Thick-billed Kingbird directions from others
- At least as late as noon today, the thick-billed kingbird was still being heard and seen by a large group of birders in Del Dios adjacent to Lake Hodges. Park in the public parking lot across the street from Hernandez'Hideaway restaurant at the intersection of Lake, Rancho, & Fremont Dr. (turn onto Rancho Dr from Del Dios Hwy or Lake Dr from Via Rancho Parkway). Be aware of construction traffic in the area & avoid the truck/equipment access road adjacent to the parking lot (the site security guard was very nice in giving Guy directions earlier on where to access better vantage points). The bird was apparently first found by Sue Smith & was with a group of Cassin's kingbirds in eucalyptus about 100m NE of the parking lot, seen foraging & perching in oaks & willows immediately adjacent to the
parking lot, & to the SE of the parking lot viewable from the hillside intersection of Fremont & Cortez.
Thanks very much to Robert Patton for the great directions to the Lake Hodges TBKI. As of 2:20 pm today when I left, it was still in the same general area Robert described, still vocal with its distinctive, questioning
pur-weeeeeet? and purdur-weeeet? call. At 2:20, when I left Mark Billings and Tom Myers, it had returned to the eucalyptus trees in which it was first seen at 8:45am. For a while it even perched in a small dead euc sapling sprouting out of the water at the lake's edge, affording very close-up views. This eucalyptus area is along the lakeside trail about 50 yds NE of the dirt parking lot that is across the street from Hernandez Hideway restaurant, where Rancho Ave and Lake Drive converge. But much of the day it hung out to the SE of this spot
(as Robert described), foraging in oaks and willows adjacent to the parking lot, and below an overlook spot at the intersection of nearby Fremont and Cortez.The overlook spot is where Guy McCaskie relocated the bird around
mid-morning. This spot also provided good views of the bird making feeding forays, returning to perch in a small live oak below the roadside vantage point.
Sue Smith, Del Mar, CA seiurus@...
San Diego, CA
If it's taken in a Zoo, it's not Nature Photography
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