© Callyn Yorke

                                      SAN DIEGO COUNTY


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




                                                              Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) Encinitas, SDCO CA  Jan 5 2014


                                                                                                                                   © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Links to Previous Bird Surveys of San Diego County


Spring 2013              

December 2009 - January 2012



2014 Bird Surveys Index

Encinitas, December 15 & 19  2014

La Jolla, December 18 2014

Oceanside, December 17 2014

San Elijo Lagoon, December 16 2014

Oceanside, July 30 2014

San Elijo Lagoon, July 29 2014

Encinitas, July 27-31,  2014

La Jolla, April 1 2014

Oceanside, March 31, 2014

Famosa Slough, March 31 2014

Tijuana River Valley, March 30 2014

San Elijo Lagoon, March 29 & 31, 2014

Balboa Park, March 28, 2014

Encinitas, March 26 - April 3, 2014

Encinitas, January 2-11, 2014

San Elijo Lagoon, January 3 & 5, 2014

Tijuana River Valley, January 6, 2014

Oceanside, January 7, 2014

Batiquitos Lagoon, January 8, 2014

La Jolla, January 9, 2014


Encinitas: Cottonwood Creek and San Diego Botanical Garden, December 15 & 19, 2014 (46 Species)

Weather:  (12/15) Partly cloudy; 50F; surf 4-6 ft. seas rough; wind ENE  5-15 mph; persistent high tides; (12/19) Fair; 55 f to 60F; winds and seas calm; surf 3-4 ft. Heavy intermittent showers from Pacific weather systems passing through the region during the past  10 days.

Time: (12/15): 0715-0930 hrs.; (12/19): 0850-1035 hrs.

Areas Covered:   (12/15): 1) Moonlight Beach and adjacent gardens (MB); 2) Lower Cottonwood Creek (LCC); Upper Cottonwood Creek and trail paralleling I-5 (UCC).  3) (12/19): San Diego Botanical Gardens (formerly Quail Gardens). I met briefly with Sue Smith, a local birder independently surveying the SDBG this morning. The gardens were quiet until about 1000 hrs. when several groups of visitors arrived. Maintenance workers were also present during the garden survey; one using a noisy leaf-blower.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found during the surveys included, Varied Thrush (1 - SDBG) and Purple Finch (1 - SDBG).


Mallard  1  (f) on sandbar with gulls, MB.

Western Grebe   1  possibly an injured bird; resting near the LCC outflow pipe, MB.

Brown Pelican  10  flying offshore, MB.

Brandt's Cormorant    6  flying se, low offshore.

Great Egret  1   flying over LCC/MB.

Snowy Egret  1  foraging in creek, MB/ LCC.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) on edge of creek, MB/LCC.

Osprey  1  circling above surf zone, MB.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (ad) calls; flying, UCC.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) on utility pole, UCC.

American Kestrel  1 (m) on utility line, UCC.

Heermann's Gull   4 (ad, imm) on shore with other gulls, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  10 (ad) on shore and inner beach, MB.

Western Gull   20 (90% ad) ubiquitous, MB.

Royal Tern    8  together on beach with gulls, MB.

Domestic Rock Pigeon    30  flying around adjacent homes and gardens, MB.

Mourning Dove    25  ubiaquitous.

Anna's Hummingbird    1  UCC;  1  SDBG.

Allen's Hummingbird    1  UCC;  4  SDBG.

Belted Kingfisher  1  backwater pond, UCC.

Northern (RS) Flicker   1  UCC.

Black Phoebe  1  MB;   2 UCC;  1   SDBG.

Western Scrub-jay  2  UCC; 5 SDBG.

American Crow  5  MB, LCC, UCC;  8 SDBG.

Bushtit   12  vocal, gregarious; open shrubby area of garden, SDBG.

Bewick's Wren  1  repeated song, s SDBG.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   3  UCC;  5  SDBG.

Hermit Thrush  3  UCC;   7  SDBG.

Varied Thrush  1  in subcanopy of cork oaks next to gift shop, SDBG.

Northern Mockingbird   1  UCC;  2  SDBG.

California Thrasher  1  repeated song, UCC; repeated song, SDBG.

European Starling  10  MB/ LCC.

Cedar Waxwing    14  a flock flying over, LCC.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3  LCC;  3 UCC;   6  SDBG.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  1 LCC;  15 UCC (in flowering eucalyptus);  20 (m,f) SDBG.

Townsend's Warbler  2  (m,f)  in flowering trees with YRWA and OCWA, SDBG.

Northern Waterthrush  1  ?  called once (unseen) near backwater pond and stream, UCC.

Common Yellowthroat   2  UCC;  1 SDBG.

Spotted Towhee  1  UCC;  1  SDBG.

California Towhee    5  LCC; UCC;  1 SDBG.

Song Sparrow  3  LCC;  4  UCC;   4  SDBG.

White-crowned Sparrow  3  UCC;  5  SDBG.

Purple Finch  1 (f) foraging on ripe toyon berries, in a loose msf with HETH and HOFI, SDBG. The unsual bird was pointed out to me by Sue Smith, who tentatively agreed with my identification of it as a female PUFI, requesting that I attempt to obtain photo documentation. This apparently is new record for SDBG, according to Sue, who has compiled a bird list for SDBG based on her own surveys and those of earlier workers providing documentation. I subsequently refound and photographed this bird at the same location about twenty-minutes later.


Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) San Diego Botanical Gardens, Encinitas, SDCO CA  19 December 2014

                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


House Finch    10  LCC; UCC;  3  SDBG.

Lesser Goldfinch  1  SDBG.

House Sparrow  20  gardens adjacent to beach, MB.






LA JOLLA  December 18 2014 (20 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 63F; wind ENE 2 mph. Surf 3-5ft; surface calm; low tide.

Time: 1030-1130 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: La Jolla Cove and adjacent nearshore waters: We walked southeast from the birder's platform overlook of La Jolla Cove, surveying birdsin coastal scrub, on lawns and in gardens along the cliffs, to within about 100 yards of the semicircular beach with a scattered colony of  about 50 California Sea Lions (mostly females and young). We had good  (10 x 42 binocular) views of the relatively birdless tidepools and nearshore waters, including kelp beds with (lobster/crab) trap buoys. One swimmer and several kayakers were in the cove. Numerous tourists were clambering over the rocks at low tide. Nearshore waters were calm and undisturbed by human activities. Small flocks of Brandt's Cormorant and Brown Pelican occupied the cliffs and rock outcrops. Distant Brown Pelican, Brandt's Cormorant, loons (Gavia spp.) and one Brown Booby passed by, most birds flying low in a southeasterly direction. No alcids or scoters were observed during our brief visit.


Pacific Loon 5   (possibly more; most too distant for a positive ID); flying se

Common Loon   1  flying se with PALO.

Red-throated Loon     10  individuals and disjunct lines flying se over the surface.

Brown Pelican    120 (ad, imm) ubiquitous; crowded on cliffs.

Double-crested Cormorant    8   resting on cliffs.

Brandt's Cormorant    50  ubiquitous; cliffs, nearshore and well offshore; two in trans. alt. plmg. moving small twigs around on cliffs.

Brown Booby  1 (ad) flying low and fast, se direction.

Snowy Egret    1  tidepool rocks; flying low over the  nearshore surface.

Spotted Sandpiper    2  foraging on exposed tidal rocks and cliffs with shelves sea lions.

Willet   1  foraging on algae covered rocks in tidepools.

Heermann's Gull    20 (ad, imm)   with other gulls on cliffs and tidal rocks.

Ring-billed Gull    4 (ad)   flying over cliffs and nearshore.

California Gull    3 (ad)   on cliffs with other gulls.

Western Gull  50  (90% ad) ubiquitous.

Royal Tern  2   individuals flying 100 yards or more apart nw at about 100 ft. agl.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  garden next to bridge club.

Black Phoebe    4   edge of lawns, gardens, cliffs and tidepools..

White-crowned Sparrow  1  calls, coastal scrub on cliffs.

Song Sparrow  2  vocal; coastal scrub on cliffs.

House Sparrow  6  gardens and open cafes.













OCEANSIDE, December 17 2014 (41 Species)

Weather: Overcast with intermittent light rain; 53F; wind ENE 5 - 10 mph. Surf 3 - 6 ft; seas rough; high tide.

Time: 0804-1040 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) San Luis Rey River mouth and adjacent shore: I walked along the east side of Harbor Dr. and N. Pacific St., observing birds in the adjacent marsh, lagoon and shore. The river mouth is disconnected from the sea by a wide sandbar (SLR).   2) Continuing on foot, I birded the shoreline, breakwaters (e and w), including a walk to the end of the west breakwater.  3) I returned to the Harbor Dr. parking area along the harbor sidewalk, surveying the adjacent harbor and parking area. A few fishing boats were leaving the harbor during my survey; several paddleboarders were in the main channel next to the docks. Joggers and others occasionally disturbed flocks of gulls and terns on the outer shore (OBH)

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Glaucous-winged Gull (1), Northern Rough-winged Swalllow (2) and Palm Warbler (1).



Mallard    6  (m,f) pairs in and near the marsh, SLR.

Northern Shoveler    8 (m,f)  several crowded on small mudflat next to the marsh; some dabbling near shore, SLR.

Ruddy Duck   20  (m,f)  diving and resting near the marsh and in open water, SLR.

Red-throated Loon  4   flying (photo), diving and preening offshore, OBH.

Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) Oceanside SDCO CA 17 December 2014


                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Pied-billed Grebe  1  swimming near the marsh, SLR.

Eared Grebe   5  ; pairs diving in harbor and lagoon, SLR, OBH.

Western Grebe   4   diving in harbor; two dead on shore, OBH.

Brandt's Cormorant    8  (ad, imm) diving - note binocular vision; resting on breakwaters outer and inner harbor, OBH (photo).

Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) adult (left), immature (right) Oceanside Harbor, SDCO CA  17 Dec 2014


                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Double-crested Cormorant     5  flying; resting on shore of lagoon, SLR.

Brown Pelican    50 (conserv. est.) on docks,  fishing boats (including one boat leaving the harbor) and breakwaters (photo).

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) and Snowy Egret (Egretta thula ) aboard fishing boat leaving the harbor, Oceanside, SDCO CA


                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Great Blue Heron  2   edge of marsh and on shore, SLR.

Great Egret    1  inner harbor breakwater, OBH.

Snowy Egret    3  on docks; flying over harbor; two on and flying around outgoing fishing boat (photo).

American Coot  10  swimming, foraging in and near marsh, SLR.

Wandering Tattler  2  resting together on lee side of west breakwater, OBH (photo).

Wandering Tattler (Tringa incanus) Oceanside Harbor SDCO CA  17 December 2014

                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Willet  1  outer shore, OBH.

Ruddy Turnstone  2  resting together near WATA on lee side of west breakwater, OBH.

Western Sandpiper  1  foraging alone on inner shore of lagoon, SLR.

Bonaparte's Gull  3  one flying low over lagoon, SLR; two flying together over harbor, OBH.

Heermann's Gull   25  (ad, imm) ubiquitious.

Ring-billed Gull    30  on sandy shorelines, SLR, OBH.

Western Gull    70  (ad, imm) ubiquitous.

California Gull    60 (90% ad)  ubiquitous; often in mixed flocks with WEGU and HMGU, OBH.

Glaucous-winged Gull 1 (C1) on shore with other gulls, OBH (photo).


Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) Oceanside beach, SDCO CA  17 December 2014

                                                                                              © 2014 Callyn Yorke

Forster's Tern   2   flying around outer harbor; repeated unsuccessful dives, OBH.

Royal Tern   10  together on outer shore with gulls, OBH.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  10  flying around the harbor, OBH.

Black Phoebe    3  edge of marsh;  inner harbor breakwater, SLR, OBH

Say's Phoebe  2 sallying from low perch on inner beach and breakwater, SLR, OBH.

American Crow  5  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2  flying back and forth over east breakwater near shore, SLR, OBH.

Barn Swallow  2  flying back and forth over harbor and inner breakwater (west), OBH.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  8 (m,f) calls; foraging in and around marsh, beach and low vegetation at edge of lagoon, SLR.

Palm Warbler  1 (ad) foraging busily; tail- bobbing, in msf with SASP, YRWA and HOFI on ground in iceplant, Salicornia and assorted grasses and herbs; inner shore of lagoon and edge of parking area at terminus of Harbor Dr. (adjacent to corner of of N. Pacific St.). I followed this bird for a few minutes, obtaining photos of it from about 20 yards away; the bird stayed on the ground and seemed attracted to both the low vegetation and sandy open areas (photo).

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) San Luis Rey River mouth, Oceanside SDCO CA  17 December 2014

                                                                                                    © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Common Yellowthroat   1   calls; active in and in low vegetation near marsh, SLR.

Savannah Sparrow  6   foraging in a loose flock with HOFI on the ground in and around low vegetation at the edge of the lagoon, SLR.

Song Sparrow  2  vocal, active in and around the marsh, SLR.

Red-winged Blackbird  3  (m) flying to and from the marsh and harbor, SLR, OBH.

Great-tailed Grackle   1  calls harbor adjacent to marsh, OBH.

House Finch  4  (m,f) foraging in a mixed species flock with SASP, SOSP and YRWA at edge of lagoon in low vegetation, SLR.

House Sparrow   5  calls; harbor buildings and grounds, OBH.


SAN ELIJO LAGOON, December 16, 2014 (73 Species)


Weather: Overcast with intermittent light rain; 55F; wind ENE 5 - 8 mph; surf 4-8 ft; seas rough; medium high tide.

Time: 0806-1130 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Cardiff State Beach opposite San Elijo Lagoon (CSB): I walked from the southeast parking lot, west about 150 yards, surveying the shoreline and nearshore waters. Several surfers and beachgoers (some with leashed dogs) were present during my survey. Shorebirds were taking refuge and foraging on the inner beach amongst piles of kelp; flocks were repeatedly set aflight by dogs passing through the area (0816-0830 hrs.).  2) Southeast San Elijo Lagoon opposite Rios Avenue (SEL): I walked from the end of Rios Avenue to the end of the south trail into the marsh and back, surveying birds in coastal sage scrub, saltmarsh and tidal channels (0850-0930 hrs.).  3) Southwest San Elijo Lagoon adjacent to the visitor center (SWL): I walked twice around on the perimeter trail, surveying coastal sage scrub, mixed pine- riparian woodland, freshwater marsh, saltwater marsh and tidal channels. Several dog-walkers and  three groups of school children led by docents were on the trails during my survey (0950-1030 hrs.).  4) Central San Elijo Lagoon (CSEL): I walked from the roadside shoulder and gate, central entrance (opposite Mira Costa College) to the opposite (se) side, continuing in a clockwise direction on a trail paralleling I-5, to the main tidal channel under the freeway overpass; returning the same route. This route included salt marsh, freshwater marsh, tidal channels, coastal sage scrub and a small patch of riparian woodland. No one else was present in this area during my survey (1042-1130 hrs.).


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Blue-winged Teal (7), Hooded Merganser (1), American White Pelican (8), and Snowy Plover (65).


Gadwall  25 (m,f) swimming, dabbling near edge of tidal channels and saltwater marsh, SEL;  10 (m,f) SWL; 15 (m,f) CEL

American Wigeon  300 (m,f)  cohesive large and small flocks;ubiquitous in the San Elijo Lagoon; by far the most numerous duck species in the area.

Mallard   4 (m,f)   SEL;; 5 (m,f)  SWL.

Blue-winged Teal   7 (m,f)  swimming and dabbling together in a backwater marsh area, SEL (photo).

Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  16 December 2014

                                                                                              © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Northern Shoveler   12 (m,f)  edge of the marsh, CSEL.

Northern Pintail   18 (m,f) individuals and small flocks resting and swimming in marsh, CSEL.

Green-winged Teal   2 (m,f) swimming in channel, SWL.

Bufflehead  1 (f) flying low over marsh, CSEL.

Hooded Merganser  1 (f) swimming in tidal channel, SEL.

Red-breasted Merganser  1 (f) swimming in tidal channel, SEL.

Red-throated Loon  1  swimming in central marsh-tidal channel, SEL; 1 in s tidal channel, SWL.

Western Grebe  1  in tidal channel, SEL.

Brandt's Cormorant  4  flying se offshore, CSB.

Double-crested Cormorant  30  on utility lines and edge of tidal channel, SWL.

American White Pelican  8  resting on mudflat, CSEL.

Brown Pelican   10  flying offshore, CSB.

Great Blue Heron    1 edge of lagoon opposite beach, CSB;  2  in marsh, SEL;  2  edge of marsh, CSEL.

Great Egret   2  in marsh, SWL.

Snowy Egret   3  in marsh, SWL.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2 (ad, imm) edge of tidal channel-marsh, SWL.

Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over marsh, CSEL.

American Kestrel  1  (m) high perch in dead tree, SEL.

American Coot   20  CSEL.

Black-bellied Plover    20   3 on inner beach; a flock flying over adjacent lagoon, flushed by passing dogs, CSB.

Snowy Plover  65  a large, cohesive flock of individuals remaining concealed and motionless on inner beach amongst piles of kelp; flushing when leashed dogs approached, but remaining stationary when people without dogs passed by, CSB..

Semipalmated Plover   8  foraging amongst piles of kelp on inner beach, flushed by leashed dogs, CSB.

Killdeer    10   foraging in a loose flock in adjacent hillside agricultural field CSEL.

American Avocet  1  swimming in tidal marsh channel, SEL.

Yellowlegs sp. (probably GRYE)  2    too distant for pos. ID; wading in shallows, SWL.

Willet   5  individuals foraging in marsh and on narrow mudflats, SWL.

Long-billed Curlew    3  resting, preening in marsh, SWL.

Marbled Godwit   9  flocks of 3-4 and singles foraging in shallows and in marsh, SWL.

Ruddy Turnstone  1  foraging in piles of kelp with BLTU, CSB.

Black Turnstone   9  foraging in singles and pairs on piles of kelp, flushed by leashed dogs, CSB.

Sanderling   5  foraging around piles of kelp on inner beach, flushed by leashed dogs, CSB.

Western Sandpiper   10  foraging around piles of kelp on inner beach, flushed by leashed dogs CSB.

Least Sandpiper   40  resting and foraging around piles of kelp on inner beach; flushed by leashed dogs, CSB.

Dowitcher sp.  5  foraging in shallows of tidal marsh, SWL.

Heermann's Gull   15  (ad, imm) on beach; flying nearshore, CSB.

Ring-billed Gull    8  in parking lot, CSB.

Western Gull    20  (90% ad)  on and near beach, CSB.

California Gull    6  in parking lot, CSB.

Royal Tern  2  flying offshore, CSB.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  2  flying around suburbs, SEL.

Eurasian Collared Dove  3  suburban gardens, SEL.

Mourning Dove  4 in tall, dead tree near AMKE, CSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird   3  riparian and coastal sage, SWL.

Allen's Humminbird  1  call, fly riparian, SWL.

Black Phoebe     7  edge of marsh and tidal channels, SWL, SEL.

Say's Phoebe  1  edge of saltmarsh-tidal channel, SWL.

Cassin's Kingbird  calls, riparian-coastal sage edge, SEL.

Western Scrub-Jay 2  coastal sage -edge of suburban garden, SEL.

American Crow   12   ubiquitous.

House Wren  1  repeated calls, riparian-suburban garden, SEL.

Bewick's Wren   2   vocal (unseen) , coastal sage-riparian, SWL.

Marsh Wren   1 vocal (unseen) edge of brackish marsh, SEL.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1 hillside coastal sage, SWL.

Wrentit  1  vocal (unseen) , hillside coastal sage, SWL.

Hermit Thrush   2  riparian woods, SWL.

Northern Mockingbird    2  riparian-edge of gardens, SEL.

California Thrasher  1  repeated song, coastal sage hillside, SEL.

European Starling   5  vocal; edge of suburbs, SWL.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  3 edge of marsh-riparian, SEL; 4  riparian,fw marsh, SWL.

Common Yellowthroat   1  calls, active at edge of marsh, SWL.

California Towhee  calls, coastal sage, SEL.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  3  in saltmarsh adjacent to trail and benches, SEL.

Interior Savannah Sparrow   5  low vegetation at edge of beach, CSB; 4  coastal sage scrub, SWL.

Song Sparrow   14 (two races - dark brown morph and lighter reddish brown form) vocal (2  distinct dialects), ubiquitous in and around lagoon.

White-crowned Sparrow  2 calls, coastal sage scrub, SEL.

Red-winged Blackbird  calls, freshwater marsh, SWL.

Western Meadowlark   2  edge of marsh, SEL.

House Finch  5  vocal, gregarious, SWL.

Lesser Goldfinch  3  vocal, gregarious, SEL.

House Sparrow  8  suburban gardens, edge of hillside coastal sage, SEL.























OCEANSIDE, July 30 2014 (35 Species)

Weather: partly cloudy; 70F; WNW 2 mph. surf 2-3 ft. Low tide @ 0600 hrs.

Time: 0614-0716 hrs.

Area Covered: 1) Mouth of the San Luis Rey River (SLR): I walked on the sandbar blocking the river mouth, surveying the adjacent beach, lagoon, the west section of a marsh using a binocular and DSLR camera.  2)  Oceanside beach and harbor (OBH): Continuing on foot, I surveyed the south breakwater, shoreline, north breakwater and harbor. Auto and pedestrian traffic in the are was light during my survey this morning.


Gadwall  20 (ad, imm) swimming in the lagoon, SLR.

Mallard  15 (ad, imm) swimming in the lagoon, SLR.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying over the shore, OBH.

Brown Pelican  120 (ad, imm) on the breakwater and swimming in the harbor near fishing boats, OBH.

Great Blue Heron  1 on shore, SLR;  2  edge of harbor, OBH.

Snowy Egret  10  on shore, SLR; 20  several around boat with recent baitfish catch at the dock, OBH.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (ad) perched on main mast of ship in the harbor, OBH.

American Coot  4  edge of marsh, SLR.

Black-bellied Plover  3 (alt. plmg.) on beach, SLR, OBH.

Semipalmated Plover  4  on sandbar, SLR.

Killdeer  1  on outer beach, SLR.

Willet  5  (ad, imm) on outer beach, SLR (photo).


Willet (Tringa semipalmata)  Oceanside, San Diego County CA  30 July 2014

                                                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Whimbrel  3  on beach, OBH.

Long-billed Curlew  3   foraging separately on the beach, OBH (photo).

Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) Oceanside, San Diego County CA  30 July 2014

                                                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Sandpiper  8  on outer beach, SLR.

Wandering Tattler   2  one on each breakwater, OBH.

Long-billed Dowitcher  6  foraging together in shallows of lagoon, SLR (photo).

Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  Oceanside, San Diego County CA  30 July 2014

                                                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Heermann's Gull  80  (ad, imm) ubiquitous.

Ring-billed Gull   4  (ad) on shore, SLR;  on inner beach away from larger gulls, OBH.

California Gull  8   (C2, C3) on shore with WEGU, SLR, OBH.

Western Gull  150 (ad, C1, C2, C3) ubiquitous (photo).

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) third cycle, Oceanside, San Diego County CA   30 July 2014

                                                                                                                                      © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Forster's Tern   4  flying over outer harbor, OBH.

Least Tern  10  flying over outer shore, SLR.

Elegant Tern  12  vocal; flying around inner and outer harbor and breakwater, OBH.

Royal Tern  2  flying low over shore, OBH.

Domestic Rock Pigeon   60   flying around the harbor.

American Crow  25  ubiquitous.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow   2  flying low over sandbar and adjacent lagoon, SLR.

Barn Swallow  6  flying low over the lagoon and outer shore, SLR. '

European Starling  5  fly, call, SLR.

Red-winged Blackbird  2  foraging on shore and with BRBL in picnic area, SLR, OBH.

Brewer's Blackbird  60  (m,f) ubiquitous; foraging on ground.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  (m) flying around harbor and lagoon, SLR.

House Finch  3  vocal, flying at edge of lagoon, SLR.

House Sparrow   15  foraging in picnic area with BRBL, OBH.






SAN ELIJO LAGOON, July 29, 2014 (33 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 75F; low tide @ 0600 hrs. Surf 1-3 ft.

Time: 0610 - 0743 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Mouth of San Elijo Creek / Lagoon at Cardiff State Beach (CSB): I birded the south side of the slough and creek outlet, adjacent to South Coast Highway and the CSB parking area. Several people (one with an unleashed dog) were on the beach during my survey (0610-0630 hrs.)   2) Northwest San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve at the visitor's center (NWSEL). I walked the trails, using a binocular to survey birds in tidal marsh, willow riparian and coastal sage plant communities. A few visitors (some with leashed dogs) were on the trails during my survey (0642-0743 hrs.).


Mallard   8  (m,f) on mudflats and swimming in tidal slough, NWSEL.

Pied-billed Grebe  1  diving in tidal slough, NWSEL.

Double-crested Cormorant  12  on utility line, NWSEL.

Great Blue Heron  1  on mudflat of slough, NWSEL.

Snowy Egret  13  foraging on small fish in the creek outlet; on mudflat, CSB, NWSEL.

Ridgway's Rail  1 (ad) foraging on mudflat of slough, NWSEL.

Semipalmated Plover  20  on beach and tidal mudflats, CSB, NWSEL.

Killdeer  1  calls, on slough mudflat, NWSEL

Willet   5  on shore, CSB;  2  on slough mudflat, NWSEL.

Whimbrel  15 on shore, CSB.

Marbled Godwit   20  on shore, CSB.

Least Sandpiper  2  on tidal mudflat, NWSEL.

Heermann's Gull    6 (ad, imm) on shore; foraging with WEGU in creek outlet, CSB.

Western Gull   8  (ad, imm) on shore; foraging with SNEG on small fish (e.g  anchovy) in creek outlet, CSB.

Forster's Tern  1   plunge-diving successfullyfor small surface fish (e.g. anchovy) near creek outlet, CSB.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  20  flying around parking area, CSB.

Mourning Dove  2  flying over riparian woodland, NWSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird  5  vocal, riparian and edge of coastal sage, NWSEL.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 vocal; riparian and edge of coastal sage, NWSEL.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  vocal; active in riparian woodland, NWSEL.

Black Phoebe  2  vocal; foraging at the edge of the marsh/slough, NWSEL.

American Crow  10  foraging on shore and edge of creek outlet, CSB; fly, call, NWSEL.

Bushtit  vocal  riparian, NWSEL.

Bewick's Wren  1 song repeated, riparian-coastal sage, NWSEL.

House Wren  1  song repeated, riparian edge, NWSEl

Wrentit  song repeated (unseen) , coastal sage-riparian, NWSEL.

European Starling  vocal, flying, NWSEL.

Common Yellowthroat   5  vocal, active in marsh-riparian, NWSEL.

California Towhee  5  vocal, active at edge of riparian-coastal sage, NWSEL.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  6  vocal; active in salt marsh near visitor center, NWSEL.

Song Sparrow  5  vocal, active in riparian- coastal sage, NWSEL.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1 (m)  riparian woodland, NWSEL.

House Finch  6  on utility lines, vocal, NWSEL.








ENCINITAS,  July 27-31, 2014 (30 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy to fair; 69F to 85F; wind WSW, WNW  2 -12 mph; surf 2 -4 ft. Low tide @ 0600 hrs.

Time: 0600 - 1630  hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Lower Cottonwood Creek (LCC);  2) Upper Cottonwood Creek (UCC); Moonlight Beach (MB), Swamis (SW). I birded the above locations primarily in the quiet morning hours (0600-0800 hrs.) and to a lesser extent while surfing during mid-morning and late afternoon. Large crowds of people (1,000 +) began arriving at MB around 0900 hrs. and stayed there until about sunset. Swami's was relatively uncrowded (7/29/14: 0930-1200 hrs.). LCC and UCC had fewer than ten visitors during the two morning surveys (7/28 and 7/31).


Brandt's Cormorant  2  flying low and fast offshore, MB.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying offshore, MB.

Brown Pelican  2  flying offshore, MB.

Snowy Egret  on on fence, LCC-MB.

Green Heron 1 (ad)  on shore of basin pond, UCC.

Red-shouldered Hawk 1 (ad) on utility wire, LCC (photo).

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) Cottonwood Creek Encinitas CA  31 July 2014


                                                                                                       © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Cooper's Hawk  1  circling high above the cliffs, SW; 1 imm  vocal on utility pole, UCC (photo).

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  Cottonwood Creek Encinitas CA  31 July 2014

                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke

Willet  1 on shore, SW.

Whimbrel   14  foraging on shore amongst piles of kelp, MB.

Marbled Godwit  2  on shore, MB.

Heermann's Gull   12 (ad, imm) on shore and inner beach, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  5  (ad, C2) on beach, MB.'

California Gull   8 (ad, C1, C2)  on beach with WEGU and HRGU, MB.

Western  Gull 35 (ad; C1, C2, C3), MB.

Royal Tern  1  diving offshore; landed on beach near gulls, MB.

Elegant Tern  2  flying offshore, MB.

Black Skimmer  1  flying low, southward about 50 ft. outside the surf zone (7/31). A new record for my Encinitas bird list.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  30  flying around the parking area, MB.

Mourning Dove  2  on utility lines, LCC, UCC.

Anna's Hummingbird  5  (m,f)  vocal; riparian and edge of gardens, LCC, UCC.

Allen's Hummingbird  2  (m,f) vocal, gardens and edge of riparian, LCC.

Black Phoebe  2  low perch, edge of garde, basin pond and riparian, LCC, UCC.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal, chasing, utility lines, SW.

American Crow  10  ubiquitous.

European Starling  3  in tall palm tree, SW.

Bushtit  10   a vocal flock foraging in sycamores, UCC.

California Towhee  5  vocal, riparian  LCC, UCC.

Song Sparrow  5  vocal, riparian and ruderal edge, LCC, UCC.

House Finch  20  (m,f) ubiquitous.

House Sparrow   10  gardens, MB.



LA JOLLA, April 1 2014 (26 Species)


Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) La Jolla, San Diego County CA  1 April 2014

                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Partly cloudy (showers early AM); 55F to 60F; wind WNW 10-25 mph. Surf 3-4 ft. High tide.

Time: 0918-1224  hrs.

Observers: Mary, Carol, Debra, Merissa and I.

Area Covered: We surveyed the rocky cliffs, suburban parks and gardens, and offshore waters along about a 0.25 mile section of Coast Drive, La Jolla. Increasing numbers of visitors arrived in the area by 1000 hrs. Several people were walking over the wet rocks near crashing surf.

Birds Noted

Double-crested Cormorant  12  on cliffs in small numbers with BRCO.

Brandt's Cormorant  120  crowded on cliffs; individuals on nests; diving near shore; one banded (unreadable) on both tarsi (photo).

Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) La Jolla, SDCO CA 1 April 2014

                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Brown Pelican   80   on cliffs; flying near shore (photo).


Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) La Jolla, San Diego County CA  1 April 2014

                                                                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Snowy Egret  1 walking amongst BRPE and BRCO.

Peregrine Falcon  1  flying over buildings, flushing a flock of Domestic Rock Pigeon.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  (one alt. plmg.)  on cliffs near high tide mark (photo).

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) La Jolla  San Diego County CA  1 April 2014

                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Black Turnstone  2   foraging amongst BRCO and HEGU on cliffs.

Western Gull  50 (ad, imm)  one pair engaged in  "choking" courtship displays and copulation (photo).

Heermann's Gull   16  (mostly immatures), on cliffs amongst BRCO.

Bonaparte's Gull ?  300-1,000 or more: too distant for pos. ID; small, white gulls in a large flock moving northwest beyond the kelp beds; feeding frenzy with WEGU, CATE and BRPE.

Caspian Tern  6  flying nearshore and well offshore.

Royal Tern  4  diving far offshore.

Common Murre  1  diving about 200m offshore.

Domestic Rock Pigeon   25  flying around buildings.

Mourning Dove  1  foraging on ground in garden.

Anna's Hummingbird  4  on shrubs in gardens.

Allen's Hummingbird  2 (m) flying; calls; gardens.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of garden.

American Crow  8  calls; flying.

European Starling  5  gardens.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  in evergreen trees and shrubs in gardens.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  4  in trees and on ground, gardens.

California Towhee  1  calls, shady garden.

Song Sparrow  3  shrubs at top of cliffs.

House Finch  6  shrubs and trees in gardens.

House Sparrow  12  on lawns, shrubs and trees in gardens.





OCEANSIDE, March 31 2014 (22 Species)


Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus) Oceanside harbor beach, San Diego County, CA  31 March 2014

                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair; 62F; wind W 15 mph; low tide.

Time: 1550-1716 hrs.

Observers: Mary, Carol, Debra and I.

Area Covered: We walked from the parking area adjacent to the harbor and estuary, west on the beach to the first breakwater. Low tide had exposed about 60 yards of sandy beach. The river mouth is still entirely blocked from the ocean by a wide sandbank. The area was lightly populated by surfers, fishermen and others at the shore.

Birds Noted

Mallard  2 (m,f) edge of estuary.

Western Grebe  4  diving in harbor channel.

Double-crested Cormorant  50  on outer breakwater and in harbor.

Brown Pelican   120  on outer breakwater.

American Coot  5  swimming in estuary.

Killdeer  calls, estuary/beach.

Surfbird  5  together on outer edge of inner breakwater.

Wandering Tattler  1  on inner edge of inner breakwater (photo).

Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana) Oceanside harbor, San Diego County CA  31 March 2014

                                                                                           © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Ruddy Turnstone  2  on inner edge of inner breakwater.

Heermann's Gull   15 (1 adult)  on beach with CAGU, RBGU and WEGU.

Ring-billed Gull  10  (ad, imm) on beach with other gulls.

California Gull   8  (ad, imm) in estuary and on the beach.

Herring Gull  1 (C1) in the estuary with other gulls.

Western Gull  50 (ad, imm)  in the estuary and on the beach with other gulls.

Pomarine Jaeger  1 (adult) initially found at about 1600 hrs.resting well above the high tide line and away from other shorebirds. The bird, appearing alert and uninjured, remained in its original sitting position during my brief series of photos from a distance of about 10 feet away (photo). A few minutes later, someone on the beach began feeding gulls with bread crumbs. The jaeger flew directly into the gull feeding frenzy, admixing with them, then out of view. It was not seen again during our visit.

Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus) Oceanside harbor beach, San Diego County CA 31 March 2014

                                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Caspian Tern  2  flying offshore.

Elegant Tern  1 (bsc. plmg.) flying over harbor channel.

Royal Tern  4  flying over beach.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  5  flying around harbor.

American Crow  4  flying over harbor.

Brewer's Blackbird  1 (m) on overpass railing at estuary.

Great-tailed Grackle 3 (m,f) calls, flying over estuary.







FAMOSA SLOUGH, March 31 2014 (23 Species)

Weather: Fair; 65F; wind W 10 mph. Outgoing tide.

Time: 1403-1500 hrs.

Observers: Mary, Carol (visiting from Minnesota and Wisconsin), Debra Anderson and I.

Area Covered:  We surveyed about 20 acres in the southern and northern portions of the tidal saltmarsh-lagoon, including adjacent suburban gardens. Waterbirds were generally scarce; most at the edges of the lagoon in the shallows and on mudflats. Except for passing jetliners every few minutes, conditions were fair for identifying bird vocalizations. We failed to locate a Tropical Kingbird, found and photographed yesterday by Gary Nunn.


Mallard  4 (m,f) edge of the marsh and flying over,n,s.

Northern Shoveler  6 (m,f) dabbling in the lagoon,s.

Blue-winged Teal  2 (m)  dabbling on the mudflats and in shallows,s.

Bufflehead  1 (m) swimming in the lagoon, n.

Red-breasted Merganser 1 (f) resting at the edge of the lagoon, s.

Pied-billed Grebe  5  (alt. plmg.) swimming and diving in the lagoon and tidal channel, s, n.

Snowy Egret  1  caught a small sculpin type fish in the channel, s.

Little Blue Heron  1 (trans. alt plmg.)   caught a small fish in the muddy shallows at the edge of the marsh, s (photo).

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) same individual in both photos; Famosa Slough, San Diego County CA  31 March 2014


                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Coot  4  swimming in open water and shallows, s.

Marbled Godwit  2  foraging in shallows, s.

Whimbrel  2  foraging at the edge of the lagoon, s.

Western Gull 1  flying over.

Anna's Hummingbird  4 (m,f) in shrubs around the edges of the lagoon.

Belted Kingfisher 1  dove in the tidal channel, n.

Black Phoebe  1 edge of the marsh, n.

Western Kingbird  4  perched together in tall, leafless tree;  repeatedly sallying and skimming tidal channel, n.

American Crow  2  flying over.

Bushtit  5  vocal, active in marginal shrubs, n.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  2  in marginal shrubs and trees, n.

Common Yellowthroat  vocalizations, margins of marsh, n.

Song Sparrow  2  song, margin of marsh, n,s.

House Finch  5  trees and shrubs at margins, n, s.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  fly, call, n.




TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY, March 30, 2014 (66 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy, 62F to 65F; wind W, WNW 5 -15 mph. Surf 2-4 ft; seas choppy; high tide @ 0900 hrs.

Time: 0925-1410 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Dairy Mart Pond (DP): I walked about 100 yards on the trail bordering the pond, stopping frequently to observe birds in willow-riparian, freshwater marsh and adjacent coastal sage scrub. Two joggers and two cyclists were the only other visitors here during my survey (0925-1006 hrs.).  2) Bird and Butterfly Reserve, Hollister Rd. (BB). We walked around the garden, surveying native and non-native plantings adjacent to an open field and riparian creekbed (1010-1056 hrs.).  3) Borderfield State Park (BSP): We walked from the parking area at the entrance to the beach and picnic area at the southwest corner of the park at the international border. The roads were dry except a perennially flooded section near the hilltop picnic area. About twenty visitors were in the park during our visit; several were in the friendship garden between the two border fences at the southwest corner. Our walking time for the one-way outgoing journey to the southwest corner was 30 minutes (1110-1300 hrs.).  4) Sports Park at 4th St. and Imperial Blvd., Imperial Beach (SP). I surveyed the park and perimeter trees (pines and eucalyptus) in a failed attempt to locate Yellow-crowned Night Heron, reported at this location over the past few weeks (1320-1337 hrs.).  5) Tijuana River Estuarine Ecological Reserve (TRE). I walked the north McCoy Trail and trails around the visitor center. Several visitors (some with dogs) were on the trails during my survey (1341-1410 hrs.).


Mallard 6 (m,f) DP;  2 BSP.

Northern Shoveler  3 (m,f)  DP.

Green-winged Teal  2 (f) TRE.

Ruddy Duck  12 (m,f alt. plmg.) diving, DP.

Pied-billed Grebe 2  calls (unseen) DP.

Western Grebe  1  called once (unseen) DP.

Double-crested Cormorant   10  (ad, imm) DP.

Brown Pelican  10  flying over the coast, TRE.

Great Egret  1  edge of marsh, TRE.

Snowy Egret  1  flying over marsh, TRE.

Little Blue Heron  1  flying from SP to TRE.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2  roosting in pine tree, SP.

Northern Harrier 1 (f) flying low over the salt marsh, BSP.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) flying over marsh (photo); 1 (ad) in willow behind visitor center, TRE.


Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) Borderfield State Park, San Diego County CA  30 March 2014

                                                                                           © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Red-shouldered Hawk  1 fly, call, BB.

Red-tailed Hawk  2  (ad, imm) BSP.

American Coot   10  DP.

Killdeer  2  BSP.

Marbled Godwit  1 BSP.

Whimbrel  12  BSP.

Lesser Yellowlegs 1 flying over pond; repeated calls, DP.

Willet   4  BSP.

Ring-billed Gull  5 (ad, imm) BSP.

California Gull  3  (ad, imm) BSP.

Western Gull  10 (ad, C1, C2)  BSP.

Herring Gull x Glaucous-winged Gull 1 ? Noted size intermediate between Herring and Western - definitely smaller than typical Glaucous-winged Gull; rounded head and shape of bill like HEGU; too long for THGU; transluscent wings in flight; medium light gray barring on mantle;   BSP (photo)..

Glaucous-winged x Herring Gull C2? (right); Western Gull (C2) (left). Borderfield State Park, SDCO CA 30 March 2014

                                                                                                                                                ©  2014 Callyn Yorke


Caspian Tern  3  calls; foraging offshore, BSP.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1 on utility wire, Hollister Rd.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  5  adjacent farm, BSP.

Mourning Dove  3  BB.

Common Ground Dove  3 (m,f)   foraging on ground in garden, BB (photo).

Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina) Bird and Butterfly Reserve, Tijuana River, SDCO CA  30 March 2014


                                                                                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Anna's Hummingbird   8 (m,f) DP;  4 BB;  5  BSP.

Allen's Hummingbird  2  call, fly, DP.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  calls; DP; calls, BB.

Western Wood Pewee  repeated calls (unseen) willow riparian, BSP.

Black Phoebe  2  DP;  1 BB;  3  BSP.

Say's Phoebe  2  BSP.

Cassin's Kingbird  calls, DP;  1 TRE.

Bell's Vireo  4  repeated song; flying between willows, establishing territories, DP;  2  song; establishing territories, entrance willow riparian, BSP.

Western Scrub-jay  calls, DP.

American Crow  25  ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2  flying over, BSP.

Black-throated Magpie Jay  6  (ad; one with relatively short tail) gregarious, vocal (chirps and other contact calls between individuals); relatively bold and easily approached within the reserve; one foraging on the ground; others in trees (photo) BB.

Black-throated Magpie Jay (Calocitta colliei) Bird and Butterfly Reserve, Hollister Rd. SDCO CA  30 March 2014


                                                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Tree Swallow   10  flying back and forth over the pond and riparian woodland, DP.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1  flying low over a clearing in the riparian woodland, DP; 1 flying low over the beach, BSP.

Cliff Swallow  50  flying low and high over the pond and riparian woodland, DP;  2  flying over the beach, BSP.

Bushtit     16  DP;  5  BB;  10 BSP.

House Wren  3  song, DP;  2  song, BB.

Marsh Wren  3  song, DP.

Wrentit  1  song, DP;  2  song, BSP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  song, BB.

European Starling   10  farms adjacent to BB.

Orange-crowned Warbler  20  vocal; riparian woodland, DP;  4  BB;  3  BSP.

Yellow Warbler 1 song, riparian drainage next to Hollister Rd. bridge, BB.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  50  ubiquitous.

Common Yellowthroat 5  vocal; DP; 1 BB.

Wilson's Warbler  6  vocal in riparian woodland, DP;  3  riparian patches, BSP.

California Towhee  2  DP;  4 BB;  2 BSP.

Savannah Sparrow   8  saltmarsh and picnic area, BSP.

Song Sparrow  30  vocal, ubiquitous.

White-crowned Sparrow   5  DP; 4 BB;  10 BSP.

Brewer's Blackbird  6 (m,f) on playing field, SP.

Bullock's Oriole  2 (m) in mature eucalyptus at intersection of Hollister and Dary Mart Rd.

House Finch  40  ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  5 DP; 2 BB;  10 BSP.

House Sparrow  10 buildings adjacent to park, SP.








SAN ELIJO LAGOON, March 29 & 31, 2014 (70 Species)

Weather: Fair with early morning coastal low fog; 60F to 64F; wind WNW 5 -10 mph; surf 2-4 ft; high tide @ 0800 hrs.

Time:  3/29/14: 0757-1158 hrs.; 3/31/14: 1008-1330 hrs.

Observers: C Yorke (3/29/2014); Mary, Carol, Debra and I (3/31/2014)

Areas Covered: 1) Cardiff State Beach at the southern parking lot adjacent to HWY 1 and San Elijo Lagoon (CSB: 3/29/14: 0757-0830 hrs; 3/31/14: 0810-0900 hrs ): We walked on the shoreline adjacent to the parking area. A surfing contest was in progress, along with numerous people on the beach (several with dogs). Shorebirds were frequently flushed to adjacent, relatively undisturbed portions of the beach. Aerial dipterans were abundant in and above the beach wrack.  2) Southwest San Elijo Lagoon (SWSEL 3/29/14: 0843-1040 hrs; 3/31/14: 1008-1200  hrs. ). We walked the trails from the north terminus of Rios Avenue, which included the southwest section of the lagoon between the Amtrak railway and I-5. About 60 joggers and pedestrians were on the trails, many with dogs (leashed and unleashed). A few birders were also present; one group reported seeing only the "usual" bird species.  3) Northwest San Elijo Lagoon (NWSEL 3/29/14: 1116-1158 hrs.; 3/31/14: 1215-1330 hrs. ). We walked the trails adjacent to the visitor center, surveying essentially the same habitats found on the opposite side of the lagoon: coastal sage scrub, willow riparian and tidal saltwater marsh. A small patch of riparian-freshwater marsh occurs here but is absent in southwestern section of the lagoon. About 20 visitors were present during my survey; several with leashed dogs. Park rangers and maintenance workers were busy preparing for an educational event, scheduled to begin at 1300 hrs. today. The tide was going out at this time but very little mudflat was exposed.


Gadwall  8 (m,f) dabbling in the shallows, SWSEL.

American Wigeon  30 (m,f) dabbling in the marshy shallows, SWSEL.

Mallard  8  (m,f) dabbling in the shallows, SWSEL.

Green-winged Teal  40 (m,f) dabbling in the shallows, SWSEL.

Bufflehead 1 (f) swimming in open water, SWSEL.

Hooded Merganser 1 (m) preening, dabbling at the edge of the lagoon, e SWSEL.


Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA  31 March 2014

                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Surf Scoter  3 (m) flying w, low offshore.

Pied-billed Grebe  1  swimming in open water, SWSEL.

Brandt's Cormorant  1 flying low offshore, CSB.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  SWSEL;  6 on utility wire, NWSEL.

American White Pelican  2 resting at the edge of the marsh, e SWSEL.

Brown Pelican  14  flying offshore, CSB.

Great Egret  2 at edge of marsh, NWSEL.

Snowy Egret   5  (alt. plmg.) wading in shallows together; briefly showing competitive aggression.

Great Blue Heron 1 foraging at edge of marsh, SWSEL (3/31/14).

Osprey  1 (ad) flying low over the marsh, NWSEL (3/31/14).

Cooper's Hawk  1  flying over adjacent yard, SWSEL (3/31/14).

Northern Harrier 1 (f) flying over the marsh, e SWSEL.

Sora  1 called once (unseen) w SWSEL.

Clapper Rail  1  fanning its wings in the marsh at the edge of the main tidal channel, NWSEL  (3/31/14 photo).


Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) San Elijo Lagoon San Diego County CA  31 March 2014

                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Coot  4  swimming in open water, SWSEL; NWSEL.

Snowy Plover 1 (alt. plmg.) on shore, CSB (photo).

Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) Cardiff State Beach, San Diego County CA  29 March 2014

                                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Avocet  8  (alt. plmg.) pairs foraging in shallows, SWSEL.

Marbled Godwit   3 foraging on shore with WILL, CSB.

Willet  8  foraging on shore, CSB;  6  in marsh, SWSEL, NWSEL.

Sanderling 14  foraging on shore, CSB.

Spotted Sandpiper  1 foraging on exposed mudflats at low tide, NWSEL (3/31/14).

Dunlin ?  16  seen briefly at a great distance, circling the marsh and landing out of view; black belly marks visible in flight.

Surfbird  4 (alt. plmg.)   two pair foraging together on shore with WILL, CSB (photo).

Surfbird (Aphriza virgata) Cardiff State Beach, San Diego County CA  29 March 2014

                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Black Turnstone  2 (alt. plmg.) foraging together on shore, CSB (photo).

Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) Cardiff State Beach, San Diego County CA  29 March 2014

                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Short-billed Dowitcher  12  foraging together in shallows at the edge of the marsh, SWSEL.

Long-billed Curlew 1  standing in marsh at the edge of the channel, NWSEL (3/31/14).

Western Gull   4  flying offshore, CSB;  1 at edge of marsh, NWSEL.

Caspian Tern  4   repeated calls; flying in a loose flock over the marsh; one with fish in mouth, NWSEL.

Forster's Tern  6  flying low over the marsh, SWSEL.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  calls, yards on Rios Ave, SWSEL.

Mourning Dove   1 on utility wire, Rios Ave, SWSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird  15  (m,f) ubiquitous, vocal.

Allen's Hummingbird  5  (m) vocal; coastal sage, SWSEL.

Black Phoebe  2  edge of marsh, SWSEL.

Say's Phoebe  repeated calls, w SWSEL.

Cassin's Kingbird  6  vocal; loose flocks perched on snags, SWSEL.

Western Kingbird  8  aerial hawking; circling high above the marsh; several perched in crown deciduous tree, SWSEL (photo).

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA  29 March 2014


                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Scrub-jay  3  calls; perched together in tall shrub, SWSEL.

American Crow  14 ubiquitous; a nest with vocal young in tree, Rios Ave, SWSEL.

Common Raven  1  flying to tree on cliff, SWSEL.

Tree Swallow  1  flying low over the marsh, SWSEL.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1 flying low over beach wrack, CSB.

Barn Swallow  1 flying low over marsh, NWSEL (3/31/14).

Bushtit  5  active in garden shrubs, Rios Ave, SWSEL;  5  vocal, willow riparian, NWSEL.

House Wren  3  vocal, edge of hillside, SWSEL.

Marsh Wren  3  vocal; edge of marsh, SWSEL.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 vocal in tall shrubs, SWSEL.

Wrentit   10  vocal, ubiquitous in coastal sage, SWSEL.

Northern Mockingbird  2   edge of coastal sage, SWSEL (photo).


Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County CA  29 March 2014

                                                                                                 © 2014 Callyn Yorke


California Thrasher  4  repeated songl from exposed perches at the edge of coastal sage hillsides, SWSEL (photo).


California Thasher (Toxostoma redivivum) San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  29 March 2014


                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Orange-crowned Warbler  5  vocal; foraging in tall shrubs and trees, SWSEL; NWSEL.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  8  (m,f) ubiquitous in tall shrubs and trees, SWSEL, NWSEL.

Common Yellowthroat  3  vocal; edge of marsh, SWSEL; NWSEL.

Wilson's Warbler  3  vocal; willows, SWSEL, NWSEL.

Spotted Towhee  5  song (unseen) dense chaparral, SWSEL.

California Towhee  16  vocal; ubiquitous in chaparral and edge of riparian.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  8  active in Salicornia, SWEL (photo).

Belding's Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  29 March 2014


                                                                                                       © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Song Sparrow   30  vocal, ubiquitous.

White-crowned Sparrow  20  vocal, ubiquitous at edge of coastal sage-riparian.

Red-winged Blackbird  5 (m,f) female vocalizing in riparian-freshwater marsh, NWSEL.

Great-tailed Grackle ?   calls (unseen), CSB.

House Finch   30  (m,f) ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  12  vocal, ubiquitous in coastal sage-riparian.

House Sparrow 10 in gardens, Rios Ave, SWSEL.















ENCINITAS, March 26 - April 3, 2014 (61 Species)

Swamis, Encinitas, San Diego County CA   March 27 2014

                                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke

Weather: March 26-30: Partly cloudy; 55F to 63F; wind WNW 5 - 10 mph. Surf 3 -8 ft. High tide @ 1900 hrs.; April 1: Overcast with intermittent showers; wind WNW 15-20 mph. Surf 3-5 ft.; April 3: Clear; 55F; no wind; surf 3 -4 ft.

Time: 0800 - 1900 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Lower Cottonwood Creek Ecological Reserve (LCC): Merissa and I walked through the 1 acre reserve (occupied by one homeless person) and down to Moonlight Beach (MB - 3/26/14: 1800-1945 hrs; 3/30/14: 0810-0830 hrs. ).

I made only one survey of Upper Cottonwood Creek (UCC: April 3, 2014: 0820-0915 hrs. ), where I met two other birders, Steve Brad and Pete, who were helpful finding birds in the riparian area adjacent to the picnic area. I continued alone to LCC and MB (4/3/14: 0920-1000  hrs.).

Continuing with our first survey of Encinitas, Merissa and I covered the southeast section of MB to the D Street access, climbing several flights of stairs to Moonlight Lane and the suburbs-commercial developments paralleling HWY 1, Encinitas. The beach at high tide had extensive patches of brown kelp (Macrocystis sp.) and pebbles washed ashore by a previous storm. Strong onshore winds produced rough seas during our visit (MB 3/26/14).  2) San Diego County Botanical Garden (formery Quail Botanical Garden) 230 Quail Garden Drive, Encinitas (BG - 3/27/14:  0930-1120 hrs ): I walked through most of the gardens (37 acres), observing birds in a large variety of exotic vegetation, in addition to plantings of native California chaparral. By 1030 hrs. numerous visitors were in the gardens; someone was operating a gas-powered weed removal machine on the northeast boundary of the garden. Otherwise, conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations.  3) Suburbs around the intersection of Crest & Cardiff Drive, upland Encinitas (CD - 3/27/14: 1720-1800 hrs.). We walked on paved streets and easements in a neighborhood of homes with large lots grown to ornamental shrubs and trees with weedy margins. Frequent automobile and pedestrian (including leashed dogs) traffic occurred during our visit.   4) Swamis surf park overlook, Encinitas (SW: 1815 - 1900 hrs, 3/27/14). We observed birds on the shoreline and flying over adjacent nearshore waters from the cliffside benches at SW. About 20 surfers were riding 3-8 ft. waves offshore and over a shallow, rocky reef at high tide.


Mallard  2 (m,f) in a deep portion of the slow-flowing creek, LCC; 2 (m,f) in stream, UCC (4/3/14).

Brandt's Cormorant  1  flying low, southeast offshore, SW.

Brown Pelican   8  in formation over the shore, MB;  30 in three flocks of 10-12, flying w over the cliffs, SW.

Great Egret  1 LCC (MM 3/29/14).

Green Heron  1 (ad) flying down the creek, LCC;  1 (ad) perched in subcanopy of a mature sycamore, UCC (4/3/14).

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) landed in tall tree; calls; BG; 1 soaring high; chased by a crow, LCC (4/3/14).

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) circling high above the neighborhood with several CAGU.

Willet  5  foraging in pairs and loose flocks on the shore, SW.

Marbled Godwit 1  MB (3/30/14).

Whimbrel  12  MB (3/30/14).

Heermann's Gull  4 (1 ad; 3 imm) on shore with RBGU and WEGU, MB; 10 flying west offshore, SW.

Ring-billed Gull  10 (ad, imm) on shore, MB; on shore and flying west, SW (3/30/14 - photos).

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) C1 (left); adult in alternate plumage (right). Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  30 March 2014


                                                                                 © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Mew Gull  1 (C1) foraging on diptera in piles of kelp, MB (3/30/14 - photo).

Mew Gull (Larus canus) first cycle; Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  30 March 2014

                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


California Gull   6 (ad, imm) on shore, MB; flying west, SW.

California Gull (Larus californicus) second cycle (left); adult in alternate plumage (right), Moonlight Beach, Encinitas CA  2 April 2014


                                                                                    © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Herring Gull  1 (C2) MB (3/30/14 - photo).

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  30 March 2014

                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Gull   20  on and near shore, MB; 25 resting and flying offshore, SW.

Caspian Tern  1  flying 50 ft. above shoreline, MB.

Royal Tern  3  adults; one with metal band on right tarsus: #804 - photos - 3/2/14.

Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) Moonlight Beach Encinitas San Diego County CA  2 April 2014


                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Tern (Thalasseus sp. cf. elegans)   1  flying and diving offshore, MB.

Forster's Tern  1  flying and diving offshore, MB.

Eurasian Collared Dove    2, calls, LCC.  4 BG.

Domestic Rock Pigeon   14  flying around the beach, MB.

Dove (Columbina sp ?.) 1  small size; short tail; seen briefly while driving; on utility wire, Birmingham Drive about 0.1 mi east of Vulcan Ave.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  canopy of willows, LCC; 3  call;  foraging on a variety of flowering vegetation, BG;  4  gardens, CD.

Allen's Hummingbird  12 (mostly males) calls, displays, BG (photo); 4 CD.

Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) SD Botanical Garden, Encinitas CA  27 March 2014


                                                                      © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Nuttall's Woodpecker  calls, CD; 1 calls, UCC (4/3/14).

Black Phoebe  3  base of cliffs, MB;  1 calls, BG.

Cassin's Kingbird  4  calls; on utility wires, CD.

Warbling Vireo 1 foraging in sycamores and willows, UCC (4/3/13).

Cassin's Vireo  1  repeated song in sycamores and willows, UCC (4/3/13).

Western Scrub-jay   2  BG; 1 UCC (4/3/14).

American Crow   8  LCC/MB;  4 BG;  4 CD;  6 SW.

Barn Swallow 6 MB  flying low over beach wrack in mixed species flock of swallows (CLSW, TRSW) (4/1/14).

Cliff Swallow  5  MB  as above (4/1/14).

Tree Swallow  1  MB as above (4/1/14)

Oak Titmouse  1  repeated song, BG.

Bushtit  4  LCC;  8  BG;; 3  CD.

Bewick's Wren  1 repeated song, CD.

House Wren  2  repeated song, BG; 1 CD;  2 entering nest box with something in beak LCC (4/3/14).

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 calls, CD.

Hermit Thrush  1  BG; 1 on ground in shade near stream, UCC (4/3/14).

Western Bluebird  2  BG;  2  CD (photo).


Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) Encinitas, SDCO CA  27 March 2014

                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Northern Mockingbird  1 song, LLC; 1 song, BG;  2 CD.

California Thrasher  2 song, BG.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5 vocal (song and calls), BG; 5 in riparian areas, UCC; 3 LCC (4/3/14).

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  4  LCC; 20 BG; 8 CD (photo); 10 (m,f) active in canopy of sycamores, UCC (4/3/14).

Yellow-rumped Audubon's Warbler (Setophaga dendroica) Encinitas SDCO CA  27 March 2014


                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Black-throated Gray Warbler  2 (m,f) foraging in tall, flowering trees with YRWA, BG.

Townsend's Warbler  2  (m,f) foraging in a variety of deciduous trees with YRWA, BG; 1 (m) UCC (4/3/14).

Common Yellowthroat  1  repeated calls and song, BG.

Wilson's Warbler  song (unseen) BG; 1 (m) UCC (4/3/14).

Spotted Towhee  2  repeated song, BG.

California Towhee  4  calls, BG; 2  CD; calls, UCC (4/3/14)..

Song Sparrow  2  LCC; 3 song, BG;  1 song, SW; 1 attacking its reflection in a car mirror, MB (4/3/14 - photo).

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Moonlight Beach, Encinitas  San Diego County CA  3 April 2014

                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke



White-crowned Sparrow  2  LCC; 2 BG;  2  CD.

Bullock's Oriole  1 (m) flying, BG.

Hooded Oriole  2  calls from a mature palm, BG.

Brown-headed Cowbird  calls (unseen) UCC (4/3/14).

House Finch   2 vocal, LCC;  4  BG;  6 CD.

Lesser Goldfinch  2 song, BG.

American Goldfinch  3 (m,f) vocal in canopy of sycamores, UCC (4/3/14).

House Sparrow  10  suburban gardens, D Street, MB.


Balboa Park, March 28, 2014 (25 Species)


Bewick's Wren  (Thryomanes bewickii) Balboa Park, San Diego CA  28 March 2014

                                                              © 2014 Callyn Yorke

Weather: Fair; 60F to 65F; wind WNW 5 -7 mph.

Time: 0920-1221 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: From the parking area adjacent to the Natural History Museum, we walked throught the succulent garden, then across the main park to the Automotive Museum, circling back on Park Drive. We covered about 50 acres of parkland habitat with patches of riparian, oak woodland and ornamental ground cover. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. We also visited the Natural History Museum, featuring Eocene and Pleistocene fossil exhibits from California. The latter exhibit featured post-cranial elements (e.g humeri) of extinct species of cormorant, grebe and loon.

Birds Noted

Mallard  6  pairs in and around artificial ponds and fountains.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls.

Anna's Hummingbird  10 (m,f)  vocal; succulent garden, eucalyptus trees and elsewhere.

Allen's Hummingbird   14 (m,f) ubiquitous in gardens with exotic flowering plants.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 vocal, flying; succulent garden.

Black Phoebe  5  ubiquitous, low perches.

Cassin's Kingbird  3  flying; calls; on utility lines.

American Crow  12  ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2  perched in canopy of tall tree.

Bushtit   20  ubiquitous in small flocks affecting flowering trees and shrubs.

House Wren  10  ubiquitous, vocal.

Bewick's Wren  4  vocal; one carrying nest material to hole in palm (photo).

Western Bluebird  8  (m,f)  ubiquitous, vocal.pairs sallying to lawns.

Northern Mockingbird  3  vocal, ubiquitous.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5  foraging in eucalyptus and other vegetation, often near the ground.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  60 (m,f) ubiquitous,, calls.

Wilson's Warbler  1  song repeated, woods in ravine behind museums.

California Towhee  10  vocal; pairs foraging on ground in gardens throughout.

Chipping Sparrow  calls; lawns with conifers.

Song Sparrow  10 song; ubiquitous (photo).


Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Balboa Park San Diego CA  28 March 2014

                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


White-crowned Sparrow  8  one flock feeding on lawn.

Hooded Oriole  5  (m,f) vocal; flying between mature trees.

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

Lesser Goldfinch  2 (m,f) foraging in eucalyptus.

House Sparrow  20 around buildings and gardens,























ENCINITAS, January 2-11, 2014 (55 Species)

A) Moonlight Beach at the Cottonwood Creek outlet.          B) Brad Roth (L), Mark Wisniewsky (R) with local high school volunteers of the                                               Jan 2, 2014                                        Cottonwood Creek Conservancy, Encinitas San Diego County CA January 7 2014


                                               © 2014 Merissa Mendez


Weather: Fair with occasional coastal low fog, clearing by mid-morning; 39F to 74F; Wind WNW 0-7 mph; tidal flux 6-8 ft.; high tide 8-9 AM; surf 1-3 ft.

Time: 0700- 1800 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I

Areas Covered1) Cottonwood Creek Restoration areas (CC), Encinitas Blvd. (east) and B Street at SCH (west). This is a restored riparian-coastal sage habitat along a modified drainage that currently offers good cover to birds and wildlife. 



                                                                       Encinitas, California

On January 11, 2014, while conducting a bird survey, Merissa and I met the current project managers of the Cottonwood Creek Conservancy, Brad Roth and Mark Wisniewski, together with several local high school student volunteers.We were given a spontaneous and informative tour of the lower (west) Cottonwood Creek restoration area. Cottonwood Creek Ecological Preserve was established in 1993. Hundreds of volunteers labored for nearly two decades to remove a massive colony of invasive Giant Reed (Arundo donax), Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) and other exotic plants, in order to re-establish native plants such as Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), California Sunflower (Encelia lasiolepis), California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina), Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), Fuscia-flowered Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum), Matilija Poppy (Romnea coulteri), Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia) and many other shrubs and herbs. The results of their efforts have been spectacular. Cottonwood Creek is presently a thriving riparian-coastal sage community supporting many species of bird (see my field notes from current and previous surveys of Cottonwood Creek). Brad and Mark, along with many other volunteers, continue to establish native plants at Cottonwood creek, eradicate exotic species, collect and remove trash, meet with city and regional resource agencies to seek funding and strategic assistance, and perform a multitude of other tasks designed to preserve and maintain this valuable natural area within the bustling community of Encinitas. They are well-deserving of much credit for their exemplary leadership and downright hard work in habitat restoration and conservation.


                                                         Mark Wisniewski (left) and Brad Roth (right) at Cottonwood Creek, Encinitas, CA January 11 2014


                                                                                                                                                                         © 2014 Merissa Mendez


I included a bird survey of a suburban easement trail along a riparian drainage (dry) bordering the northeast corner of CC, paralleling I-5.  2) Moonlight Beach (MB). I surveyed the shoreline in the mornings and evenings (high and low-tide, respectively) to about 0.25 mi in both directions from MB. Many beachgoers were present during evening surveys; fewer during morning visits. 3) Crest Drive, Encinitas (CD). We surveyed a hilltop residential area surrounding the intersection of Crest Drive and Cardiff Drive, consisting of single-family homes on large lots (e.g. 1 acre) planted with a variety of exotic trees (e.g. pines) and shrubs (e.g. Hibiscus, Bougainvillia), cleared areas and ruderal roadways. 4) Arden Drive (AD). We made three brief visits (AM/PM) to this suburban neighborhood in an unsuccessful search for an Orchard Oriole.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found during the surveys included, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (1) and  Oriole sp.(1).


Mallard  2 (m,f)   together in the creek, CC (east).

Red-breasted Merganser  3 (f) diving about 30 yards offshore, MB.

Red-throated Loon  2  flying n together 50 yards offshore, MB.

Eared Grebe  2  diving about 30 yards offshore, MB.

Clark's Grebe  1  40 yards offshore, MB.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying n near shore, MB.

Brandt's Cormorant  5  flying low n, 100 yards offshore, MB.

Brown Pelican  6  diving 40-60 yards offshore, MB.

Little Egret  1  foraging in shallows, CC (west, east).

Green Heron 1 (ad) shady edge of creek, CC (east, west); west bird just swallowed a small fish (photo).


Green Heron (Butorides virescens) west Cottonwood Creek Encinitas, San Diego County CA  7 Jan 2014

                                                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Osprey  2   one repeatedly roosting on top of large conifer with ornamental lights and a metal star, used as a perch; Two flying around the beach, vocalizing; one molting worn flight feathers, MB.

Cooper's Hawk  1 flying s over eucalyptus grove and into adjacent suburbs, CC (east).

Red-shouldered Hawk calls,  CD.

Marbled Godwit  1  bathing in the CC outlet at the beach, MB (photo).

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) lower Cottonwood Creek at Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA 7 Jan 2014


                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Whimbrel   1 bathing in the CC outlet on the beach near a Marbled Godwit (photo), MB.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) lower Cottonwood Creek at Moonlight Beach, Encinitas SDCO CA  7 Jan 2014


                                                                                                           © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Heermann's Gull   12  (ad, imm) sandy picnic area, MB.

Ring-billed Gull  8 (ad, imm) sandy picnic area, MB.

California Gull   20 (ad, imm) sandy picnic area and outer beach, MB.

Western Gull  15 (ad, imm) sandy picnic area, outer beach and offshore, MB.

Western Gull x Glaucous-winged Gull  1 (C3) sandy picnic area, MB.

Glaucous-winged Gull 1 (ad) on sand hill with other gulls, MB.

Royal Tern  30  together in traditional roost above the high tide mark, MB.

Rock Pigeon  40  flying around together and perched on utility wire, MB.

Eurasian Collared Dove  3    on utility lines and poles, AD.

Mourning Dove  2  fly, CC (west).

Anna's Hummingbird   5 (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous, CC, CD.

Allen's Hummingbird  4  vocal; around flowering plants in suburban gardens, CC, MB.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 1 (f) vocal; in eucalyptus, CD.

Downy Woodpecker 1 (f)  vocal; foraging in  tall shrubs on hillside, CC (east).

Black Phoebe   3  CC; 1 CD.

Say's Phoebe  1  CD.

Cassin's Kingbird  12  vocal, gregarious on utility lines and poles; eucalyptus, CD;  2  vocal in mature cottonwoods, CC.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  1   associating with a loose flock of Cassin's Kingbird on utility lines, tall trees of suburban yards. Found here on January 4, 2014 by Susan Smith, Gretchen Nell and Rita Campbell, STFL is a rare vagrant with about five winter records for San Diego County (Unitt, 2004: p.361).

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) left; Cassin's Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans) right; Crest Drive, Encinitas, SDCO CA  5 Jan 2014


                                                                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Scrub-jay  1 in tall conifer, suburban yard, CC (east); 1 CD.

American Crow  25  ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2 soaring together over hillside, CC (east).

Bushtit  6  vocal, active in willows, CC (west); CD.

House Wren  1 creekside scrub, CC (west).

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  4 CC(east, west);  2  CD.

Hermit Thrush  1  dense willow thicket, CC (east).

Northern Mockingbird  2  suburban gardens, AD.

European Starling  15 utility wires, CC (east).

Cedar Waxwing  6  vocal in canopy of ecualyptus; flew se, CC (east).

Orange-crowned Warbler  10  ubiquitous.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  40 ubiquitous.

Common Yellowthroat  5  streamside grass and shrubs, CC (east. west).

California Towhee  6  CC (east, west);  2 CD.

Spotted Towhee  2  hillside chaparral, CC (east).

Song Sparrow  15 (dark-streaked coastal form M. melodia heermanni); ubiquitous.

Lincoln's Sparrow  2  calls (unseen) dense vegetation near stream, CC (east, west).

White-crowned Sparrow  25  ad, imm) vocal, ubiquitous.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  1  hillside chaparral, CC (east).

Oriole sp. 1 female; seen briefly at a great distance, moving through canopy and subcanopy of eucalyptus, CD.

House Finch  60  vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  calls atop sycamores; feeding on willow catkins, CC (east, west) (photo).

Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) west Cottonwood Creek Ecological Preserve, Encinitas, SDCO CA  7 Jan 2014


                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


House Sparrow  25  around bird feeder, MB;  15  AD.



SAN ELIJO LAGOON, January 3 & 5, 2014 (35 Species)

Weather: Fair  following clearing of coastal fog; 56F; wind calm. High tide @ about 0800 hrs.

Time: 1008-1130 hrs. (3 Jan.); 1015-1105 (5 Jan.)

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) January 3, 2014: Nature Center trails in the northwest corner of San Elijo Lagoon (NWSEL). We walked the trails through the area, surveying coastal sage,  mixed riparian woodland, freshwater and brackish-saltwater marsh, mudflats and open water in the tidal channel. The parking area was nearly full when we arrived; many visitors with children and dogs were present during our survey. 2) January 5, 2014: The north Rios Trail (NRT): We walked downhill from the parking area at the end of Rios Drive, heading west to the end of the trail at a sandspit with benches. This area combines a north slope grown to coastal sage with tidal saltmarsh. We were unsuccessful in locating Nelson's Sparrow, reported at this location a few days earlier.


Gadwall   2 (m,f) swimming in the channel at the edge of the marsh, NWSEL.

Mallard  12 (m,f) ubiquitous, marsh and channel.

Northern Pintail  6 (m,f) swimming near the marsh, NWSEL, NRT.

Green-winged Teal  5 (m,f) swimming, dabbling at the edge of the channel, NRT.

Bufflehead  3  (m,f) swimming in the channel, NWSEL.

Double-crested Cormorant  25  on utility lines; swimming in channel, NWSEL.

Great Blue Heron  3  ubiquitous at the edge of the marsh.

Great Egret   4  ubiquitous at the edge of the marsh.

Snowy Egret  2 shallows in marsh, NWSEL.

Osprey  1  perched on a pole in the marsh, NWSEL.

Northern Harrier  2  ubiquitous; flying low and landing in the marsh.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring high over the marsh, NRT.

American Kestrel  1 on utility pole, NRT.

American Coot  25  ubiquitous in backwater areas.

Marbled Godwit  10 resting together on mudflats, NWSEL.

Whimbrel  5  flying; resting on mudflats, NWSEL.

Willet  2  on mudflats, NWSEL.

Spotted Sandpiper   1 on mudflats at edge of channel, NWSEL.

Western Gull  5  circling over adjacent shore to the west of SCH, NWSEL.

Mourning Dove  calls, NWSEL.

Anna's Hummingbird  5  vocal, active in and around the riparian area and edge of the marsh-coastal sage area; one male appearing to be a possible hybrid Anna's x Costa's Hummingbird. This individual had a purplish-lavender gorget and forehead, which seen in certain lighting (i.e.variation due to structural coloration) suggested Costa's Hummingbird. However, at least three reviewers (including a hummingbird hybrid specialist, Christopher J.Clark) generally agreed that in this particular image, the bird's size and proportions indicate a pure-bred Anna's, NWSEL (photo).

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) Northwest San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  3 January, 2014

                                                                                           © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Allen's Hummingbird 1 fly, calls, riparian, NWSEL.

Black Phoebe  4  ubiquitous at edge of marsh, riparian and coastal sage.

Say's Phoebe  1 sallying from perch on dead branch at the edge of the marsh, NRT (photo).

Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) southwest San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA  5 Jan 2014


                                                                       © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Crow  4  calls, flying over riparian, NWSEL.

House Wren  1  edge of riparian, NWSEL.

Marsh Wren  2, calls, edge of marsh; one individual, probably of the wintering subspecies Cistothorus palustris pulverius, was noticably paler and possibly larger than the resident subspecies, NWSEL (photo). 2, calls (unseen) NRT.

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris pulverius) northwest San Elijo Lagoon, SDCO CA 3 Jan 2014

                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  calls; riparian woodland, NWSEL.

Wrentit  2  song, coastal sage hillside, NRT.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  5  calls; active in riparian woodland and coastal sage, NWSEL, NRT.

Common Yellowthroat  2  calls; active at the edge of the riparian woodland, NWSEL.

California Towhee  3  coastal sage, NWSEL.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  5   active in and around the marsh, NWSEL, NRT.

Song Sparrow  5   vocal, riparian and edge, NWSEL.

White-crowned Sparrow  8  vocal, ubiquitous, NWSEL.





                                                    Borderfield State Park, San Diego County CA  January 6, 2014


                                                                    © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair; 45F to 63F. Wind, WNW 2 - 5 mph.

Time: 0719-1345 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: 1) Dairy Mart Pond ("Stick Pond"), near the intersection of I-5 and Dairy Mart Road (DMP). I surveyed the southwest corner and southern shore of DMP, viewing the pond through occasional openings in a dense riparian border. A wooden wall with openings for viewing was convieniently installed as a wildlife blind near the designated parking area in the southwestern section. The main trail was clear and well-maintained, offering excellent birding opportunities in an otherwise developed area with apartments and farms. One person was jogging through the area during my survey (0719-0824 hrs.).

2) Butterfly and Bird Garden at 2310 Hollister Road (BG). We walked on the trails through the garden and on a sandy track through a dense riparian-coastal sage area in the adjacent area to the northwest. Although several Black-throated Magpie Jays were found here last spring (see link to previous field notes), none was found today No other people were present in the survey area during our visit, except for someone driving by in a park maintenance vehicle (0834-0943 hrs.).

3) Borderfield State Park (BSP). We cycled from the park entrance to the picnic area located on a hilltop next to the U.S.-Mexico international border. The road leading to the picinic area is partially inundated and impassable for most vehicles near its terminus in the southwest, thus persuading officials to keep the park closed to private automobile traffic. Because a distance of about 1.3 miles must be covered on foot, bicycle or horesback, to reach the picnic area and park facilities (restrooms, picnic tables and informative historical signage), BSP appears to be one of the least developed and thus most pristine of the California State Parks. Here at the southwestern corner of the United States is a strange juxtaposition of   a crowded Tijuana suburb overlooking a vast expanse of one of the best preserved sections of coastal salt marsh in Southern California. Even with hoards of Mexicans staring at us through the huge prison-style border fence, the park is tranquil and scenic. It has become one of our favorite places to visit while in the San Diego region.

Habitats surveyed in BSP included, coastal sage, salt marsh, patches of willow riparian, sandy shoreline and nearshore waters. As usual BSP was almost completely devoid of visitors during our survey; two border patrol agents in their vehicles were parked near the southwest corner. Birdlife was relatively uniformly, though sparsely distributed along the roads and paths; small, mixed-species flocks of shorebirds were resting on the beach at high tide (0955-1215 hrs.).

4)Tijuana River Estuarine National Research Reserve (TRE). I walked the north McCoy Trail and adjacent trails overlooking the saltmarsh. Other habitats included were riparian (a small patch near the nature center), gardens adjacent to the nature center and condominiums, and coastal sage. Several other people were on the trails during my survey (1300-1345  hrs.).



Mallard  3 (m,f) swimming near the edge of the pond, DMP.

Northern Shoveler  35 (m,f), DMP.

Green-winged Teal   2 (m,f) DMP;  8 at edge of channel in saltmarsh, TRE.

American Wigeon  8 (m,f) swimming together, DMP.

Cinnamon Teal  1 (m) resting at the edge of the pond, DMP.

Redhead 1 (m) resting at the edge of the pond, DMP.

Bufflehead  1(f) DMP; 4 (m,f) diving in channel, TRE.

Ruddy Duck 50 (m,f) resting, DMP.

Red-throated Loon 3  diving about 100 yards offshore, BSP.

Pied-billed Grebe   3  diving; one with fish, DMP.

Eared Grebe  1 in channel, TRE.

Double-crested Cormorant   12  resting on snags, DMP.

Brown Pelican  1 (ad)  injured and unable to fly; parking area at the base of the picnic hilltop; removed by an animal control officer, BSP.

Great Egret  3  edge of pond, DMP;  2 in marsh, TRE.

Snowy Egret  3 edge of channel in shallows, TRE.

Black-crowned Night Heron   50 (ad, imm)  perched around the northeast edge of the pond.

Northern Harrier 1 (f) flying low over the marsh, BSP.

Cooper's Hawk 1 flushed from riparian edge, DMP.

Red-shouldered Hawk 1 (ad) in tree at edge of the pond, DMP.

Red-tailed Hawk    10 ubiquitous; some on roadside utility lines.

American Kestrel  1 (f) perched on buildings and poles around the picnic area and across the border, BSP.

American Coot  10 DMP.

Semipalmated Plover  4  one in trans. alt. plmg. foraging in a loose flock on the outer beach, BSP (photo).

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) Borderfield State Park, San Diego County CA  6 January 2014


                                                                                                             © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Killdeer  6   in a loose flock in deep sand on the inner beach, BSP.

Marbled Godwit 6  on outer beach with Willets and Whimbrels, BSP.

Willet  40  resting on outer beach, BSP.

Long-billed Curlew   2 foraging individually on outer beach, BSP.

Heermann's Gull   15 (ad, imm) in a mixed species flock of gulls on the outer beach, BSP.

Ring-billed Gull  8  (ad, imm) on snags around the edge of the pond, DMP.

Herring Gull   1(ad)  on the outer beach with other gulls and shorebirds, BSP.

California Gull  6  on the perimeter of the pond, BSP.

Western Gull   500  resting about 1 mile offshore, BSP; 12 on the outer beach, BSP.

Rock Pigeon  10 flying around ranches on Hollister Road.

Mourning Dove  3  DMP.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  flying over a ranch at entrance to BSP.

Common Ground Dove  1  on ground and flushed to a tree, west parking area, BG (photo).

Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina) Butterfly Garden Preserve, Hollister Road, SDCO CA  6 Jan 2014


                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Anna's Hummingbird   6 DMP; 3 BSP; 4 TRE.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m) fly, calls. DMP; 1 TRE.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 2  calls, DMP.

Black Phoebe    1 DMP;  3 BSP, 1 TRE.

Say's Phoebe  1  BG.

American Crow   20  ubiquitous.

Bushtit   12  BSP.

House Wren  1  BG.

Marsh Wren  1  TRE.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5  ubiquitous in riparian areas.

Hermit Thrush  2  BG.

Wrentit   1  DMP; 1 BG.

European Starling  2 DMP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   35  (m,f) ubiquitous, esp. riparian areas.

Common Yellowthroat  1 DMP;  2 BG.

California Towhee   2 DMP;  2 BG.

Savannah Sparrow 1 open fields at entrance, DMP, 6 (at least 4 large-billed) bathing in puddle at the edge of the picnic area, BSP (photo).

Large-billed Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis rostratus ) Borderfield State Park SDCO CA  6 Jan 2014


                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Fox sparrow  2  scratching in leaf litter and entrance to rodent burrows; one captured and ate an insect larva, BG (photo).

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) Butterfly and Bird Garden, Hollister Road, SDCO CA 6 Jan 2014

                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Song Sparrow   30  vocal, ubiquitous.

Lincoln's Sparrow   1  calls; TRE.

White-crowned Sparrow  65  ubiquitous.

Red-winged Blackbird  2 (f)  on utility wire, Hollister Rd.

Brewer's Blackbird   15  on utility wire, Hollister Rd.

House Finch    45  ubiquitous.

American Goldfinch  2  vocal; tree-tops, BG.

House Sparrow   20  around buildings at the entrance, TRE.



Oceanside Harbor and the San Luis Rey River, January 7  2014 (31 Species)

Weather: fair with patchy coastal fog; 60F; surf 3-4 ft.

Time: 1200- 1615 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We surveyed the lagoon at the mouth of the San Luis Rey river (SLR), outer beach (OB) and adjacent harbor (H). We met briefly with another birder (Dr. David Holway, UCSD Biology Dept.), whom had been in this area for a couple of hours earlier this morning in search of a Glaucous Gull, reported here about two weeks earlier by someone else. David left the area without seeing the Glaucous Gull.  Subsequently, Merissa and I searched through flocks of gulls on the adjacent shoreline and around the harbor. Then, before leaving the area around 4 PM, I checked the river mouth one more time and was surprised to see an immature Glaucous Gull that had suddently arrived (direction?), stayed for a few minutes amongst the other gulls, then flew out of view toward the outer shore. I promptly  phoned David, notifying him of our find.

Birds Noted

Gadwall   6 (m,f) swimming near shore, SLR.

Cinnamon Teal  2  (m, f) male in partial molt; near shore, SLR.

Northern Shoveler  1 (f) dabbling near shore, SLR.

Ruddy Duck  1  SLR.

Pied-billed Grebe   1  SLR.

Western Grebe  4  SLR.

Clark's Grebe  1 nearshore, OB.

Double-crested Cormorant  25  H.

Brown Pelican  4  H.

Great Egret  1   edge of water on a rocky embankment, H.

Snowy Egret  2 on docks, H.

Osprey 1  on sand bar, SLR (photo).


Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) San Luis Rey River, SDCO CA 7 Jan 2014

                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Coot   15  SLR.

Killdeer  2  SLR/OB.

Marbled Godwit  2  OB.

Willet  1  OB.

Sanderling   16  OB.

Least Sandpiper  6  SLR.

Heermann's Gull  80 (ad, imm) SLR, OB.

Ring-billed Gull  20  (ad, imm)  SLR

California Gull  15 (ad, imm) SLR.

Herring Gull  2 (C1; ad) SLR.

Western Gull  35  (ad, imm).

Western Gull x Glaucous-winged Gull  (ad) showing dark iris, relatively light gray mantle and wings; dark spots on primaries; medium-size bill, SLR.

Glaucous-winged Gull   1 (ad) with other gulls in lagoon, SLR.

Glaucous Gull  1 (juv./C1) Noted large size, overall whitish coloration with some pale barring of vent feathers; pink tarsi and toes; bicolored bill;  relatively small- eyed; iris color not seen clearly. This bird arrived at about 1554 hrs from an uncertain direction (possibly east), as I was looking at gulls in the western portion of the lagoon;  It joined other gulls in shallows of river mouth; preening, scratching its cheek and drinking for several minutes. After a few minutes I observed the bird flying low toward the outer shore and out of view (1600 hrs.) Apparently, this was the same bird found here be another birder about two weeks ago and sighted again a few times after its initial discovery, SLR (photos a, b, c). Glaucous Gull is a rare migrant to San Diego County.

 Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) same individual in all three images; mouth of the San Luis Rey River, Oceanside, SDCO   CA  Jan 7 2014


                                (a)                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke                                       (b)


                      c) Glaucous Gull (lower) with California Gull (left) and American Coot (center). San Luis Rey River, SDCO CA 7 Jan 2014


                                                                                                                                           © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Royal Tern  1   briefly flew low over river mouth then back to toward the outer beach, SLR.

Rock Pigeon  6  H.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of estuary, SLR.

American Crow  10  SLR, H.

Brewer's Blackbird  1 (f) H.

Great-tailed Grackle  3  (m,f) edge of estuary, SLR.


Batiquitos Lagoon  January 8, 2014 (64 Species)

Weather: Fair; some coastal low fog on shore; wind calm. Outgoing tide at 1030 hrs.

Time: 0715-1120 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked from the parking area at the end of Gabbiano Way,  eastward on the north shoreline trail to its terminus near the east end of the lagoon; returning the same route. There were numerous visitors on the trail, including joggers and those with dogs. Excluding myself, I counted four people using binoculars, out of about one hundred visitors on the trail during my survey. Like many other nature reserves in Southern California, Batiquitos Lagoon is used primarily for recreational purposes rather than for nature study and appreciation.

One man, stopping to see what I was looking at in the Eucalyptus trees, snidely remarked, What are you looking for, Koala Bears? I suppose I should have congratulated him for knowing that Koala Bears eat the leaves of Eucalyptus trees (though they are not particularly preferential to Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus), which is the dominant exotic tree at Batiquitos Lagoon - see Australian Koala Foundation report, June 2008: ).


American Wigeon 1,500 (conserv. est.) ubiquitous in the lagoon.

Northern Shoveler  250  (m,f) ubiquitous at the edges of the lagoon.

Northern Pintail  8 (m,f) nw edge of the lagoon.

Green-winged Teal  6 (m,f) nw corner of the lagoon.

Lesser Scaup  10  (m,f) diving in the middle of the west section of the lagoon.

Bufflehead  20 (m,f) in the middle of the west section of the lagoon.

Ruddy Duck  40  (m,f) mostly resting in flocks in the eastern portion of the lagoon.

Pied-billed Grebe  3  swimming near shore, w.

Eared Grebe  2  swimming in open water, central, w.

Horned Grebe  1 swimming in open water,  w-central.

Double-crested Cormorant  50  resting on mudflats; flying; diving, w.

American White Pelican  2 swimming together, e.

Great Blue Heron  4  on shorelines, n, s.

Great Egret  4  on shorelines throughout.

Snowy Egret  on shore with GREG, w.

Black-crowned Night Heron  3 (ad) partially concealed at the edge of the marsh, nw.

Osprey  2  flying over the lagoon; calls from eucalyptus, e.

Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over the marsh, w.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls, n-central.

Red-tailed Hawk  2 (ad) circling above adjacent hillside suburbs, n.

American Coot  800 ubiquitous in the lagoon.

Black-bellied Plover  6  foraging individually on mudflats, n.

Marbled Godwit  8  foraging individually on mudflats, n.

Whimbrel  1  on the mudflat, n.

Long-billed Curlew  2  on the mudflat and in shallows, n.

Willet  3  on mudflats, n.

Sanderling  1  on mudflats, n.

Least Sandpiper  10  foraging in a loose flock on mudflats, n.

Short-billed Dowitcher  5  foraging together in shallows, n.

Ring-billed Gull  4  on sandbar and mudflat, n.

Western Gull 2 (ad) on mudflat, sw.

Caspian Tern  1 seen at about 150 yards; relatively large size, red bill; slow wing beats; flying about 50 ft. over the lagoon, w-central.

Royal Tern  1  flying low over the lagoon, w.

Mourning Dove  calls, central ecualyptus woodland.

Anna's Hummingbird  25  vocal, ubiquitous; especially active in flowering eucalyptus.

Allen's Hummingbird  3  vocal; active in flowering eucalyptus.

Belted Kingfisher  1  calls; flying over shore, n.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  5  vocal; active in eucalyptus woodland, central.

Black Phoebe  8  vocal; active at edge of woodland and marsh.

Say's Phoebe  2  active at edge of marsh and in open fields, central.

Cassin's Kingbird  3  vocal; in canopy of mature eucalyptus.

Western Scrub-jay  1  calls, n-central.

American Crow  20  vocal, ubiquitous.

Bushtit  30  vocal; active in flocks throughout.

House Wren  5 vocal, ubiquitous; active in eucalyptus woodland and edge of marsh.

Marsh Wren  4  vocal, ubiquitous; active at edge of marsh.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5  vocal, ubiquitous in eucalyptus with YRWA.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1  active in low shrubs along trail, w (photo).

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulia) northwest Batiquitos Lagoon, SDCO CA 8 Jan 2014


                                                                                   © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Wrentit  3  calls (unseen) hillside coastal sage, n.

Orange-crowned Warbler  6    calls; active in eucalyptus with YRWA, nw, n-central.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  60 (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous, esp. in eucalyptus.

Townsend's Warbler 1 (m) active in the middle and lower levels of foliage in eucalyptus, n-central (photo).

Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) north Batiquitos Lagoon, SDCO CA  8 Jan 2014


                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Common Yellowthroat  25 vocal, ubiquitous; active in understory of eucalyptus and edge of marsh

Wilson's Warbler  1  song (unseen) marshy edge of eucalyptus woodland, n-central.

California Towhee  8  calls; understory of eucalyptus and coastal sage, nw, n-central.

Savannah Sparrow  2  calls (unseen) marsh and edge of coastal sage, nw.

Song Sparrow  20  2 distinct races; one dark, coastal subspecies (M. melodia hermannii - photo b ), abundant and widespread; the other a lighter, ferruginous form (note lighter overall plumage with sparse streaking below) with a distinctly thin, weak- sounding song (M. melodia ssp. - photo a). Individuals of the common dark coastal form (photo b) occupied the same general habitat - coastal sage-marsh-edge of eucalyptus woodland as the other "ferruginous" individual found at the same location (photo a).

a) Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia ssp.) n-central Batiquitos Lagoon, SDCO CA  8 Jan 2014

                                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke


b) Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia hermannii) n-central Batiquitos Lagoon SDCO CA  8 Jan 2014

                                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Lincoln's Sparrow  3  calls; active in dense understory of eucalyptus woodland, n.

White-crowned Sparrow  50 (conserv. est.) ad, imm; vocal, ubiquitous.

Red-winged Blackbird  6 (m,f) in patch of cattails, nw.

House Finch  60  vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  song, calls; edge of eucalyptus-coastal sage, w.

American Goldfinch  1  song; tall trees at edge of golf course, n-central.

House Sparrow  10  suburban gardens near entrance, w.


La Jolla, January 9  2014 (30 Species)

Weather: Fair; coastal low fog clearing by 0930 hrs. Wind WNW 0-2 mph; surf 3-5 ft.; high tide @ 0900 hrs.

Time:  (1) 0715-0945 hrs. (2) 1230-1300 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Coast Blvd. in La Jolla (CLJ): We walked about 0.25 mi on Coast Blvd, starting and ending at the west end. We included a brief visit to the fenced area on the cliffs overlooking La Jolla cove and the adjacent cliff trail. Habitats surveyed included hillside coastal sage, patches of riparian-sage in ravines and drainages, lawns, gardens, cliff faces, rock and and sand shoreline (mostly covered by high tide) and offshore to a distance of about 1 mile. The area was relatively quiet with few visitors until about 0900 hrs. Several California Sea Lions were hauled out on large rocks; harbor seals on the exposed beach inside a semicircular breakwater. Two "pods" of swimmers were about 100 yards offshore. Several other birders and photographers were on the cliffs next to the fenced observation area, including at least four individuals evidently unconcerned about signs warning people to avoid entering the dangerous cliff-top area.

2) Medical plaza at 4510 Executive Way, La Jolla (EWL). I observed a mixed species flock of birds in a trio of 35 ft. tall,  exotic locust-like trees (species?) growing directly in front of a medical building with a nearly continuous south-facing wall of reflective glass. This busy,highly developed commercial area included fountains, streams and pools, yet largely without native vegetation (e.g. coastal sage scrub and riparian). Occasional loud blasts from overhead jet aircraft were combined with constant automobile traffic. Curiously, none of these artificial aspects of the environment appeared to have a negative impact on a diverse assemblage of insectivorous birds in the locust trees. Among those bird species was a Bay-breasted Warbler,  an northern boreal forest vagrant, reported here several days earlier by Paul Lehman.



Brant  12 flying at least 1 mile offshore; alighting on the water just outside the kelp beds. CLJ.

Red-breasted Merganser  2  (f) diving in the tidepools, CLJ.

Red-throated Loon  1  flying low over the open ocean, CLJ.

Western Grebe  2  swimming about 100 yards offshore, CLJ.

Double-crested Cormorant  6 (alt. plmg.) on cliff face, CLJ (photo).

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) La Jolla, San Diego County CA  9 January 2014

                                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Brandt's Cormorant   80  several sitting on cliff-faces with and without nests; several flocks flying offshore, CLJ (photo).


Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) La Jolla, San Diego County, CA  9 January 2014

                                                                                                               © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Brown Pelican  30 (alt. plmg.) many on rocks and cliff faces; some flying and diving offshore, CLJ.

Black-vented Shearwater 1 flying over kelp beds, CLJ.

Snowy Egret  1  flying over the shore, CLJ.

Black-bellied Plover  1  on rocks in tidepools, CLJ.

Willet  1  on rocks in tidepools, CLJ.

Heermann's Gull  60  (90% ad) on rocks and cliffs with other gulls, CLJ.

Ring-billed Gull  30  (ad)  on rocks and cliffs with other gulls, CLJ.

California Gull  1 (ad) alone on cliff ledge, CLJ.

Western Gull  70 (ad, imm) ubiquitous; several competing for cliff ledges, CLJ.

Anna's Hummingbird   4 vocal; active in gardens and patches of coastal sage above cliffs, CLJ;  1 calls, locust tree, EWL.

Black Phoebe  4  ubiquitous, including rocky shore; 1  calls, active around locust trees, EWL.

Cassin's Kingbird   1  vocal; tree tops adjacent to medical plaza, EWL.

American Crow  5  ubiquitous, CLJ.

Bushtit  4  vocal; a small active flock in the locust tree, EWL.

House Wren  1  calls; active in garden and adjacent coastal sage, CLJ.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3  calls; active in coastal sage-riparian drainage, CLJ; 1 calls; active in locust tree with mixed species flock, EWL.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  10 calls; ubiquitous in small flocks;  8 repeated calls; a loose flock, very active in locust trees, EWL.

Townsend's Warbler  2 (m, f) calls; active in locust tree with YRWA and other species.

Bay-breasted Warbler 1 (imm) Due to its height in the tree I could not see clearly all the features of this bird. Noted drab plumage;  overall body shape appeared relatively stocky; large bill, greenish head and mantle; black wings with two white wing bars; blackish marks on throat; whitish belly,vent and under side of tail, elsewhere buffy-rufous underparts;occasional calls; active in outer canopy and subcanopy of one particular locust tree with YRWA and other species (see bird list and notes), EWL (photo). Reported here several days ago by Paul Lehman. Bay-breasted Warbler is a rare vagrant in Southern California.


Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea) 4510 Executive Way, La Jolla, San Diego County, CA  9  January 2014


                                                                                                                       © 2014 Callyn Yorke

Common Yellowthroat  1 calls, riparian ravine, CLJ.

California Towhee  2  calls; active at edge of lawns and gardens, CLJ.

Song Sparrow  3  vocal; active in shrubs in drainages and at the edges of yards, CLJ.

White-crowned Sparrow 10  vocal, ubiquitous in gardens and coastal sage, CLJ;  3 adjacent gardens, EWL.

House Finch  5  in adjacent gardens, EWL.