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Coastal SD County & Lake Hodges

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Today took out visiting birder John from England (never did catch his last name!) and had a blast--it s nice when most everything is new for the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2002
      Hi, all!

      Today took out visiting birder John from England (never did catch his last
      name!) and had a blast--it's nice when most everything is new for the person!
      He had already gotten a substantial head start on his list from the previous
      week a little north of here, so he basically just needed some coastal stuff
      and some of the southern California specialties. We hit Sunset Cliffs first
      and got the expected Brandt's and DC Corms, Western and Heermann's Gulls,
      Brown Pelicans, etc. Careful searching through the ton of Western Grebes out
      in the water produced a single Clark's, and we were able to pick out a
      Red-throated Loon as well. Large flocks of what looked like Black Turnstones
      kept whizzing by, and we finally found them feeding on the beach just past
      "Comorant Rock", along with a few Ruddies, Sanderlings, Least Sandpipers, and
      a Whimbrel for the day. A couple of Caspian Terns were flying around there
      as well.

      Since we dipped on the other two Rock-pipers as well as Pelagic Cormorant, we
      decided to go up to La Jolla Shores, and miraculously there were plenty of
      parking spots at the Cave Store! We hiked up the Coast Trail first (showed
      him where our famous booby was hanging out) and picked up Orange-crowned
      Warbler for him, plus a good look at a Song Sparrow and at least heard a nice
      duet from a pair of Wrentits (heard my first Hooded Oriole of the year). A
      pair of Bushtits were cuddling on a branch, both fluffed up and one bird
      snoozing; that was a first! Suspected Pelagics kept flying into the rocks,
      but we couldn't pick out anything but Brandt's, so we trudged back to the
      overlook, where we DID end up spotting one on the cliff finally! (Shoulda
      gone there first...) After enjoying the comical DC Corms with their white
      crests (and some even had white feathers on their beak tips), we headed down
      towards Children's Pool, and mircale of miracles, at the "flat rock" where
      the gulls hang out, a big flock of about 15 gorgeous Surfbirds were feeding!
      Someone was feeding the gulls, so we got good looks at all flavors of Western
      and California; Heermann's were all young birds, and there was one really
      ratty-looking Glaucous-winged hanging out there as well (he was so
      bleached-out looking that I was wondering if he could have been a partial
      albino, but we at least got a "standard" Glaucouswing at Sunset Cliffs).
      Kept trudging down to the Pool where we sat for five, and lo and behold the
      last of our Three Stooges, the Wandering Tattler, finally made a show! We
      also got Spotted Sandpiper there, which led to a discussion about Spotties
      vs. Commons... On the way back to the car I heard a stupid cowbird, but even
      a stupid cowbird was a lifer for John, so we went through great agony trying
      to find the stupid cowbird in the top of the tree, but we finally did! He of
      course figured our attitude towards cowbirds was not unlike theirs towards
      cuckoos, but even a cuckoo is a much more spectacular bird to look at!

      With what time we had John wanted to ensure he got the California
      Gnatcatcher, so we headed over to Lake Hodges. Even he noticed the dryness
      of the landscape; I pointed out how low the water level was in the lake and
      where it used to be years ago. We did hear Rufous-crowned Sparrows in the
      distance, but they weren't very cooperative; both Western and Cassin's
      Kingbirds WERE, however, and we got cracking looks at both species. Cliff,
      Rough-winged, and Barn Swallows swooped around, and a Bewick's Wren sang and
      sat out in the open in a dead tree, but in terrible light so it wasn't the
      best look. When we finally got down to where we could see some water we were
      able to pick out avocets, a few Cinnamon Teal (Mallards kept flying in), lots
      of Coots and egrets, a flock of White Pelicans way out there, and a single
      Osprey (oh, we saw one flying down Sea World Drive with a fist full of
      nesting material!). We did manage to pick out another target bird, the
      White-faced Ibis, for him, and at 11:59 (not literally, but figuratively) the
      silly little gnatcatcher finally decided to show up! John got great looks at
      both the male and female, and on the way back the skulky Wrentit finally
      decided to pop up and give him a view, so I was very happy!

      Headed the back way to Solana Beach to drop him off, a happy camper with
      several new birds under his belt, and 69 species for the day. Bird List:

      Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
      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
      Pelagic Cormorant Phalacrocorax pelagicus
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
      Osprey Pandion haliaetus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
      Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
      Wandering Tattler Heterosceles incanus
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
      Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala
      Surfbird Aphriza virgata
      Sanderling Calidris alba
      Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
      Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus

      69 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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