) in giant reed and native riparian in boardwalk area, DMP.

House Sparrow  3 brushy area next to apts. TRE.





































APRIL 6, 2017  Balboa Park, San Diego (16 Species)



Botanic Garden, Balboa Park San Diego CA  6 April 2017

                                                                                                © 2017 Toan Ngo




Weather: Overcast to partly cloudy; 55F to 70F; wind W 1 - 2 mph.

Time: 0830-1015 hrs.

Observers: Toan Ngo and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Botanic Garden (BG): we walked the trails of the entire garden, surveying birds in and adjacent to the  xeric garden in hillside coastal sage scrub.  2) Parkland (P): We walked around the park, surveying birds in  ornamental trees, gardens and lawns surrounding buildings.





Mallard  2  (m,f) in fountain; flying over, BG, P..

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  repeated calls (unseen) sw, P..

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  (m) drumming on upper branch of palo verde tree, BG

Anna's Hummingbird  4 (m) display; vocal; common in flowering eucalyptus, BG, P.

Allen's Hummingbird  3  (m) active in a variety of flowering shrubs and trees, including eucalyptus, BG.

Mourning Dove  2  on ground, BG (photo).



Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) Balboa Park Botanic Garden SDCO CA  6 Apr 2017

                                                                                             © 2017 Toan Ngo




Cassin's Kingbird  1  gathering cotton fruit nesting material from canopy of an exotic tree at edge of gardern, BG.

American Crow  3  flying over, P.

Bushtit  3  vocal, gregarious, BG.

House Wren  2  vocal from exposed perch on tall shrubs and in palms, BG.

Northern Mockingbird  1 vocal, BG.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  5  vocal, gregarious;  in flowering eucalyptus, P.

California Towhee  3  vocal, BG, P.

Hooded Oriole  2  (m,f) flying around BG.

House Finch  8  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, BG, P.

Lesser Goldfinch  vocal,  BG.














April 4 & 5, 2017  San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas (36 Species)



San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas CA  8 April 2017                                      

                                                                                                              © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Weather: Fair; 62F t0 72F; wind WSW 2 - 15 mph.

Time: 0845- 1014 hrs. (4/4/17); 0900 - 1110 hrs (4/5/17).

Observers: Toan Ngo and I.

Area Covered: I walked most of the grounds of the botanic garden (about 15 acres), initially spending about 30 minutes in the upper waterfall area. Large numbers of visitors arrived for special events and other actiivities during all morning surveys, which noticably reduced the number of birds initially encountered.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found included two continuing vagrants,,  Dusky-capped Flycatcher (1) and Orchard Oriole (1).




Cooper's Hawk  1  flushed from emergent tree east of visitor center and parking lot.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls (unseen) se.

Eurasian Collared Dove    2  central.

Mourning Dove  4  on trails and in trees, ne.

Anna's Hummingbird  10 (m,f) vocal; foraging on a large variety of flowering shrubs and trees.

Allen's Hummingbird  30 (m,f) vocal; foraing on a large variety of flowering shrubs and trees.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 1 (f0 foraging on trunks of emergent, exotic trees.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  vocal (unseen) tree canopy, central.

Black Phoebe  1  vocal,  e.


Dusky-capped Flycatcher 1  (4/4/17): Active in subcanopy; sallying back and forth, alternating in shade and sunlight, w-central near top of waterfall (photo). Not found on 4/5/17 or 4/8/17. Reported on local list servers as a continuing overwintering bird at this location.


Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer) San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas CA  4 April 2017

                                                                                                                     © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Cassin's Kingbird  1  vocal, central.

California Scrub-Jay 3  vocal; active in shrubs and trees, w-central.

American Crow  2  flying over garden.

Oak Titmouse  1  vocal, central.

Bushtit   1  shrubs and lower level in exotic trees, central.

Bewick's Wren  3  vocal, central, w.

House Wren  1  vocal,  e-central.

Western Bluebird  1  vocal, central.

Hermit Thrush  1  on ground in shade of isolated mesquite tree, se.

Northern Mockingbird  1 repeated song, w-central.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  repeated song, ubiquitous.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  4 (alt. plmg.) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (f) foraging in and around inflorescences of an exotic tree above visitor's center (photo).



Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas CA  5 April 2017

                                                                                                              © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Townsend's Warbler   1 (m) foraging in deciduous and evergreen trees, central.

Spotted Towhee  2 vocal, se.

California Towhee  4  vocal; central.

Song Sparrow  2  vocal, central.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  1 on ground in garden, central.

Western Tanager  2  (f)  vocal in canopy of a variety of tall trees, central..

Black-headed Grosbeak     2 (m) repeated song from tree canopies, central.

Orchard Oriole  1 (f) - continuing -  active in evergreen and deciduous trees, central.

Hooded Oriole  1  vocal, central.

Bullock's Oriole  2  (m) vocal; active in canopies of a variety of deciduous trees, central.

House Finch  5  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  3 (m,f) vocal, central.

House Sparrow  2  (m,f) central.














April 4, 2017  Oceanside (32 Species)


Oceanside pier, beach and breakwater, viewing southwest  4 April 2017


Weather: Overcast; 58F to 62F; surf 3- 5 ft.; medium high tide.

Time: 0609-0800 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Mouth of San Luis Rey river (SLR). I observed birds from the overpass and sidewalk adjacent to the marsh, lagoon and mudflats of the river. A beach sandbar currently blocks the outlet and tidal inflow.  2) Oceanside breakwaters and shoreline (OB). I walked along the shore, observing birds on and adjacent to the two rocky breakwaters.  3) Oceanside harbor (OH). I observed birds in and around the harbor on my way back to SLR. Increasing numbers of beachgoers, some with dogs (leashed and unleashed) arrived during my survey. About 20 surfers were offshore. Shorebirds were mostly restricted to undisturbed areas on the breakwater and in the river mouth. Also present in the area was Will Russell (founder and manager of Wings bird tours) and his family, who I met briefly to compare our local birding results.







Mallard  4  (m,f) edge of lagoon, SLR.

Eared Grebe  1  diving, open water, SLR.

Western Grebe  1  swimming in outer harbor, OH.

Double-crested Cormorant  5  resting, swimming in harbor, OH.

Brandt's Cormorant  3  on outer breakwater, OB.

Brown Pelican   20  (many in alt. plmg.) on outer breakwater OB, OH.

Great Blue Heron    2  edge of harbor, OH.

American Coot  20   vocal, gregarious; near marsh and in open water, SLR.

Killdeer  2   vocal, edge of lagoon, SLR.

American Avocet  2  flying low over shore, OB.

Willet   2  foraging on shore, OB.

Marbled Godwit  1  foraging on shore, OB.

Surfbird  2  (alt. plmg.) lower edge of w breakwater, OB (photo).




Surfbird (Aphriza virgata) Oceanside breakwater, SDCO CA  4 April 2017

                                                                                                                      © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Heermann's Gull   2 (ad; alt. and bsc. plmg.) on inner beach with other gulls, OB.

Ring-billed Gull  3  (ad; imm)  SLR, OB.

Western Gull  60  (ad; C1; C2) gregarious, ubiquitous.

California Gull  12  (ad, C1, C2) gregarious, ubiquitous.

Glaucous-winged Gull (C1) on inner beach (photo).


Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) Oceanside beach, SDCO CA  4 April 2017

                                                                                                                       © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Herring x Western Gull ?  1 (C1) on beach with other gulls, OB.

Feral Rock Pigeon  50  flying around the harbor and beach, OB, OH.

Black Phoebe  1  vocal; sallying out over mudflats and marsh, SLR.

American Crow  2 flying around harbor, OH.

Tree Swallow  1  flying over lagoon, SLR.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  flying low over lagoon, SLR.

Barn Swallow  1  flying low over marsh and lagoon, SLR.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, n edge of harbor.

Common Yellowthroat  2  vocal in marsh, SLRL.

Song Sparrow  1  vocal, marsh, SLR.

Red-winged Blackbird   2  marsh, SLR.

Brewer's Blackbird  3  edge of harbor walkway, OH.

Great-tailed Grackle  20 (m,f)  vocal, gregarious, SLR.

Lesser Goldfinch  vocal (unseen) SLR.











APRIL 3, 2017 San Elijo Lagoon (60 Species)



West San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA, viewing west to Cardiff State Beach,  3 April 2017

                                                                                                 © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Weather: Marine layer of low clouds, partially clearing by 0900 hrs. 56F; wind SW 10 mph. Seas choppy; surf 3-8 ft. Outgoing tide.

Time: 0608- 1025 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Cardiff State Beach (CSB) adjacent to San Elijo Lagoon. I walked along the shore from the west and east parking lots. A few people on the beach with dogs (most unleashed) that readily flushed the few shorebirds present. Very little bird life was found either on or off shore.  2) Rios Avenue - SWSEL: I walked about 50 yards down the main trail west to the salt marsh, marked at the top as "Closed", prior to the arrival of a parade of dump trucks at 0700 hrs. A 2-year construction project has begun on the adjacent railroad tracks. Turning eastward from the Rios Ave. trail head onto "Annie's" trail, I reached the edge of the salt marsh and sloughs on the western border of I-5, where heavy earth moving equipment was being used.This part of the survey also included coastal sage and riparian patches. Annie's trail was quite productive; most of the bird species I encountered today were present in this area. From the steep hilltop trail at the southeast corner, I was able to see a few more bird species in the eastern half of SEL, across and east of I-5.  3) San Elijo Lagoon visitor's center located at the northwest corner of SEL (VC): I walked the main trails and boardwalk through salt marsh, freshwater marsh, riparian and coastal sage habitats. A few visitors, some with leashed dogs, were present during the survey.





Gadwall   10 (m,f) pairs and individuals swimming in channels, SWSEL, VC.

American Wigeon   30  (m,f)  small, vocal, cohesive flocks dabbling in shallows, SWSEL, VC.

Mallard  10  (m,f) pairs in marsh and open water, SWSEL, VC.

Red-breasted Merganser  1 (f) diving in main tidal channel, VC.

Ruddy Duck   5 (m,f) a small flock in the channel, VC.

California Quail    4 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, coastal sage scrub, SWSEL.

Eared Grebe  1 diving in main tidal channel, VC.

Western Grebe  1 swimming in main tidal channel, VC.

Double-crested Cormorant  4  flying; diving in tidal channel, SWSEL, VC.

American White Pelican  2 in  marshy shallows on e side of I-5.

Brown Pelican   1 flying low offshore, CSB.

Great Egret    2  in marsh, SWSEL.

Snowy Egret   7;, 5  flying together across marsh; individuals in shallows, on mudflats and in marsh, SWSEL, VC.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  flying to canopy of a large eucalyptus, se SWSEL.

Cooper's Hawk  1 flying low over adjacent road and suburbs, VC.

Ridgway;s Rail   4  foraging on muddy embankment of channels, SWEL (photo); a pair copulating briefly at edge of tidal channel, VC.



Ridgway's Rail (Rallus obsoletus) San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA 3 April 2017

                                                                                      © 2017 Callyn Yorke




American Coot   12  in tidal channels and marsh throughout.

American Avocet  20  in shallows, e of I-5.

Spotted Sandpiper  1  on muddy embankment, VC.

Greater Yellowlegs  1  vocal; marsh, SWSEL.

Willet  2  on outer shore and edge of tidal channel, CSB.

Whimbrel  1  on outer shore and edge of tidal channel, CSB.

Marbled Godwit  1  foraging in mud at edge of tidal channel, VC.

Western Gull  1 (C3) on shore, CSB.

California Gull  1 (C1) on shore, CSB.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2   on utility lines, Rios Ave., SWSEL.

Mourning Dove  6 vocal; individuals and pairs throughout.

Allen's Hummingbird  2 (m)  coastal sage-riparian, SWSEL.

Selasphorus sp.  2  coastal sage-riparian, SWSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird  10 (m,f) one female feeding hatchlings in nest, then sitting on nest attached to a eucalyptus branch about 7 ft. agl, se SWSEL (photos).



 Female Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) on nest with hatchlings, San Elijo Lagoon San Diego County CA  3 April 2017


                                                                          © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  (m,f) vocal; a pair foraging in separate willows, VC.

Black Phoebe  1  vocal,  edge of marsh, SWSEL.

Say's Phoebe  1  vocal, edge of coastal sage scrub, SWSEL.

Cassin's Kingbird  1  vocal, in emergent trees, coastal sage-riparian, SWSEL.

California Scrub-Jay  2  vocal; coastal sage-riparian edge, SWSEL.

American Crow  1  flying over riparian, SWSEL.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  flying low in open field next to marsh, SWSEL.

Tree Swallow 1  flying low over slough, VC.

Bushtit  4   vocal, gregarious, coastal sage-riparian, SWSEL.

Bewick's Wren  2  repeated song, hillside coastal sage, SWSEL.

House Wren   5  repeated song from eucalyptus (alive and dead), SWSEL.

Marsh Wren    5  repeated song (unseen) edge of marsh and slough, SWSEL.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher   1  vocal (unseen) dense coastal sage, SWSEL.

Wrentit   6  repeated song from dense coastal sage, mostly on hillsides, SWSEL.

California Thrasher  4  vocal; individuals singing from exposed perches on tall shrubs, SWSEL, (photo).



California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum) San Elijo Lagoon SDCO CA  3 April 2017

                                                                                                  © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Orange-crowned Warbler   6  vocal, ubiquitous in coastal sage-riparian.

Yellow Warbler  1 repeated song in willow thicket, VC.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  5  vocal, gregarious; esp. eucalyptus, SWSEL, VC.

Common Yellowthroat  5  vocal, ubiquitous at edge of marsh and riparian, SWSEL, VC.

Wilson's Warbler  1  vocal, willows, VC.

Spotted Towhee   4  vocal, hillside coastal sage, SWSEL.

California Towhee   12  vocal, ubiquitous, SWSEL, VC.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  2  flew into saltmarsh, VC.

Song Sparrow   5  vocal, riparian edge, SWSEL, VC.

White-crowned Sparrow   4  edge of trail, SWSEL.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  5  (ad, imm)  individuals and pairs foraging on edge of trail with WCSP and CATO, SWSEL.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1  repeated song in willow thicket, VC.

House Finch  2  vocal,  SWSEL.

Lesser Goldfinch   20  vocal, gregarious, in eucalyptus, edge of marsh, coastal sage and emergent shrubs, SWSEL, VC.

Hooded Oriole  2  in ornamental trees (palms), Rios Ave, SWSEL.

House Sparrow  10  on and around homes, Rios Ave. SWSEL.





















APRIL 2 - 6, 2017  Encinitas: Cottonwood Creek and Moonlight Beach (44 Species)


Moonlight Beach, Encinitas  April 6 2017

                                                                                                             © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Weather: Variable cloudiness in the morning and late afternoon; 55F to 70F; wind  WNW, ENE, 2 -15 mph. Seas mostly windblown; surf 3 -6 ft.

Time: 0730 - 2000 hrs.

Observers: Toan Ngo and I.

Area Covered: Lower Cottonwood Creek  (LCC), upper Cottonwood Creek (UCC) and Moonlight Beach (MB). I made several cursory surveys of LCC and MB during a week-long visit, including one comprehensive (30 min.- 1 hr.) survey of each area (2 and 5 April).




Mallard 3  (m,f; imm) in stream; one hatchling alone in upper pond, LCC.

Pacific Loon  1  flew into offshore area, alighting on surface, MB.

Brandt's Cormorant  2  flying low offshore, MB.

Brown Pelican   10  flying around near and offshore, MB.

Green Heron  2  flying from LCC to UCC.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls (unseen), LCC.

Killdeer  2  vocal  in vacant lot across the street, UCC.

Willet  3  foraging on shore, MB.

Whimbrel   1  foraging on shore, MB.

Marbled Godwit  2  foraging on shore, MB.

Ring-billed Gull   2 (imm) on shore, MB.

Western Gull  60 (85% ad; 10% C1) on shore; flying around entire area.

California Gull  4  (ad; C1 ) on shore at creek outlet,

Tern sp.  vocal (unseen; sounded like Royal or Elegant Tern) flying around, MB.

Feral Rock Pigeon 80  ubiquitous, esp. suburbs of MB.

Eurasian Collared Dove  3  LCC.

Mourning Dove  2  LCC.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) gathering parts of willow inflorescences, LCC;  2  vocal, UCC.

Allen's Hummingbird   1 (f) LCC;  2  UCC.

Black Phoebe 2  LCC.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal, LCC;  2  on utility wires, UCC.

Hutton's Vireo  1  repeated song from top of sugarbush on hillside, UCC (photo).




Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas CA  5 April 2017


                                                                        © 2017 Callyn Yorke





California Scrub-Jay  calls, LCC, UCC.

American Crow   5  calls; flying, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1 flying at w edge of park, UCC.

Bushtit   2  vocal, active in large shrubs and trees, LCC.

House Wren  4 repeated song, LCC, UCC.

Bewick's Wren  1  song, LCC.

Western Bluebird  1 (m) UCC.

Northern Mockingbird  2  vocal, LCC.

California Thrasher  2   on upper foothill trail, UCC.

European Starling  5   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Orange-crowned Warbler   4  LCC, UCC.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3  vocal;  (alt. plmg.) LCC, UCC.

Common Yellowthroat  5  vocal, LCC, UCC.

Wilson's Warbler  1 (m) in eucalyptus, UCC.

California Towhee  6  vocal, LCC, UCC.

Song Sparrow  6 vocal, LCC, UCC.

White-crowned Sparrow  4  LCC.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2  (m, f) vocal, UCC

Hooded Oriole   2  (m,f) UCC.

House Finch   8  (m,f0 vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  vocal, LCC.

House Sparrow  8  vocal MB.













NOVEMBER 21, 2015  Tijuana River Valley (73 Species)



Weather: Fair; 53F to 82F; wind WSW 1 - 2 mph. Outgoing tide @ 1130 hrs.

Time: 0645 - 1236 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Autumn Birds of Southern California class (8 students) and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Dairy Mart Ponds (DMP- E & W):  We walked the pathways and clearings around the east and west ponds. Habitats surveyed included about 10 acres of coastal sage scrub, willow riparian, freshwater marsh, ruderal fields and the roadside border of an adjacent water treatment facility. Most of our class time (0800-0900  hrs.) was spent on the western border of the east pond. The west pond was largely obscured from view by tall shrubs and trees, and wasn't surveyed as thoroughly as the east pond. A few other people were present during the survey. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations (0645-0900 hrs.). 2) The Bird and Butterfly Garden, Hollister Rd. (BBG). From the parking area next to the bridge over the Tijuana River (mostly stagnant), we walked the garden pathways to the western horse trail leading northward through dense, dry riparian and coastal sage scrub. The latter has for several years supported a small flock of Black-throated Magpie Jays, which we did not find today. Habitats surveyed included about 15 acres of willow-tamarisk riparian, coastal sage scrub, ruderal fields and ornamental plantings around the parking area.  While in transit, I briefly surveyed the riparian areas and farm yards, horse ranches along Dairy Mart-Monument Rd and Hollister Rd. (0900-1025 hrs.). 3) Tijuana River Estuary National Wildlife Refuge (TRE). From the visitor center parking lot off Caspian Way, Imperial Beach, we initially surveyed pines and eucalyptus bordering an apartment building complex and sports park in an effort to locate a small flock of resident Yellow-crowned Night Herons (none found). We continued walking south on the McCoy Trail to its terminus at the junction of two tidal sloughs. Habitats surveyed included about 100 acres of coastal sage and tidal salt marsh with exposed mudflats on the margins of sloughs; a small patch of ornamental trees and shrubs. We concluded the class inside the visitor center, reviewing the day's birding results (1043-1236 hrs.).



Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Hooded Merganser (1), Little Blue Heron (1), Ridgway's Rail (2), Herring Gull (1), Pacific-Slope Flycatcher (1) Black-throated Gray Warbler (1)and Townsend's Warbler (4).






Gadwall 10 (m,f) swimming in pairs and loose flocks, DMP-E.

Mallard  5  (m,f) swimming and flying over pond, DMP-E.

Northern Shoveler  30  (m,f) dabbling and shallow-diving in pond, DMP-E; resting on edge, DMP-W.

Northern Pintail  2  (m,f) swimming in open water, DMP-E.                                                                       

Ring-necked Duck  2  (f, imm) swimming around coots and NOSH, DMP-E.

Bufflehead  3  (m,f)  swimming and diving in slough, TRE.

Hooded Merganser  1 (m) resting, preening in water, DMP-W (photo).



Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) Dairy Mart Pond-W, SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015


                                                                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Ruddy Duck  25  (m,f) swimming, diving, resting, DMP-E.

Pied-billed Grebe  3  swimming near the edge and in open water, DMP-E; W.

Eared Grebe  1   diving in slough near bridge, TRE.

Western Grebe  4   two pair; one diving repeatedly for minnows in slough, TRE.

Great Blue Heron  2  at edge of marsh and perched on snags, DMP-E.

Great Egret  1  on snags, flying over pond, DMP-E;  1  at edge of slough, TRE.

Snowy Egret  2  on snags and foraging at edge of marsh, DMP-E;   an adult in trans. alt. plmg. capturing very small minnows schooling in shallow slough; stirring up sediments then moving to nearby clear water; jumping and darting forward with outstretched wings, TRE.



Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Tijuana River Estuary, Imperial Beach, SDCO CA  21 November 2015

                                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke







Little Blue Heron  1 (ad) foraging at edge of slough, s TRE (photo).



Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) Tijuana River Estuary, Imperial Beach, SDCO CA  21 November 2015


                                                                                                                                       © 2015 Callyn Yorke







Green Heron  1  flew to snag in pond, DMP-E.

Black-crowned Night Heron  20  (ad, imm) perched on snags and in cattails and tules on the east margin of the pond, DMP-E; 1 imm in pine tree next to apt. building, TRE.

Turkey Vulture  2  soaring over open areas, w BBG.

Northern Harrier  1 (f)   flying low, s over open area, BBG;  2 (f)  flying back and forth low over salt marsh; setting a small flock of willets aflight, TRE (photo).


 Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Tijuana River Estuary, Imperial Beach, SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015


                                                                                                                     © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Red-shouldered Hawk  2  repeated calls, DMP;  2  flying low over garden, BBG.

Red-tailed Hawk   1 soaring high (+100 ft.) overheas, BBG;  1  TRE.

American Kestrel  1  on adjacent aerial antenna, DMP.  1  on fence, BBG;  one (f) flying low over marsh, TRE.

Ridgway's Rail  2  vocal; pair staying within a few yards of each other on exposed mud bordering slough, TRE.

Common Moorhen  1  at edge of marsh, DMP-W.

American Coot  50  DMP-E, W.

Killdeer  4 vocal, flying together, low over salt marsh, TRE.

Willet  80 large flocks in open salt marsh; individuals and smaller flocks on mudflats at edge of slough, TRE.

Whimbrel  6  gregarious on exposed mudflats at edge of sloughs, TRE.

Long-billed Curlew  2  at edge of slough in saltmarsh, TRE (photo).



Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) Tijuana River Estuary, Imperial Beach, SDCO CA 21 November 2015


                                                                                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Marbled Godwit  1  flew in with willets and a whimbrel to the edge of a slough, TRE.

Western Sandpiper  1  foraging on mudflats near dowitcher and willets, TRE.

Dowitcher (Limnodromus sp.) 1  foraging in shallows of slough with willets, TRE.

Ring-billed Gull  1  (ad) alighted on pond near WEGU and HEGU, DMP-E.

Westen Gull  5  (ad, C1)  flying around pond; resting on pond, DMP-E;  10 flying over marsh, TRE.

California Gull  3  (ad, C1-2) in open water and perched on a snag, DMP-E.

Herring Gull  1 (ad)  swimming in open water, DMP-E.

Mourning Dove  12  flying and perched in trees around pond, DMP.

Anna's Hummingbird  5 (m,f)   vocal; hovering around shrubs and trees, DMP;  4  BBG.

Belted Kingfisher  1  diving for fish from wooden piling in slough, TRE.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  repeated calls, DMP;

Downy Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging on leafless tree branch overhanging pond, DMP-W (photo).



Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Dairy Mart Pond-W SDCO CA 21 Nov 2015


                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1  ID; olive-green head and dorsum; relatively large bill with orange tint on mandible; teardrop shaped eyering constricted crainially and basally, elongated dorsally; brief tail flicking; silent; sallying from low branches in dense willow thicket, w BBG (photo).


Pacific-Slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) Bird and Butterfly Garden, Tijuana River Valley, SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015


                                                                                   © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Black Phoebe  3  vocal; edge of pond and marsh; sallying from snags in pond, DMP-E.

Say's Phoebe  1  on fence, BBG.;  1 flying low over trail, TRE.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  a pair interacting and perched high in trees around pond, DMP-W (photo).



Cassin's Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferus) Dairy Mart Pond-W  SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015


                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Hutton's Vireo  2 ID; comparatively small size; bright, contasting wing bars on olive-green dorsum; large eyes with prominent eye-ring; relatively large bill with terminal hook; relatively slow, deliberate movements while perched; fast, kinglet-style movements when foraging, including occasional wing flitting. busily foraging for insect larvae on leaves and twigs,low and high in willows along trail, e BBG (photo).


 Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) two individuals, Bird and Butterfly Garden, Tijuana River Valley, SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015

                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Western Scrub-Jay  calls (unseen) adjacent apartments, n TRE.

American Crow  30  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Oak Titmouse vocal (unseen) in dense willows along trail, w BBG.

Bushtit  12  vocal, gregarious; in brush and trees around ponds, DMP;  12  BBG.

House Wren  4  vocal; staying low in shrubs, DMP;  3  BBG.

Marsh Wren  2  vocal in marsh at edge of pond, DMP-E;  1  vocal in saltbush next to trail, TRE.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2  moving through shrubs and trees at edge of ponds, DMP (photo).



Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) Dairy Mart Pond, SDCO CA  21 Nov 2015

                                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Ruby-crowned Kinglet  30  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Wrentit   2  repeated song from dense coastal sage-willow riparian, w BBG.

Hermit Thrush  2  repeated calls from shady tamarisk grove and willow riparian, BBG.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal; perched in sapling at entrance to visitor center, TRE.

European Starling  10  on utility wires along Hollister Rd.

American Pipit  1 calls; flushed from playing field adjacent to TRE.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  foraging with YRWA in willows, DMP-E; 5 foraging with TOWA, YRWA in tamarisks, BBG.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  80  (m,f) vocal (calls) gregarious, ubiquitous at all vegetation types and heights; often in msf.

Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (f) foraging in middle-level branches of a mature tamarisk; OCWA and YRWA nearby, BBG.

Townsend's Warbler  4 (m,f) foraging in tamarisks in msf with YRWA, OCWA, BBG.

Common Yellowthroat  15  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous near water and in adjacent riparian vegetation.

Spotted Towhee  1 vocal; staying low in a dense shrub, DMP-E.

California Towhee  10  often paired; on ground in well-vegetated areas, ubiquitous.

Savannah Sparrow  1 (possibly large-billed) seen perched on a distant saltbush near McCoy trail, n TRE.

Song Sparrow  30  individuals and pairs; vocal, ubiquitous near water.

Lincoln's Sparrow  2  calls; staying low in shrubs at edge of trail, DMP-E,W.

White-crowned Sparrow  60 (ad, imm)   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Finch  60 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  vocal, gregarious; staying in canopies of deciduous trees, DMP.

House Sparrow  5    Hollister Rd. horse corrals;  calls, adajcent buildings and gardens, TRE.
















NOVEMBER 20, 2015   Moonlight Beach and Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas (52 Species)



                             Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) Moonlight Beach, Encinitas 20 Nov 2015


                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Weather: Fair; 60F to 72F; winds calm. High tide @ 0700 hrs. Surf 2-3 ft.

Time: 0700-0938 hrs.

Areas Covered:  Lower Cottonwood Creek Ecological Restoration area (LCC): I walked the main pathway through LLC from the southeast corner of B Street and South Coast HWY. Continuing on B Street, I arrived at Moonlight Beach (MB), and walked northward on the narrow shoreline of rock and sand about 80 yards. Increasing numbers of people began arriving at the beach by 0800 hrs. I also visited the same area briefly at sunset, when there were dozens of people on the shore. Continuing on foot, I walked east on B Street to the upper Cottonwood Creek Park (UCC), including the trail paralleling the west edge of I-5. Another birder (Gjon Hazard) was independently surveying UCC.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Brown Booby (1), Glaucous-winged Gull (1) and Black-throated Gray Warbler (1).




Mallard  1 (f) in weedy drainage below LCC.

Surf Scoter  5  (m,f) two small flocks flying nw, low offshore, MB.

Western Grebe  1  just beyond the surf break; one DOB, MB.


Brown Booby  1 (imm)  flying nw offshore, about 50 ft. above the surface; circling and returning to same area with diving BRPE (photo).



Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) same individual in both images; Moonlight Beach Encinitas San Diego County CA  20 November 2015


                                                                                 © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Brandt's Cormorant  3  flying nw offshore, MB.

Double-crested Cormorant  4  flying nw offshore, MB.

Brown Pelican  10   individuals and small flocks diving offshore, MB.

Green Heron  2   vocal, flying together over willows, LCC.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  repeated calls (unseen)  UCC.

Red-tailed Hawk   1  flying e, east trail, UCC.

Semipalmated Plover  5   individuals and pairs foraging at tide line, MB (photo).



Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  20 Nov 2015


                                                                                                                   © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Whimbrel  2   a pair foraging in piles of kelp, MB.

Marbled Godwit  2  a vocal pair foraging at the tideline and in piles of kelp with WHIM, MB.

Sanderling  8  foraging together at the tideline, MB.

Heermann's Gull  20  (ad, C1) resting on sand mound with nearby RBGU, CAGU and WEGU, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  15  (ad, C1) resting on shore and sand mound, MB.

Western Gull  50  (ad, C1, C2, C3)  flocks and individuals on and around the shore, MB.

California Gull  50 (ad, C1, C2)  small flocks and individuals on san mound and shore, MB.

Glaucous-winged Gull  1  (C1)  with CAGU and WEGU at sunset, on shore at creek outlet, MB (photo).



Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) Moonlight Beach Encinitas, SDCO CA  20 Nov 2015

                                                                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Royal Tern  2  flying offshore, nw, MB.

Feral Rock Pigeon  110   a cohesive flock foraging on the beach and flying around the adjacent suburbs, MB.

Eurasian Collared Dove   2 on utility wire, LCC;  2 vocal, flying, UCC.

Mourning Dove 6  on utility wire, LCC;  on ground; in trees, UCC.

Anna's Hummingbird  3 (m,f) vocal, LCC;  4 vocal, UCC.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  hovering around a red-flowering eucalyptus at the beginning of the e trail, UCC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (f) repeated agitated, chattering calls within the interior of a red-flowering eucalyptus, as noted above. Its persistent vocalizations attracted numerous other bird species to this location, including BUSH, HOWR, OCWA, YRWA,CATO, HOFI, The same woodpecker flew up the trail to tall blue gum eucalyptus and continued calling. The cause of its peculiar vocal behavior was undetermined, UCC.

Northern Flicker 1  calls (unseen) , UCC.

Black Phoebe  2  bottom and side of steep cliff, MB;  1  LCC.

Cassin's Kingbird  1  on utility wire, LCC.

American Crow  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Western Scrub-jay  1  calls (unseen), LCC.

Bushtit  10  vocal, gregarious, UCC.

House Wren  2  staying well concealed in dense shrubs, UCC.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1 ?  called once (unseen) dense hillside shrubs, e trail, UCC.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous in vegetated areas.

Western Bluebird  2  (m,f) a vocal pair on the lawn beneath sycamores, UCC.

Hermit Thrush  1  repeated calls in dense, shady vegetation, LCC;  1  at base of cliff, MB.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, LCC.

European Starling  5  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Orange-crowned Warbler  8  vocal, often in msf with YRWA, UCC.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  50  vocal (calls) gregarious, ubiquitous.

Black-throated Gray Warbler  1 (m)  sallying from low sycamore branch to streamside vegetation, UCC (photo).



Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA 20 November 2015


                                                                                                                          © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Common Yellowthroat  5  vocal, sometimes gregarious, ubiquitous in streamside vegetation.

California Towhee   2  LCC;  3  UCC.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls; hillside shrubs, UCC.

Savannah Sparrow  1  perched on a sugar bush on hilliside of e trail, UCC (photo).



Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA  20 November 2015


                                                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Song Sparrow  20  vocal, solitary and in pairs, ubiquitous.

Lincoln's Sparrow  calls (unseen) streamside, UCC.

House Finch  30 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  6  vocal, gregarious; in sycamores and willows, UCC.

American Goldfinch  2  foraging on dry fruits of sycamore, UCC.

House Sparrow  5  vocal, gregarious; in and around gardens, MB.












AUGUST 14, 2015  Oceanside: San Luis Rey River Mouth, Beach, Breakwater and Harbor      (39 Species)



Weather: Fair; 66F; wind ESE 1-2 mph. Tide medium low; surf 2-3 ft.

Time: 0643-0859 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Mouth of the San Luis Rey River (SLR): I birded the marsh, shore and estuary from the elevated roadside and overpass adjacent to the harbor, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. The area was fairly quiet with light auto traffic; birdlife largely undisturbed. Shorebirds were mostly found on the sandbar and edges of the river bank.          2) Main beach between two rocky breakwaters, adjacent to the harbor (MB). The east end of the beach and breakwater was relatively undisturbed by pedestrians, surfers and dogs. Increasing numbers of surfers and other beach-goers arrived by 0800 hrs. My survey included a walk on the east breakwater.  3) Oceanside Harbor (OH): I walked on the sidewalk adjacent to the harbor back to the parking area next to SLR. The harbor was fairly busy with regular small craft traffic in the main channel.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Least Bittern (2), Peregrine Falcon (1), Wandering Tattler (2) and Ruddy Turnstone (1).








Mallard  20  (f) SLR.

Northern Pintail  1 (f) on sandbar, SLR.

Ruddy Duck  10  SLR.

Pied-billed Grebe   6  SLR.

Double-crested Cormorant   20  ubiquitous.

Brown Pelican   30  on s breakwater; flying over shore, MB; on docks, OH.

Least Bittern  2  one briefly seen flying over and alighting in dense tule marsh; another sunning at edge of marsh, SLR (photo).




Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) San Luis Rey River mouth, Oceanside, SDCO CA  14 August 2015

                                                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Great Blue Heron  1  edge of sandbar, SLR.

Snowy Egret  12  foraging in shallows of marsh, SLR.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) foraging in shallows of marsh, SLR.

Osprey  1 circling above shore, SLR.

Peregrine Falcon  1  flying across the river mouth toward the harbor, SLR.

Sora  1  foraging in shallows of marsh, SLR.

Common Moorhen   3  (2 ad, 1 imm) foraging together in algal mats next to marsh, SLR.

American Coot  10  foraging at edge of marsh, SLR.

Semipalmated Plover  1 on sandbar, SLR.

Wandering Tattler  2  separated by 50-60m on and adjacent to east breakwater, MB (photo).



Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana) breakwater, main beach/harbor, Oceanside, SDCO CA  14 August 2015


                                                                                                     © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Greater Yellowlegs  1 on shore, SLR.

Willet  8  on shore, SLR, MB.

Ruddy Turnstone  1 (alt. plmg.) foraging on rocks in splash zone at s end of east breakwater, MB.

Least Sandpiper   6   foraging together at edge of sandbar, SLR.

Dowitcher sp.  6  foraging together at edge of sandbar, SLR.

Heermann's Gull   90 (90% ad)  ubiquitous, esp. MB.

Ring-billed Gull  2  on shore, MB.

Western Gull  150 (ad, juv, C1-C3) ubiquitous.

California Gull   25 (ad, juv) on shore, SLR, MB.

Caspian Tern   6 (ad, imm) on sandbar with ROTE and ELTE, SLR.

Forster's Tern  1 (ad) on sandbar with other terns, SLR.

Royal Tern  9  (ad, imm) on sandbar; juveniles begging from adult ROTE and CATE.

Elegant Tern   6 (ad, imm) on sandbar; juveniles begging from adult ELTE.

Feral Rock Pigeon   25  ubiquitous, esp. OH.

Belted Kingfisher  1  fly, call, SLR.

Black Phoebe  2  edge of marsh, SLR.

American Crow    2  OH.

Marsh Wren  1 repeated calls; flying briefly over marsh, SLR.

Common Yellowthroat  8  edge and interior marsh, SLR.

Song Sparrow  8  edge of marsh, SLR.

Red-winged Blackbird   4 (m,f)   vocal; in marsh, SLR.

Great-tailed Grackle   8 (m,f) vocal, flying around marsh and harbor, SLR, OH.











AUGUST 12, 2015  Tijuana River Valley (49 Species)



Weather: Fair; 66F to 70F; wind ESE 5 mph; medium low tide.

Time: 0728-1032 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Dairy Mart Pond (DMP): I walked the main pond trail north about 0.2 mi. and back to the parking area on Dairy Mart Road. There were a few other pedestrians, joggers and dog-walkers on the trail during my survey. Conditions were otherwise quiet and the birdlife undisturbed (0728-0825 hrs.).  2) Bird and Butterfly Ecological Preserve (BB): Merissa and I walked south to the main junction of the garden trail with a horse trail, returning to the parking area along the same route. One other birder was present; the area was quiet and birdlife quite scarce (0830-0900 hrs.)                3) Tijuana River National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial Beach (TRNWR): I walked the main trails beginning at the visitor center, covering most of the refuge visually with a 10 x 42 binocular and DSLR camera. A few visitors were present on the trails, including those with leashed dogs. Frequent fly-overs by military helicopters from an adjacent airfield, resulted in persistent, loud disturbances; birds and other wildlife appeared to be largely absent from the fly-zone areas (i.e. > 100 acres) of salt marsh and tidal channels (0911-1006 hrs.).  4) Seacoast Drive and shoreline levee, Imperial Beach (SCD): I walked from the end of Seacoast Drive, southeast on the rocky levee overlooking the tidal channel, salt marsh, shore and offshore waters, returning the same route. This part of the TRNWR was directly beneath the helicopter fly-zone and experienced continuous low-flying aircraft traffic during my survey; several people with dogs (leashed and unleashed) flushed shorebirds as they walked the beach. Birdlife appeared absent in the TRNWR fly-zone marsh area and scarce along the shore (1007-1032 hrs.).


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Yellow-crowned Night Heron (1) and Leas Bell's Vireo (10).






Gadwall   2 (f) DMP.

Mallard  8  (f) DMP.

Pied-billed Grebe  12  DMP.

Western Grebe  1  nearshore waters, SCD.

Brandt's Cormorant  2  flying low offshore, SCD.

Double-crested Cormorant    2  DMP;  5  flying, SCD.

Brown Pelican  3  flying low near shore, SCD.

Great Egret  1 DMP;  3 in marsh, TRNWR.

Snowy Egret  1  DMP;  10 together, nw marsh, TRNWR.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron 1 (ad) edge of tidal channel near visitor's center, TRNWR (photo).



Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) TRNWR, SDCO CA 12 Aug. 2015

                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Turkey Vulture   6 circling above ranches, BB;  1 flying low, TRNWR.

Northern Harrier   2  (f)  flying low over e and nw section of marsh, TRNWR.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2   fly, call, DMP.

Ridgway's Rail   4  vocal; active at edge of slough, s McCoy trail, TRNWR.

American Coot  16  DMP.

Willet  4 edge of slough, TRNWR.

Marbled Godwit   4 on shore; flushed by dogs, SCD.

Ring-billed Gull  1 (ad) flying over shore, SCD.

Western Gull   20 (ad, C1) DMP.  20 TRNWR, SCD.

Caspian Tern  2  flying offshore, SCD.

Elegant Tern   40  diving in a loose flock offshore, SCD.

Feral Rock Pigeon   30  flying over adjacent suburbs, TRNWR.

Mourning Dove   5   DMP.

Common Ground Dove   2  vocal; foraging on ground in garden, BB.

Anna's Hummingbird  10  DMP.  4 TRNWR.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  vocal, DMP.

Downy Woodpecker   1  DMP.

Black Phoebe  20  ubiquitous.

Cassin's Kingbird  5  DMP; 2  TRNWR.

Least Bell's Vireo   10  vocal, active in riparian patches throughout, DMP (photo).



Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) Dairy Mart Pond, SDCO CA  12 Aug 2015


                                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Western Scrub-Jay  2 (unseen)    calls from adjacent suburbs, TRNWR.

American Crow  3  flying over adjacent suburbs, TRNWR.

Common Raven   1  flying, DMP.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  DMP;  2  TRNWR.

Barn Swallow  1  flying low over slough, TRNWR.

Bushtit   30  DMP;  10  visitor center garden, TRNWR.

Bewick's Wren  1  DMP.

House Wren  1  BB.

Wrentit   2  vocal (unseen) DMP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5  DMP;  2 BB.

Yellow Warbler  2 vocal, DMP.

Common Yellowthroat  1  DMP;  1 TRNWR.

Wilson's Warbler  5  vocal, DMP.

California Towhee   1 DMP; 2 visitor's center garden, TRNWR.

Lark Sparrow  1 flushed from trailside, TRNWR.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow    10  calls; active in marsh along sloughs and trail, TRNWR.

Song Sparrow  30  vocal, gregarious, DMP; 2  TRNWR.

House Finch   40  DMP; 2 BB;  2 TRNWR.

House Sparrow   calls, flying around corrals, Hollister Rd, BB.













AUGUST 10, 2015  San Elijo Lagoon (52 Species)


Weather: Overcast with a marine layer most of the morning; 67F; Tide medium-low; surf 1-3 ft.

Time: 0618-1042 hrs.

Observers: Steve Brad and I (NWSEL: 0835-1042 hrs); myself at other locations.

Areas Covered:  1) Cardiff State Beach (CSB): I walked the western and eastern shorelines from the State Beach parking lot and SCH roadside, respectively. Two other individuals, presumably participating in the monthly San Elijo Lagoon bird count, were birding the same area independently. Shorebirds were frequently flushed by people with dogs (leashed and unleashed), rendering accurate counts of individual species difficult to obtain (photo). NOTE: Migratory birds are often living at the limits of starvation; frequent disturbances by dogs (evidently perceived by birds as natural predators, leashed or not) are doubtless causing significant and unnecessary adverse impacts on shorebirds (0618-0733 hrs.).



A leashed dog flushing a mixed species flock of shorebirds: Cardiff State Beach, SDCO CA  10 August 2015

                                                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke



2) Southeast San Elijo Lagoon at Rios Ave (SEL): I walked the cliff-side trail from the culdesac at Rios Ave to the southeastern edge of the marsh and back. Several other birders from the SEL monthly count were present (0750--0817 hrs.) 3) Northwest SEL visitor center trails and boardwalk (VC or NWSEL): Steve Brad and I birded the riparian-coastal sage-tidal marsh area, which was part of Steve's section for the monthly SEL bird count. A few non-birders (some with dogs) were present during our survey (0833-1042 hrs.).  4) East San Elijo Lagoon trail at El Camino Real (ESEL): I walked from the signed roadside trailhead,, about 0.2 miles south through mixed riparian-coastal sage-dry marsh habitats. Birdlife was relatively scarce; no new species were added to the day list (1102-1130 hrs.).


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Ridgway's Rail (4), Black Turnstone (1), Whimbrel (20), Dowitcher sp. (10), Caspian Tern (1) and Yellow-throated Vireo (1).






Mallard  2  swimming in channel, NWSEL.

Double-crested Cormorant   5   on utility line and channel shore, VC.

Brown Pelican    4   flying low offshore, CSB.

Great Egret   1  in marsh SEL.

Snowy Egret  1 outflow shore, CSB; 1 at edge of channel  NWSEL.

Ridgway's Rail  4 (conserv. est.)  repeatedly vocal in the marsh (unseen); two separate individuals walking on the mudflats next to the marsh, SEL, NWSEL.

Snowy Plover   30 (none banded) well concealed amongst piles of kelp 20 ft. from the tide-line, CSB.

Semipalmated Plover   5 foraging well above the tide-line, CSB.

Willet  10  on shore; frequently flushed by dogs, CSB;  2  mudflats, SWSEL.

Whimbrel  20  foraging in loose flocks at and away from the tide-line; frequently flushed by dogs, CSB.

Marbled Godwit  6  foraging in loose flocks mostly at the tide-line; frequently flushed by dogs, CSB;  2 in marsh, SWSEL.

Black Turnstone  1 foraging above the tide-line amongst piles of kelp, CSB.

Sanderling  38  small flocks foraging at the tide line; frequently flushed by dogs, CSB.

Least Sandpiper  5  foraging above the tide-line, CSB.

Dunlin  1 ?  a relatively large Calidris-type sandpiper on shore; too distant for a pos. ID, CSB.

Dowitcher sp.(probably SBDO)   10  foraging at the tide-line until flushed by dogs, CSB.

Heermann's Gull 14 (ad, imm) small flocks on shore, CSB.

Ring-billed Gull  5 (ad, imm) on shore, CSB.

Western Gull   19  (ad, juv., C1, C2)  on shore and parking lot, CSB.

California Gull   7  (ad,  juv., C1, C2) on shore with other gulls, CSB.

Caspian Tern  1  fly, calls, central marsh, SEL.

Feral Rock Pigeon  12  on shore and in parking lot, CSB.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2 adjacent suburbs, SEL;  1 calls, SWSEL.

Mourning Dove   4  flying over riparian area, SEL; 2  SWSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird   3  SEL;  8  SWSEL.

Allen's Hummingbird  1   fly, call, SWSEL.

Belted Kingfisher  1 fly, call, SWSEL.

Nuttall's Woodpecker   1 calls, SWSEL.

Downy Woodpecker   1 (f) riparian patch on trail, SWSEL.

Black Phoebe   10 vocal, ubiquitous.

Cassin's Kingbird   2  vocal, riparian edge; perched on snags, SEL, SWSEL.


Yellow-throated Vireo  1 (ad) -  initially discovered near the northwest riparian trail of SWSEL by Steve Brad, based on its vocalizations that vaguely resembled those of a Solitary Vireo.  Steve began playing a recording of a Solitary Vireo - type song which failed to bring the bird into view. After a few minutes of scanning the canopies of tall cottonwoods, we spotted an unidentified passerine (initially thought to be an unusual warbler) moving quickly in the dense foliage of a tall cottonwood, staying at or above about 20 feet from the ground. Due to harsh lighting, our views of the bird, together with several unclear photos, left us inconclusive as to its specific identity. The bird quickly disappeared for the remainder of our survey. The same Solitary Vireo-like song was occasionally heard in the distance.


Features of the unfamiliar bird that I noted included a yellowish throat and breast with predominantly whitish underparts. My digital images showed the bird's bill to be relatively large with a terminal hook on the maxilla, as viewed from below. Later that day, this bird was refound by Robert Patton and Steve Brad, who e-mailed to me definitive images of a Yellow-throated Vireo from this area. When compared with my initial images on 10 August, 2015 (0840-0845 hrs.) the identity of this rare eastern vagrant was confirmed (photos 1a and b).





(1a & b) Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons), same individual in both images, SWSEL, San Diego County CA  10 August 2015 


                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke





I revisited the SWSEL riparian trail area on Saturday morning, August 15, 2015 and photographed the now well-publicized and popular Yellow-throated Vireo, singing intermittently as it foraged busily in willow and cottonwood canopies, seldom less than 20 ft. above ground level (photos 2a & b).





             (2a & b) Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) same individual in both images, SWSEL, San Diego County CA  15 August 2015


                                                                 © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Hutton's Vireo  1  flew into the subcanopy of a mature cottonwood, SWSEL.

Western Scrub-Jay   1  calls, SWSEL.

American Crow   26  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2  flying low, back and forth over riparian-marsh edge, SWSEL.

Bushtit   10 vocal, gregarious, SWSEL.

Bewick's Wren  1 repeated calls, SWSEL.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1   distinctive nasal-sounding calls (unseen) coastal sage-riparian edge, SWSEL.

Wrentit  2  repeated song (unseen), chaparral hillside, SEL; 1 repeated song (unseen) SWSEL.

California Thrasher 1  repeated song from exposed perch on a tall shrub, SEL.

Orange-crowned Warbler 4  repeated song; foraging in canopy and subcanopy of willows and cottonwoods, SWSEL.

Common Yellowthroat   1  edge of marsh-riparian, SWSEL.

Wilson's Warbler  1 repeated song, canopy of cottonwoods, SWSEL.

California Towhee    2 wooden observation deck and adjacent coastal sage, SWSEL.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow 3  foraging amongst piles of dry kelp above the tide-line, CSB;4 edge of marsh, SEL, SWSEL.

Song Sparrow  10   vocal, sometimes in pairs; ubiquitous in moist coastal sage and riparian habitats.

Black-headed Grosbeak  2 (f) calls; canopy of willows and cottonwoods, SWSEL.

Red-winged Blackbird   2 flying over riparian patch, SWSEL.

House Finch  40  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch 2  repeated vocalizations (unseen) dense willows, SWSEL.

House Sparrow  5  adjacent homes and gardens on Rios Ave, SEL.
































AUGUST 9, 11 & 15, 2015 Encinitas: Moonlight Beach, Cottonwood Creek, San Diego Botanic Gardens (45 Species)



Weather:  Fair; 68F to 77F; wind WSW, ESE  2 - 5 mph. Low tide @ 1000 hrs. Seas calm AM, choppy PM. Surf 1-3 ft.

Time: 1500-1530 hrs. (9 Aug.); 0630-0830 hrs. (11 Aug.); 0830-0951 hrs. (15 Aug.).

Areas Covered:  1) Moonlight Beach (MB: 9 & 11 Aug.): I walked southeast on the shore about 0.1 mi and back, observing birds on and around the main beach and nearshore waters, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Increasing numbers of people arrived at the beach (some with dogs) by 0800 hrs. flushing most of the birds. At least 3,000 people were at the beach by 1200 hrs. every day this week. Casual observations were also made at dusk from the cliffs overlooking Swami's Marine Reserve (SWMR: 9-11, Aug.)  2) Cottonwood Creek Ecological Preserve (CC: 9 & 11 Aug.). Following my survey of MB, I surveyed the adjacent lower Cottonwood Creek Ecological Preserve (LCC) located at the southeast corner of B Street and South Coast HWY, then continuing north to the principal park at the northwest corner of Vulcan Ave and Encinitas Blvd. (Upper Cottonwood Creek Ecological Preserve (UCC). The latter area, in contrast with the unihabited,undisturbed LCC, hosted many people with dogs (mostly leashed), joggers, tennis players and homeless people. Despite an excellent urban restoration of riparian and coastal sage habitat, birdlife in both sections of CC was relatively scarce during both of my surveys. 3) San Diego Botanic Gardens (SDBG - formerly Quail Gardens: 15 Aug.). I arrived at the main gate at 0830 hrs. which was half-open with a CLOSED sign. Until the gardens officially opened at 0900 hrs., I walked the northern border on Quail Gardens St., partially surveying the edge of the fenced gardens and adjacent suburban gardens. At 0900 hrs. I drove up to the main kiosk, paid the entry fee (discounted for my electric vehicle) and walked the pathways through the gardens. Increasing numbers of people arrived within an hour of the opening time, resulting in a full parking area by the time I left at 0951 hrs; Most of the visitors appeared to attending a formal reception near the gift shop, leaving the remainder of the gardens undisturbed. Pond and running water features occurred in the rainforest garden and native chaparral-aboriginal display areas, respectively. Birdlife was relatively sparse; the majority of bird species were identified solely by their vocalizations.




Mallard  3  (f; imm) ad with young swimming in main pond, UCC.

Black-vented Shearwater  1 (9 Aug.)  seen flying low, well offshore, MB

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying low, MB, SWMR.

Brandt's Cormorant  1  flying low well offshore, SWMR.

Brown Pelican  10  individuals flying low offshore, MB, SWMR.

Snowy Egret  1  foraging in weedy drainage, LCC/MB.

Green Heron  2   on utility wire and edge of creek, LCC, UCC.



Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Lower Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA 11 Aug. 2015


                                                                                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) flying, LCC.

Red-shouldered Hawk   1 vocal; on utility line, LCC.

Willet  1  on shore, MB.

Whimbrel  2  individuals foraging about  100m apart on shore, MB.

Heermann's Gull   10 (ad, imm) gregarious on shore, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  3 (ad, C2) on shore, MB.

Western Gull   35  (ad, juv, C1-C3) on shore; flying; swimming offshore, MB, SWMR; flying over, UCC.

California Gull  5  (ad, juv., C2) on shore with other gulls, MB.

Elegant Tern  2  flying low, back and forth near shore, MB, SWMR.

Feral Rock Pigeon  30  ubiquitous in suburbs, MB, LCC, UCC.

Band-tailed Pigeon  2 flying together, low and fast, LCC.

Mourning Dove   4  pairs and individuals flying over suburbs and riparian areas, MB, LCC, UCC, SDBG.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4  vocal; ubiquitous, common in suburbs and edge of riparian areas.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  suburban gardens, MB; 2  vocal, SDBG.

Allen's Hummingbird   6 (m,f) vocal, active, SDBG.

Black Phoebe  10  vocal, ubiquitous.

Cassin's Kingbird  6  vocal, ubiquitous.

Western Scrub-Jay  4   vocal; UCC; SDBG.

American Crow   16 vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Raven  1  flying over, SDBG.

Oak Titmouse  vocal (unseen) SDBG.

Bushtit   30  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous in dense vegetation.

Bewick's Wren  1 vocal (unseen) SDBG.

House Wren  1  repeated calls (unseen) LCC.

Northern Mockingbird  2  vocal, SDBG.

European Starling   4  flying around suburbs; vocal, gregarious, LCC/MB.

Orange-crowned Warbler  6  vocal, ubiquitous; foraging in shrubs and trees.

Common Yellowthroat  4  vocal, active in wet vegetation, LCC, UCC.

Spotted Towhee 1 vocal (unseen) SDBG.

California Towhee  3  vocal,  UCC, SDBG.

Song Sparrow  10  vocal,  sometimes gregarious, ubiquitous.

White-crowned Sparrow  1 repeated calls (unseen) shrubs at edge of riparian patch, UCC.

Black-headed Grosbeak  2 (f)  vocal; tall trees throughout, SDBG.

Hooded Oriole  1 (f) foraging in canopy of exotic fruiting tree, SDBG.

House Finch   30 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  vocal, gregarious, tree-tops, SDBG.

House Sparrow  vocal, gregarious; suburbs, MB.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Nutmeg Mannikin)  5  in chaparral next to artificial stream, SDBG (photo).



Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) SDBG, San Diego County CA 15 Aug 2015


                                                                                                           © 2015 Callyn Yorke






























APRIL 9, 2015  San Elijo Lagoon (66 Species)



Weather: Fair; 55F to 62F; wind WSW 5 mph; low tide; surf 2-3 ft; surface calm.

Time: 0656-0920 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Cardiff State Beach adjacent to San Elijo Lagoon and estuary (CSB). I walked about 0.5 mi northwest from a SCH shoulder parking area (adjacent to a traffic light) between the state beach and restaurant parking lots. Several people with dogs (some unleashed) were on the beach during my survey. The most productive area for shorebirds was the estuary outlet at the northwest end of the beach. 2) Rios Avenue entrance to the southeast corner of San Elijo Lagoon (SESEL). I walked from the Rios Ave. street parking on the path to its terminus at the benches, returning the same route. Habitats surveyed included brackish and saltwater tidal marsh; ponds, sloughts, riparian-coastal sage margins and suburban gardens (Rios Ave.).. 3) The San Elijo Lagoon nature center and pathways (SWSEL).Habitats surveyes included coastal sage, pine woods, willow riparian, tidal marsh and roadside gardens of the adjacent water treatment facility. Two other birders and several people with dogs (all leashed) were present during the survey. Low tide exposed wide margins of slough mudflats, attracting several species of shorebird. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations.






Gadwall   4 (m,f) dabbling in tidal backwater pond, (2);  2  resting on mudflat island, (3).

American Wigeon   2  (m,f) swimming in main slough, (3).

Mallard    3 (m,f)   edge of main tidal channel, (3).

Blue-winged Teal   4  (m,f) pairs dabbling at edge of main tidal channel, (3).

Green-winged Teal  8 (m,f)  dabbling in backwater tidal pond, (2).

Pied-billed Grebe  2   swimming in main tidal channel (3).

Western Grebe  2 swimming together beyond surf, (1).

Double-crested Cormorant  1  flying low over surf zone, (1); swimming in main tidal channel, (3).

Brown Pelican  5  flying together, low beyond surf zone, (1).

Great Blue Heron  1  flying low over the marsh, (2).

Great Egret  1  flying low over marsh; 1 in tidal pond on w side of rr tracks, (1), (2).

Snowy Egret  3  foraging in shallows of tidal channel, (2), (3).

Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over se marsh, flushing shorebirds (3).

Ridgway's Rail  1  running on mudflats of main tidal channel (photo); swimming across channel, (3) - (photos).



                                             Ridgway's Rail (Rallus obsoletus) San Elijo Lagoon San Diego County CA  9 April 2015


                                                                                         © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Black-bellied Plover  1 (ad., m, alt. plmg.) foraging at edge of tidal outflow on beach, (1) (photo).



Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) male  Cardiff State Beach, San Diego County CA  9 April 2015

                                                                                                 © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Semipalmated Plover  2 (alt. and bsc. plmg.)  foraging on mudflats of main tidal channel, (3).

Black-necked Stilt  2   vocal;  foraging in shallows of backwater tidal pond; AMAV nearby, (2).

American Avocet  2 (alt. plmg.)  vocal; a pair foraging in shallows with nearby BNST, (2).

Spotted Sandpiper  1  flew to mudflats at edge of main tidal channel, (3).

Greater Yellowlegs ?  calls (unseen) at s end of marsh, (2).

Willet  5  foraging in salt marsh; flushed by NOHA, (2).

Whimbrel  1   walking in salt marsh with nearby Willet, (2).

Marbled Godwit  1  on mudflat of main tidal channel, (3).

Sanderling  30 (alt. and trans. plmg.) foraging together at edge of tidal outflow, (1).

Least Sandpiper   30 (alt. and trans. plmg.) foraging together on mudflats at edge of main tidal channel (3).

Long-billed Dowitcher (18) (alt. and bsc. plmg.) ID: relatively long bill, narrow at base; broad white edgings of scapulars and tertials; vocalized once - high pitched single notes repeated quickly 3-4 times; foraging together at edge of main channel, (3) (photo)..



Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) San Elijo Lagoon San Diego County CA  9 April 2015


                                                                                                 © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Heermann's Gull   1 (imm) on beach with CAGU and WEGU, (1).

Ring-billed Gull 1 (imm) flying low over tidal outlet, (1).

Western Gull   35  (ad, imm) widespread on and around the beach, outlet and offshore, (1).

California Gull   8 (ad, imm) in a loose flock on the beach next to a restaurant parking lot, (1).

Caspian Tern  2 (ad)   alighted on beach near ROTE, (1); 1 calls; flying over marsh, (2), and channel (3).

Forster's Tern  5 (alt. plmg.) vocal; interacting; flying together, alighting on shore near ROTE; diving outlet channel,(1-photo).



Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri) Cardiff State Beach San Diego County CA  9 April 2015


                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Royal Tern  5  (alt. plmg.) flying low offshore; alighting on beach,(1).

Feral Rock Pigeon  10  flying around restaurant and highway, (1).

Eurasian Collared Dove  5 vocal; on utility lines over gardens, (2).

Mourning Dove   5  vocal; in and around gardens, (2).

Anna's Hummingbird   6 (m,f)   vocal; foraging on flowering coral tree and in adjacent hillside chaparral (2);  2 vocal, riparian-chaparral, (3).

Allen's Hummingbird  3 (m,f) vocal;  male chasing ANHU from coral tree flowers, (2).

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  (m,f) vocal; foraging in deciduous trees, (3).

Black Phoebe   1  calls, garden, (1);  1 sallying from low shrubs, (3).

Say's Phoebe  1  repeated vocalizations in open marsh with posts, (2).

Cassin's Kingbird  1  on utility lines, Rios Ave, (2); calls, riparian patch, (3).

American Crow   20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2  flying back and forth, low over main tidal channel and coastal sage, (3).

Bushtit   5  vocal, gregarious; foraging in deciduous trees over drainage, (3).

Marsh Wren  3  repeated song (unseen) edge of saltmarsh and brackish tidal pond, (2).

Bewick's Wren  1 vocal, coastal sage around nature center, (3).

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  repeated calls from dense clump of sugarbush, (2).

Northern Mockingbird  2   in and around garden trees (e.g. flowering coral tree), (2).

European Starling  2  calls; restaurant parking lot, (1).

Orange-crowned Warbler   3  repeated song; foraging at variable heights in moist vegetation in riparian patch, (3)

Yellow Warbler  1 (m) foraging in mature willow-riparian patch, (3).

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3 (m,f) foraging at variable heights in several types of riparian vegetation, (3),

Common Yellowthroat  1  flushed from edge of chaparral and marsh, (2).

Wilson's Warbler  4  repeated song; foraging in subcanopy of willows and sycamores, (3).

Spotted Towhee  2  repeated calls (unseen) riparian patch, (3).

California Towhee  2  repeated calls; active in gardens, (2);  2  riparian patch (3).

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  3  foraging together at edge of pond in salt marsh, (2)  (photo).



Belding's Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) San Elijo Lagoon SDCO CA  9 April 2015


                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Song Sparrow  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous in moist vegetation.

Black-headed Grosbeak  3  repeated song from subcanopy of riparian patch, (3).

Red-winged Blackbird  3 (m) vocal; flying over riparian and marsh, (1), (3).

Great-tailed Grackle  2 (m) repeated calls, restaurant parking lot, (1).

Bullock's Oriole  2  in flowering coral tree, (2); repeated vocalizations in riparian patch, (3).

House Finch  20  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   2 (m,f) foraging on flowering herbs and shrubs, trailside, (2); vocalizations, riparian patch, (3).

House Sparrow  8  in and around gardens and tile-roofs, (2).


















APRIL 8, 2015  Balboa Park, San Diego (27 Species)



                                      Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) Balboa Park San Diego CA  8 April 2015


                                                                                                       © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Partly cloudy, mostly sunny; 65F; wind WSW  2- 5 mph.

Time: 1023-1239 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I

Area Covered: We walked pathways throughout the eastern half of the park around museum buildings and gardens. Hundreds of visitors arrived in the park between 1030 and 1130 hrs. Incoming commercial airliners created frequent loud noise in the park; conditions were poor to fair for identifying bird vocalizations.




Mallard  8  (m,f) in ponds and fountains.

Gull sp. (CAGU or WEGU) seen briefly circling the Science Museum and fountain.

Feral Rock Pigeon  8  flying around the park.

Mourning Dove   6  vocal; gregarious on east slope next to cactus garden.

Parrot sp.  vocalized briefly (unseen) in tall eucalyptus next to the Science Museum.

Anna's Hummingbird  10  (m,f) vocal, gregarious in and around flowering exotic vegetation.

Black Phoebe  2  sallying to lawns.

Cassin's Kingbird  1  vocal; in tall trees adjacent to Japanese Friendship garden.

American Crow  8  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  4  flying back and forth over artificial streambed area adjacent to Japanese Friendship garden.

Bushtit  5  vocal, gregarious; foraging in shrubs in understory of eucalyptus woodland.

Bewick's Wren  4  repeated song; brushy edges of parking lot around Science Museum and adjacent area.

House Wren  1 repeated scold calls from cactus garden, e.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  calls; foraging in outer subcanopy of an oak in the garden of the International houses.

Northern Mockingbird  1 repeated song, e.

European Starling   2 vocal, flying over park.

Cedar Waxwing  20  vocal, gregarious; in eucalyptus and other tall trees around Science Museum.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1 repeated song in eucalyptus behind the Science Museum.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  2  calls; foraging in eucalyptus.

Wilson's Warbler  1  repeated song from riparian patch in ravine behind the Science Museum.

California Towhee  4  repeated calls from dense cover in ravines behind the Science Museum.

Song Sparrow   8  vocal, ubiquitous.

Brown-headed Cowbird  1  fly, calls; tall trees next to Natural History Museum.

Hooded Oriole  2  (m,f) vocal; active in tall trees; a  male stripping fibers from tall yucca in cactus garden, e (photo).

House Finch  15 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   8  (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow   25 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.











APRIL 8, 2015  La Jolla (29 Species)



Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) La Jolla, San Diego County CA  8 April 2015

                                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Weather: Partly cloudy; wind WSW 5 - 7 mph; surf 2-3 ft; seas choppy; low tide.

Time: 0744-0934 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We walked from the Cave Restaurant parking lot, along the cliffside pathway overlooking La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Point and continuing through Scripps Park to Coast Blvd. at Cuvier Park; returning the same route. Low tide exposed beach and tidepools; dozens of people were in the latter area in addition the area around Scripps Park. Two other birders with a scope and camera attached to tripods, were observing offshore birds from the bridge club lawn. However, steady onshore winds produced relatively few seabirds to be seen and/or identified from land. The cliffs surrounding La Jolla Cove had hundreds of cormorants (dominated by immature Brandt's Cormorant) with relatively low numbers of Western Gull and Brown Pelican. No active nests were found on these cliffs. Several groups of California Sea Lion (adults and young) were hauled out on the rocks; a few (including yearlings) had climbed to within arm's reach of the paved path and fence at the west entrance to Scripps Park.




Brandt's Cormorant  350 (90% imm) on cliffs and rocks; long lines flying low out to sea at 0900 hrs. No active nests seen on cliff ledges. Many birds preening and/or resting.

Double-crested Cormorant  20  (ad, imm) on lower boulders beneath cliffs.

Pelagic Cormorant  1 (imm; probably in prebasic and partial prealternate molt)  alone; preening with wings outstretched on boulder (photo).



Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax  pelagicus)  La Jolla, San Diego County CA  8 April 2015

                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Brown Pelican  120 (imm; ad. alt plmg.) on cliff ledges and boulders with cormorants.

Snowy Egret  1 (ad) probing around a colony of Brandt's Cormorant on cliff ledges (photo).



Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) La Jolla San Diego County CA  8 April 2015

                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Spotted Sandpiper  1  on rocks above tide line.

Willet  2 (alt. and trans. plmg.)  foraging in tidepools.

Surfbird  1 (trans. alt. plmg.)   foraging in tidepools and large rocks.

Whimbrel  1   foraging in tidepools.

Black Turnstone  3 (alt. plmg.)  foraging on shore, tidepools and rocky outcrops (photo)



Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) La Jolla San Diego County CA 8 April 2015

                                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Heermann's Gull   30 (ad, imm) on shore and rocks,

California Gull   12 (ad, imm) on shore and rocks.

Western Gull  150  (ad, imm) ubiquitous; one C1 individual feeding on young sea lion carcass (photo). Another immature WEGU awakening an adult female sea lion on a ledge, by pecking at.



Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) with young California Sea Lion carcass  La Jolla SDCO CA 8 April 2015


                                                                                                      © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Caspian Tern  2  flying about 80 ft. agl offshore.

Royal Tern   2  flying low; diving offshore.

Feral Rock Pigeon   20 flying around buildings; on the park lawn.

Mourning Dove   1  calls; flying over park.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  (m)  perched on emergent shrubs on edge of cliff (photo) and in park.



Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) La Jolla San Diego County CA  8 April 2015

                                                                                © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Black Phoebe  2  sallying to lawn from trees in park.

American Crow   6  flying around park.

Common Raven  4   2 pair circling downtown area with WEGU.

Northern Mockingbird  1  repeated song in park.

European Starling  2 calls from adjacent buildings and palms.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  1 (m)   in trimmed trees next to bridge club.

Wilson's Warbler  1  repeated song; trees around bridge club.

Song Sparrow    3  vocal, active in gardens.

House Finch   5 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  calls; in trimmed trees next to bridge club.

House Sparrow   15  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.














APRIL 7, 2015  Batiquitos Lagoon, Lagoon Lane and Adjacent Suburbs, Carlsbad (41 Species)



Northwest entrance of Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad, San Diego County CA  7 April 2015

                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Clearing from partly cloudy to fair; 65F; wind WSW 2 mph. Low tide.

Time: 0820-0930 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Lagoon Lane (LL: 0820-0835 hrs.) habitat preserve near the intersection of Batiquitos Rd. and Buttercup. I surveyed the edge of the small willow-riparian-chaparral ravine and adjacent suburban gardens and trees, searching unsuccessfully for a Baltimore Oriole, reported from this location yesterday morning (San Diego County Yahoo list server)  2) Batiquitos Lagoon (BL: 0844-0930 hrs.). I began a walking survey at the Gabbiano Lane entrance (photo) at the northwest corner of the Batiquitos Ecological Preserve. covered about 0.75 miles eastward on the main trail, stopping frequently to scan the lagoon and mudflats. The trail was heavily used by joggers, cell-phone junkies and dog-walkers; two birders with a spotting scope were near the visitor center. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations at both of the aforementioned locations. Extensive mudflats at BL attracted several flocks of Semipalmated Plover.







American Wigeon 30 (m,f) loose flocks dabbling in open water throughout the lagoon, BL.

Mallard (m,f)   1 flying over suburbs, LL;  4  edge of the lagoon, BL.

Ruddy Duck    40  resting in open water throughout, BL.

Pied-bille Grebe   1 edge of lagoon, BL.

Western Grebe  4 individuals in open water throughout the lagoon, BL.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  diving near shore, BL.

American Coot   80  gregarious, ubiquitous in the lagoon, BL.

Black-bellied Plover  1 (trans. alt. plmg). on outer mudflat with SPPL, BL.

Semipalmated Plover   50 (conserv. est.)  scattered flocks (foraging and resting) on the exposed north mudflats, BL..

Willet  12  (trans, and alt. plmg.) foraging on mudflats, BL.

Whimbrel  1  on mudflat, BL.

Marbled Godwit   5  foraging in a loose flock on mudflats, BL.

Least Sandpiper  20  foraging in a loose flock on mudflats, BL.

Caspian Tern  1  (alt. plmg.) flying low, back and forth over the lagoon, BL.

Forster's Tern    6 (alt. plmg.) vocal, gregarious; resting in shallows on outer mudflat; diving in open water.of the lagoon, BL.

Western Gull   3  flying; resting on mudflats, BL.

Feral Rock Pigeon   4  flying around suburbs, BL, LL.

Mourning Dove  2  flying over chaparral-riparian and suburbs, BL.

Black Phoebe  1  sallying to lawn from low branches and decorative border walls, LL.

Cassin's Kiingbird  2  repeated vocalizations, LL;  2  a pair vocalizing and flying to tall eucalyptus, BL.

American Crow   10 vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Common Raven  1  flew to high branch on eucalyptus, LL.

Bushtit   8  vocal, gregarious; foraging in a variety of trees and shrubs, LL;  4 chaparral, BL.

House Wren  2  repeated song, chaparral-eucalyptus woodland edge, BL.

Wrentit  1  repeated song,from Lagoon Lane riparian-chaparral patch, LL;  2 repeated song - chaparral-marsh edge, BL.

Western Bluebird  2 (m,f) sallying to lawn under mature ornamental deciduous tree, LL.

Northern Mockingbird  1  repeated song, LL; 2  repeated song, eucalyptus-chaparral edge, BL.

European Starling  3  flying, LL.

Orange-crowned Warbler  song (unseen) entrance of BL.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3  (m,f) foraging in mature plantains, LL.

Common Yellowthroat  5  repeated calls and song from moist vegetation, trailside, BL.

Spotted Towhee  2  repeated calls (unseen) chaparral-eucalyptus edge, BL.

California Towhee  calls (unseen) Lagoon Lane;  2  calls, trailside chaparral, BL.

Savannah Sparrow  2 calls; salt marsh edge, BL.

Song Sparrow  2  repeated song, LL; 10 vocal, ubiquitous.

Red-winged Blackbird  1  repeated song, marsh near entrance, BL.

Brown-headed Cowbird 1 (m) fly, calls, entrance, BL.

Hooded Oriole  2  (m,f) vocal; flew into tall palm, LL.

House Finch  15  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2 (m,f) vocal; pair active in willows, Lagoon Lane; 2 vocal in trees at edge of suburbs, BL.

House Sparrow  3  suburbs, BL.
















APRIL 7, 2015  San Luis Rey River Mouth, Shore, Breakwaters and Harbor, Oceanside (38 Species)



Weather: Partly cloudy; 55F; wind WSW 2 mph. Surf 2-3 ft; seas choppy; low tide.

Time: 0627-0753 hrs.

Area Covered: Mouth of the San Luis Rey river (SLR) -- blocked  from the ocean by a sandbar with a fenced Snowy Plover enclosure --  adjacent shore, breakwaters and harbor. I walked a clockwise route beginning at the SLR river mouth. A pipe construction project, using heavy machinery, was underway on the beach. A man with a noisy leafblower was attempting to clear sand from the walkways next to the beach. Conditions were poor for identifying bird vocalizations.





Mallard   6 (m,f) around the edges of the marsh, SLR.

Ruddy Duck  20  resting in open water, SLR.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, SLR.

Western Grebe  5  open water channel inside breakwaters and harbor.

Brandt's Cormorant  80  resting on outer breakwater.

Double-crested Cormorant   20 on and around inside breakwaters; diving in harbor.

Brown Pelican   20 (many imm. and a few adults) resting on outer breakwater; on docks and boats in harbor.

Great Blue Heron  2 inner breakwater and docks.

Snowy Egret   5  inner breakwater and docks.

Peregrine Falcon  1  flying ne over estuary and harbor.

American Coot  20  foraging and resting around edges of estuary, SLR.

Killdeer  calls (unseen) shoreline of estuary, SLR.

Black-necked Stilt  14  foraging in shallows, SLR.

Spotted Sandpiper  1  flying low over estuary, SLR.

Willet  4 (alt. and trans. plmg.) foraging on outer shore.

Whimbrel  1  foraging on outer shore.

Marbled Godwit  10  together, feeding like dowitchers in shallows of the estuary, SLR.

Bonaparte's Gull  1 (ad. trans. alt plmg.) swimming near marsh, SLR.

Heermann's Gull    12 (ad, imm) on shore and outer breakwater.

Ring-billed Gull   10 (ad, imm)  on shore; flying over estuary, SLR.

California Gull    40 (ad, imm) together in estuary and outer shore.

Western Gull  80 (ad, imm)  ubiquitous; taking food from someone tossing pieces of bread on the beach to a mixed flock of gulls.

Royal Tern  4  resting on the shore (photo).



Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) Oceanside beach, San Diego County CA  7 April 2015

                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Feral Rock Pigeon  6  flying around harbor.

Mourning Dove  1  on fence in adjacent condo yard.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m) visiting flowering potted plants in harbor.

Black Phoebe  1 sallying from breakwater to shore.

American Crow  10  gregarious, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  8 pairs flying low, back and forth over estuary, SLR.

Barn Swallow  6   individuals flying low around the marsh, SLR and over the beach.

European Starling  3  flying over harbor.

Common Yellowthroat  6  repeated song, marsha and weedy vegetation at edge of estuary, SLR.

Savannah Sparrow  1 flushed from weedy margin of estuary, SLR.

Song Sparrow  2  repeated song, edge of marsh, SLR.

Red-winged Blackbird  10  vocal in and around marsh, SLR.

Great-tailed Grackle  2 (m,f) vocal; flying between harbor and marsh, SLR.

House Finch  5 (m,f) vocal,  gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow  12 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, harbor.











APRIL 6, 2015  Moonlight Beach and Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas (38 Species)




                                     Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Moonlight Beach Encinitas San Diego County CA  6 April 2015


                                                                                                                   © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Fair; wind WSW 5 -7 mph. Low Tide @ 1500 hrs. Surf 1-2 ft.; seas choppy.

Time: 0658-0845 hrs. (MB, CC); 1150-1245 hrs. (SW); 1844 - 1930 hrs. (MB).

Observers:  AM: C. Yorke ( MB, CC); PM: Merissa Mendez and I (SW; MB)

Areas Covered1) Lower Cottonwood Creek (LCC) and adjacent Moonlight Beach (MB); Upper Cottonwood Creek (UCC - 0658-0845 hrs.)  2) Swami's cliff overlooking the shoreline (SW - 1200-1230 hrs.)  3) Moonlight Beach at sunset (MBS: 1844-1930 hrs.).





Brown Pelican 8 gliding on deflection air currents over cliffs, MB, SW, MBS.

Double-crested Cormorant   3   individuals flying low,southeast, MB, MBS.

Great Blue Heron  1  flying e over park, UCC.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) on upper branch (about 50 ft. agl) of eucalyptus, UCC.

Willet  1 foraging at tideline, MB;  3   foraging together at low tide, MBS.

Whimbrel  1  foraging alone at the tideline, MBS.

Marbled Godwit  1  foraging at the tideline, MB.

Sanderling  4  foraging together at the tideline, SW.

Heermann's Gull   7 (1 ad; 6 imm)  together on shore, MB; MBS.

Ring-billed Gull   2  (ad) on shore, MB; MBS.

Western Gull   40  (ad, imm) on beach foraging in garbage; on and offshore, MB, MBS; on buildings, UCC.

California Gull   25  on beach and outer shore, MB; MBS.

Feral Rock Pigeon   15 MB, LCC.

Eurasian Collared Dove   2  LCC.

Mourning Dove   5   LCC, UCC.

Anna's Hummingbird   5  (m)  vocal;  display flights on hillside, LCC, UCC.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m) hillside sugarbush, UCC.

Black Phoebe  4   low perches, LCC, UCC.

Cassin's Kingbird   5  vocal, gregarious, UCC.

Western Scrub-Jay  1  in dead eucalyptus, UCC.

American Crow  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Bushtit    2  LCC;   5  UCC.

Bewick's Wren  2  repeated song, hillside chaparral, UCC.

House Wren  2  repeated song, LCC, UCC.

Western Bluebird  2 (m,f) a pair sallying from low sycamore to lawn, UCC.

Northern Mockingbird   2   repeated vocalizations, LCC/MB; UCC

California Thrasher  1  repeated song from a tall hillside shrub, UCC (photo).



California Thrasher (Toxostoma redivivum) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas CA  6 April  2015


                                                                                                                               © 2015 Callyn Yorke






European Starling  2  UCC.

Orange-crowned Warbler   2  vocal, active in a variety of shrubs and trees, UCC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   5  (m,f) foraging in eucalyptus and sycamores, UCC.

Common Yellowthroat   6 (m,f)  vocal; marsh and riparian edge, LCC, UCC.

California Towhee   2  repeated calls, LCC, UCC.

Song Sparrow   12  vocal, gregarious, LCC, UCC.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  edge of riparian patch, UCC (photo).



Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) Upper Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas SDCO CA  6 April 2015


                                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke




White-crowned Sparrow   5  active on ground and in willows, LCC.

Lesser Goldfinch  2   (m,f)  foraging on willow catkins, UCC.

House Finch   20  (m,f)  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow   8  active in gardens adjacent to LCC.


















APRIL 5, 2015  Dairy Mart Pond, Bird and Butterfly Garden, Tijuana River National Wildlife Refuge (71 Species)



Weather: Partly cloudy; 63F to 65F; wind SW  5 -12 mph. Surf 2 -3 ft. seas choppy. High tide.

Time: 0813-1230  hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Dairy Mart Pond (DMP). I walked on the main path on the west side of the pond, including the boardwalk path out to about 150 yards west. At least thirty other birders were present, most observing and photographing an immature Mississippi Kite found here two days ago by Guy McCaskie. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations in the heavy riparian patch bordering the pond (0813-0910  hrs.).  2) Continuing west on Monument Rd., we turned north onto Hollister Rd. leading to the Bird and Butterfly Garden entrance (BBG). We walked on the paths through the garden and a short way on the horse trail on the western edge. Several other birders were present during our survey (0928-1018 hrs.).  3) We drove from BBG, through Imperial Beach to the visitor center of the Tijuana River Estuary National Wildlife Refuge (TRE). I walked the trails around the visitor center, including the southbound McCoy trail to its terminus (1030-1120 hrs.). Our last stop for the day was the south end of Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach (SCD). I walked about 0.75 miles south on the levee to the Snowy Plover enclosure (photo), surveying birds in the adjacent TRE, shore and nearshore waters. A few pedestrians with leashed dogs were also using this path during my survey. One unleashed dog was chasing thrown sticks at the extreme south end of the levee adjacent to the river mouth. Steady onshore winds made observations somewhat challenging (1130-1230 hrs.).


                                              Snowy Plover enclosure at south end of Seacoast Drive levee, Imperial Beach, CA


                                                                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Mississippi Kite (1), Least Bell's Vireo  (6), Hutton's Vireo (1), and Yellow-breasted Chat (1).





Gadwall   3  (m,f) swimming near the marsh, DMP.

Mallard  6 (m,f)  swimming in open water, DMP.

Northern Shoveler  50  (m,f)  dabbling around the edges of the pond, DMP.

Northern Pintail  1 (f)  swimming in slough, TRE.

Lesser Scaup  1 (f) edge of pond, DMP;; 2 (m,f) diving in slough, SCD.

Surf Scoter  3  (m,f)  diving in the main slough, SCD.

Bufflehead  2 (m,f)  swimming near the marsh, DMP;  2 (m,f) diving in slough, SCD.

Ruddy Duck  18 (m,f) diving throughout the pond, DMP.

Pied-billed Grebe   3  vocal; edges of pond, DMP.

Eared Grebe  1 (alt. plmg.) diving in main slough, SCD.

Western Grebe  1 swimming in slough, TRE;  4  offshore, SCD.

Double-crested Cormorant  12  resting on snags; flying around pond, DMP;  5  flying near shore, SCD.

Brown Pelican   10 flying low near shore; resting on sand peninsula, SCD.

Great Blue Heron  1  edge of slough, SCD.

Great Egret  1 in open field, BBG;  3  in marsh, TRE.

Snowy Egret   10  in marsh and edge of slough, TRE, SCD.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2 (ad, imm) flying over pond, DMP.

White-tailed Kite  1 (ad) flying over open field w of pond, DMP.


Mississippi Kite  1 (imm) perched, preening and stretching wings and tail feathers in dead tree at sw edge of pond; a rare vagrant species in California, intially found here and identified by Guy McCaskie two days earlier (photo).



Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) Dairy Mart Pond Tijuana River Valley, SDCO CA  4 April 2015


                                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over an open field, Monument Rd.

Red-shouldered Hawk 1  (ad) on large stick nest at edge of riparian woodland and open field, BBG.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  circling high (150 ft. agl) above open meadow, Monument and Hollister Rd.

Rail sp. 1-2 (unseen) VIRA or RIRA -type high- pitched chatter, edge of slough, McCoy Trail, TRE.

American Coot   10  DMP.

Willet   30  vocal, gregarious; one in alt. plmg. salt marsh, TRE, SCD.

Whimbrel   7  flying together, low over shore, SCD.

Long-billed Curlew  1  flew and landed in marsh at edge of slougn, SCD.

Sanderling  5  foraging together at the tide line, SCD.

Bonaparte's Gull 1 (unseen by me); seen briefly in flight by two other birders standing near me at DMP.

Ring-billed Gull 1 (ad) DMP;  1 on inner sandy beach, SCD.

Western Gull   15  (ad, imm) DMP;  15  flying over shore and marsh, TRE, SCD..

California Gull   6 (ad, imm) DMP.

Caspian Tern  1  vocal; flying over marsh, TRE;  1  flying over shore, SCD.

Forster's Tern  1 (alt. plmg.) flying low over marsh, TRE.

Royal Tern   16  several small flocks flying upwind over the shore, SCD.

Elegant Tern  1  with ROTE flock, over outer shore, SCD.

Feral Rock Pigeon   10  flying over corrals, Hollister Rd.;  5  over apt. buildings, IMP Beach, TRE.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1 on utility line, Monument Rd.

Mourning Dove    2  in tall, leafless trees at edge of pond, DMP;  2 BBG.

Anna's Hummingbird   4  DMP;  2 BBG.

Selasphorus sp. Allen's/Rufous Hummingbird  1 (m) showing significant amounts of green feathering on back; visiting tree tobacco flowers and other shrubs at edge of pond (photo).



Selasphorus sp. Dairy Mart Pond San Diego County CA  4 April 2015

                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Pacific Slope Flycatcher   1 ( vocalized twice) middle level of mature tamarisk, BBG.

Black Phoebe   1  calls; corrals, Monument and Hollister Rd.

Say's Phoebe  1  sallying from low fence posts along McCoy trail, TRE.

Least Bell's Vireo  6  repeated song from exposed and partially concealed willow perches, DMP;  2  song (unseen) BBG.

Hutton's Vireo  1  repeated calls; active in middle and upper levels of tamarisk grove along creek, BBG.

American Crow 3 DMP;  6 edge of suburbs, TRE;  3  SCD.

Common Raven  1 flying over open area, Monument Rd.

Tree Swallow  2  DMP;   5  high over riparian patch, Monument Rd.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  6   vocal; pairs flying low over open fields and edge of riparian patches, BBG.

Cliff Swallow  2 over open areas, w of pond, DMP.

Bushtit    2  dense riparian patch, DMP.

House Wren  1  repeated song, tamarisk grove, BBG.

Marsh Wren   3  repeated song; active in marsh, w side of pond, DMP.

Wrentit   1 repeated song (unseen) shrubland w of pond, DMP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  utility line, Hollister Rd.

European Starling  2  utility lines, Hollister Rd.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3  repeated song, calls in riparian patch adjacent to pond, DMP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  2 (m - alt. plmg.)   BBG.

Common Yellowthroat  4  repeated song at edge of marsh-riparian, DMP; 2  BBG;  2 TRE.

Wilson's Warbler  4  repeated song in riparian patches, DMP;  2  BBG.

Yellow-breasted Chat  1 (unseen)   repeated vocalizations in dense riparian-chaparral at edge of tamarisks, BBG.

California Towhee   2  (one with nest material) visitor's center garden, TRE.

Savannah Sparrow  2  calls; edge of marsh-trail, TRE.

Song Sparrow   30 vocal, ubiquitous in moist vegetation.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  low in dense shrubs at edge of tamarisks, BBG.

White-crowned Sparrow  5 on ground at edge of garden and coastal sage scrub, TRE.

Black-headed Grosbeak  2  repeated song (unseen) DMP.

Bullock's Oriole  2  repeated song, Hollister and Monument Rd.

House Finch   50  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow  10  corrals, Hollister Rd.