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South Bay Area (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Headed down to Tijuana Slough this morning, concentrating on the 5th Street Trail (I found out later that technically it s called the River Mouth
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2003
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      Hi, all!

      Headed down to Tijuana Slough this morning, concentrating on the 5th Street
      Trail (I found out later that technically it's called the River Mouth Trail)
      and the trail at the end of Sunset Road. Racked up quite a species list for
      just 5th Street alone; Song Sparrows and Meadowlarks were all over the place,
      and in the little fresh water marsh area had a gorgeous male Mallard and a
      Sora calling. Various shorebirds were in the ponds well west of the trail,
      and Horned Larks sang from the helicopter field. Several White Pelicans were
      in the Tijuana River, an Osprey flew overhead, and although the mouth area
      didn't have as much water as usual, there was still a good selection of
      waterbirds, mostly Marbled Godwits, Willets, a Long-billed Curlew, and
      various gulls and terns. On the loop trail back had not one but TWO Merlins,
      one who had caught breakfast and was chowing down while his companion buzzed
      the vegetation and struck fear into the smaller birds hidden there! Instead
      of turning back where the trail switchbacks I went ahead to the bench which
      overlooks a little hidden pond which was just full of stuff: Red-winged
      Blackbirds, egrets, stilts, dowitchers, both Green-winged and Cinnamon Teal
      (what knockouts), Ruddy Duck, Coot, and Least Sandpipers. A Wilson's Warbler
      sang from one of the bushes on the way back, and enjoyed a couple of nominate
      Savannah Sparrows gobbling up these tiny red berries on whatever bush they
      were occupying... Clapper Rails seemed to be in good numbers as I think I
      had at least five pairs "clapping"!

      Headed down to the end of Sunset Road after that, where they've put up a
      kiosk since I was there last. The place was a cacophany of riparian bird
      song, with Bell's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Bewick's Wren,
      Yellow-breasted Chat, and Yellow Warbler being the predominate singers. One
      little Bell's came out right on top of a scrawny willow, just singing his
      little heart out! I would have expected Mockingbird in this stuff, but the
      mimid-like song I was hearing sounded just a tad too gutteral, and sure
      enough, I discovered a California Thrasher sitting atop one of the willows!
      A Cooper's Hawk went tearing over the scrub, and American Goldfinches also
      bounced over. Two other "chaparral" birds sang from the willows: a Wrentit
      and a mournful Greater Roadrunner, which was an interesting comparison with
      the competing Mourning Dove! In the flycatcher department had Pacific-slope
      and Ash-throated (looking carefully for ochre against the rust ;-) ). Also
      had both towhees (a Spotted close in had a particularly firey eye), and at
      the resting spot startled a lady on her horse (she was telling her what a
      good girl she was for not bolting, I guess!). A Downy Woodpecker called in
      the distance, and almost tuned out a singing Cardinal! (Hey, they deserve to
      be kept track of, too...) On the way back a skylarking chat floated across
      the trail and landed in the open, giving great looks! It was at the kiosk I
      found out the "correct" name of the 5th Street trail, and they also had a
      number for Border Field State Park, so I called to find out the status (since
      every time I go down there there's this huge berm blocking the road). Turns
      out they purposely close the park during the winter because the rains wash
      the sewage onto the roads and not only contaminate the area but make the
      roads so muddy that maintenance is more than they can handle, so she assured
      me they'd be opening it again after the rainy season is over!

      From there headed up to the foot of 7th Street where the usual suspects were
      in the bay, although in fewer numbers than the last time we were here with
      the TV crew: lots of Marbled Godwits, though, and the skimmer/Elegant Tern
      mob was out on one of the spits. A few White Pelicans were in the "pond"
      doing their swim-and-scoop routine, along with a couple of female
      Red-breasted Mergansers. A glorious Clark's Grebe was close to the bike path
      along with an Eared Grebe in alternate plumage. In the duck department added
      a considerable flock of Pintail to the list, and at the resting spot a
      Belding's Sparrow sang buzzily. On the way back a Snowy Egret came sailing
      in and fed quite close to me, giving excellent looks at his shuffle method of
      getting lunch.

      After that headed up to the Silver Strand Nature Trail at the foot of Attu
      Drive, where a Say''s Phoebe sang on a wire along with House Finches and
      Starlings. Added tons of Horned Larks to the list here, plus one lonely
      American Pipit on the "plastic-walk". A real surprise was a couple of
      Chipping Sparrows in the "stuff"! There were still lots of Surf Scoters in
      the bay, as well as Western and Eared Grebes, and even a Common Loon! A
      Brandt's Cormorant was interesting (would have expected Double-crested on the
      bay), and resting at the little inlet had good comparative views of
      Sanderlings and Western Sandpipers, and yet more gulls and terns rested
      across the way.

      Last stop of the day was Kendalfrost Marsh, where the heat waves made it
      difficult to pick out stuff, but did add Brant, Lesser Scaup, and
      Semipalmated Plover to the day list here. A Little Blue Heron fed among the
      distant shorebirds as well; one tern out there sounded a little throaty for
      an Elegant, but I never could find it to ID Royal for sure.

      Headed home with a whopping 90 species for the day. Bird List:

      Common Loon Gavia immer
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
      American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Brandt's Cormorant Phalacrocorax penicillatus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      Brant Branta bernicla
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Northern Pintail Anas acuta
      Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
      Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Osprey Pandion haliaetus
      Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
      Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
      Merlin Falco columbarius
      Clapper Rail Rallus longirostris
      Sora Porzana carolina
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
      Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
      Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
      Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
      Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
      Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Sanderling Calidris alba
      Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
      Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
      Elegant Tern Sterna elegans
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens
      Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      American Pipit Anthus rubescens
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Bell's Vireo Vireo bellii
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
      Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
      Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus

      90 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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