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 Jan, 2005 - 9 e-mail(s)...


  1. Purple Martin, SJWA LINK
    DATE: Aug 22, 2015 @ 6:06pm, 7 day(s) ago
    I took advantage of the cool overcast start today to check out SJWA this morning. Good numbers of shorebirds, and ducks numbers are climbing as well. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes numbers are climbing too, turning a trip around the B and C ponds into a quick jog..
    
    The highlight was a female/immature Purple Martin that did a few loops over pond 4 before disappearing into the anonymous swallow swarm. A few Lesser Yellowlegs and Solitary Sandpipers were around, but nothing else out of the ordinary showed itself. Right now the ponds north of the Walker parking area seem to have the best mudflats, that's most of the shorebird activity was.
    
    David Rankin
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  3. Salton Sea (south) 19 Aug 2015 LINK
    DATE: Aug 20, 2015 @ 1:09pm, 9 day(s) ago
    I spent Saturday, 19 August 2015 (6:00 AM to 5:30 PM), with at and around the south end of the Salton Sea. I started the day at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley, then drove northward into Brawley, stopping to look at hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue and Cattle Call Park. I then proceeded northward to Ramer Lake. From Ramer Lake I continued northward through Calipatria into Niland. In Niland I birded northward along International Avenue, westward along 4th Street and finally southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Noffsinger, Pound and Schrimpf Roads to the north end of Garst Road on Morton Bay, stopping at the west end of McDonald Road on the way. From here I proceeded westward to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ. I then checked the shoreline of the Salton Sea southwestward from Obsidian Butte to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, stopping in the area around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and the west end of Young Road. I then drove eastward to Calipatria and the Alamo River Wetlands, looking at a couple of irrigated fields on the way. I then drove southward to the vicinity of El Centro, and ended the day checking Lakeview Golfcourse and Fig Lagoon before heading west to San Diego. The sky was clear throughout the day with light wind part of the time, and with temperatures ranged from 75 to 110 degrees.
    Large numbers of ducks had arrived at the Salton Sink in the past ten days, and small numbers of migrant Passerines were to be seen. I made a point of counting the Neotropic Cormorants, but fell short of seeing 100 during the day.
    Species seen and/or heard – Brant (2 – two together at Obsidian Butte), Gadwall (10), Mallard (250), Blue-winged Teal (2 – two well marked “female-plumage” birds with Cinnamon Teal at Fig Lagoon), Cinnamon Teal (75), Northern Shoveler (750), Northern Pintail (20), Green-winged Teal (50), Redhead (5), Ruddy Duck (150), Gambel’s Quail (5), Pied-billed Grebe (20), Eared Grebe (5), Western Grebe (10), Clark’s Grebe (2), Aechmophorus sp (5), Neotropic Cormorant (96 – 25 at Rammer Lake, 5 at the north end of Garst Road, 27 between the north end of Lack Road and the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads, 16 at the west end of Young Road, 21 at the Alamo River Wetlands and 2 at Fig Lagoon), Double-crested Cormorant (3000), American White Pelican (1500), Brown Pelican (1000), Least Bittern (2), Great Blue Heron (200), Great Egret (150), Snowy Egret (200), Cattle Egret (1500), Green Heron (5), Black-crowned Night-Heron (50), White-faced Ibis (1000), Turkey Vulture (20), Osprey (1), Northern Harrier (1), Cooper’s Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (1), Ridgeway’s Rail (1), Sora (2), Common Gallinule (5), American Coot (150), Black-necked Stilt (250), American Avocet (750), Black-bellied Plover (50), Semipalmated Plover (35), Snowy Plover (2), Killdeer (35), Spotted Sandpiper (5), Greater Yellowlegs (75), Willet (50), Lesser Yellowlegs (30), Whimbrel (1), Long-billed Curlew (20), Marbled Godwit (250), Ruddy Turnstone (2 – two adults together at Obsidian Butte), Stilt Sandpiper (2 – two at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Least Sandpiper (500), Western Sandpiper (1500), Short-billed Dowitcher (1 – one juvenile at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Long-billed Dowitcher (500), Wilson’s Phalarope (250), Red-necked Phalarope (50), Bonaparte’s Gull (1), Laughing Gull (350 – including many hatch-year birds), Franklin’s Gull (1 – one hatch-year bird at the west end of Young Road), Ring-billed Gull (700), Western Gull (2 – two continuing first-summer bird in the general area of the intersection of Lack and Lindsey), Yellow-footed Gull (100 – including one hatch-year bird at Obsidian Butte, the only one seen this year), California Gull (75), Gull-billed Tern (1 – one adult in basic-plumage between the west ends of Lindsey and Young Roads), Caspian Tern (350), Black Tern (75), Common Tern (20), Forster’s Tern (75), Black Skimmer (25), Rock Pigeon (75), Eurasian Collared-Dove (300), Inca Dove (15), Common Ground-Dove (50), White-winged Dove (75), Mourning Dove (200), Greater Roadrunner (3), Barn Owl (1), Burrowing Owl (5), Lesser Nighthawk (1), Black-chinned Hummingbird (5), Anna’s Hummingbird (15), Costa’s Hummingbird (10), Rufous Hummingbird (1), Belted Kingfisher (2), Gila Woodpecker (2), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), American Kestrel (25), Peregrine Falcon (2), Willow Flycatcher (2), Black Phoebe (20), Vermilion Flycatcher (1 – one adult female at Lakeview Golfcourse adjacent to Fig Lagoon), Western Kingbird (5), Loggerhead Shrike (6), Warbling Vireo (2), Common Raven (1), Horned Lark (2), Tree Swallow (10), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (5), Cliff Swallow (100), Barn Swallow (5), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (5), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (5), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling (150), Orange-crowned Warbler (3), Nashville Warbler (3), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow Warbler (3), Hermit Warbler (1 – one hatch-year female near the southeast corner of El Centro), Wilson’s Warbler (2), Abert’s Towhee (25), Lark Sparrow (2), Savannah (Large-billed) Sparrow (1 – one at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Song Sparrow (10), Western Tanager (1), Black-headed Grosbeak (1), Blue Grosbeak (3), Red-winged Blackbird (750), Western Meadowlark (15), Yellow-headed Blackbird (15), Brewer’s Blackbird (30), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Brown-headed Cowbird (20), Hooded Oriole (1), Bullock’s Oriole (2), House Finch (35) and House Sparrow (75) - 129 species.
    
    Guy McCaskie
    
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  5. Miscellaneous migration activity noticed in the last few days LINK
    DATE: Jul 27, 2015 @ 1:22pm, 33 day(s) ago
    Hi everyone. Nothing earth shattering here, but I noticed some signs of shorebird and land bird migration over my three day non-working weekend. On Friday I had a Semi-palmated Plover at Hays Rd on the north east end of the Salton Sea. By the way, there were also a ton of Black Terns, nearly 200 or so. The Friday before tons of Black Terns were also at Salton Sea Beach and Salton City on the west end of the Salton Sea. Julie Szabo was not kidding about the flies. There are tons of them, and they are very pesky. They basically laughed at my insect repellant, and my only defense against them was using a Tshirt to act like a cow or horse tail and to continually swat at them.
    
    On Saturday a huge freeway traffic jam had me get off of Hwy 60 near the 215 interchange where Moreno Valley ends and Riverside starts and instead go to Lake Perris. At Lake Perris, I encountered another Semi-palmated Plover, 5 Marbled Godwits, 10 what I think were long versus short-billed Dowitchers, 11 Caspian Terns, 8 Forster's Terns, 38 Ring-billed Gulls, 4 California Gulls, 4 Ruddy Ducks, a Blue Grosbeak, a slightly surprising Rock Wren right down by the water (although he was only like 80 yards from the dam now that I think about it), and some more normal birds like 80 or more Western Grebes, and a smattering of Eared Grebes, about 20 or so combined of Great and Snowy Egrets, and Great Blue Heron, and a few flotillas of Mallards and Coots. By the way, the lake is down so much that the east end of it looks now like it could have some decent shorebird habitat.
    
    Sunday morning I had a Spotted Sandpiper at my home southern most golf course pond, at the Mission Lakes Country Club just slightly northwest of Desert Hot Springs. I also had three Rufous Hummingbirds fighting with Black-chinned Hummingbirds at feeders near Covington Park up near Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. There were also two early winter residents returning of White-breasted Nuthatches at Big Morongo, as well as the first two Western Wood Pewees that I have seen there since spring migration.
    
    This morning the golf course pond did not have the Spotted Sandpiper, but he had been replaced with that I think was a Swainson's Thrush. I only had my handheld scope with me this morning, not my camera, as I could only look for a few minutes before I went to work. I could see no rufous color on the Thrush anywhere, including what I could see of his tail, and he was extremely mellow, like he had very tired. I hope he is still there tonight after work so I can get a few photos, and verify for sure Swainson's versus Hermit Thrush.
    
    Like I said, nothing earth shattering, but just a small sign that some migration activity is underway.
    
    Happy birding everyone,
    
    John McCallister, CPA
    Desert Hot Springs, CA
    
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  7. Possible Palm Springs Summering Waterfowl LINK
    DATE: Jul 4, 2015 @ 9:58pm, 56 day(s) ago
    Hi everyone. Happy 4th of July to all. No real big deal here, especially to a guy originally from Ohio where this first type of bird I saw today is a summer regular, but today on the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course just south of Demuth Park in southeast Palm Springs, a pond just south of Demuth Park held 11 Canada Geese. The pond also had 2 Ruddy Ducks, 8 Black-crowned Night Herons, about 15 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, a Great Egret, and the normally expected American Coots and Mallards.
    
    Also apparently summering in the Western Coachella valley is my neighborhood Cooper's Hawk and the two Lesser Goldfinches that have been coming to my yard Thistle Feeder since June 15th. There also was a Cooper's Hawk just outside my work near Vista Chino and Sunrise way in Palm Springs yesterday.
    
    While most of the above birds are somewhat ho-hum birds to you folks not in the desert, just look at Guy McCaskie's reports of bird activity near the Salton Sea for the last five weeks or so and see how many times the above three species of Canada Geese, Cooper's Hawk, and Lesser Goldfinch were in his 105 to 115 species per outing totals. The answer is not a whole lot. Those three species are fairly unusual for the low desert in late spring and most of the summer.
    
    The last thing on note in the Western Coachella valley is that we have a sizeable population of Horned Larks in Desert Hot Springs at either the Desert Hot Springs High School and the Mission Springs Soccer Fields and a near to it junior high school whose name escapes me at the moment. My guess of the Horned Lark total count is in the 60 to 70 range.
    
    Once again, Happy 4th of July everyone and happy birding.
    
    John McCallister, CPA
    Desert Hot Springs, CA 
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  9. Salton Sea (south) - 1 July 2015 LINK
    DATE: Jul 2, 2015 @ 2:54pm, 58 day(s) ago
    I spent much of Wednesday, 1 July 2015 (5:30 AM to 4:30 PM), at and around the south end of the Salton Sea. I started the day at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley, then drove northward through Brawley to Ramer Lake. From Ramer Lake I continued northward through Calipatria to the IID Wetlands near Niland, then on northward into Niland. In Niland I birded northward along International Avenue, westward along 4th Street and finally southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove northwestward to the southwestern part of the Wister Unit by way of Beach Road. From here I drove southward along Davis and Schrimpf Roads to the north end of Garst Road on Morton Bay, stopping at the west end of McDonald Road on the way. From here I looked at Red Hill and the Hazard Unit, then proceeded westward to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and Rock Hill. I then checked the shoreline of the Salton Sea southwestward from Obsidian Butte to the north end of Poe Road, stopping in the area around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads, the west end of Young Road, and at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. I then drove eastward to Finney Lake, then proceeded south through Brawley, to Sunbeam Lake and Fig Lagoon, checking Lakeview Golfcourse adjacent to Fig Lagoon before heading west to San Diego. There was total cloud cover through the day with light sprinkles of rain in the early morning and during the last hour of my stay in the area, along with some wind from the southeast at times during the day - temperatures ranged from 85 to 105 degrees.
    Although I specifically looked for Wood Storks and Laughing Gulls I encountered none.
    Species seen and/or heard – Gadwall (10), American Wigeon (2), Mallard (300), Blue-winged Teal (10 – ten together at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge included six obvious adult males were evidently early fall migrants), Cinnamon Teal (40), Northern Shoveler (1), Northern Pintail (3), Green-winged Teal (1 – one with other ducks at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Redhead (50), Lesser Scaup (1 – one summering male at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Ruddy Duck (150), Gambel’s Quail (10), Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe (2), Western Grebe (20), Clark’s Grebe (6), Aechmophorus sp (10), Neotropic Cormorant (30 – including a pair at a nest at Finney Lake found here by Thomas A. Benson on 26 June), Double-crested Cormorant (4000 - many attending nests at Ramer Lake), White Pelican (1000), Brown Pelican (750), Least Bittern (2), Great Blue Heron (250), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret (100), Cattle Egret (2500 - many attending nests at Ramer Lake), Green Heron (10), Black-crowned Night-Heron (35), White-faced Ibis (150), Turkey Vulture (15), Osprey (1), Black Rail (1 – one found at the IID Wetlands near Niland by Thomas A. Benson on 27 June was giving the typical “ki-ki-ki-doo” call between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning), Ridgway’s Rail (3), Common Gallinule (10), American Coot (200), Black-necked Stilt (500), American Avocet (350), Black-bellied Plover (35 – all in basic-plumage), Snowy Plover (15), Killdeer (25), Greater Yellowlegs (15), Willet (150), Lesser Yellowlegs (1 - one adult in worn alternate-plumage at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is the first of the fall migrants encountered this year), Whimbrel (1), Long-billed Curlew (250), Marbled Godwit (200), Least Sandpiper (15), Semipalmated Sandpiper (1 – one adult in alternate plumage well seen with Western Sandpipers on the shore of the Salton Sea near the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads), Western Sandpiper (250), Short-billed Dowitcher (15 – fifteen in worn alternate-plumage at adults in worn alternate-plumage at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge were the first of the fall migrants encountered this year), Long-billed Dowitcher (40 – about half were adults in worn alternate-plumage and the other half, assumed to be Long-billed Dowitchers, were in gray basic-plumage), Wilson’s Phalarope (350), Bonaparte’s Gull (2), Ring-billed Gull (50), Western Gull (3 – three first-summer birds in the general area of the intersection of Lack and Lindsey), Yellow-footed Gull (60 – all adults), California Gull (300), Gull-billed Tern (50 – including one hatch-year bird near the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads), Caspian Tern (250), Black Tern (30), Forster’s Tern (35), Black Skimmer (200 – including birds that appeared to be attempting to nest at the IID Wetlands near Niland), Rock Pigeon (100), Eurasian Collared-Dove (250), Inca Dove (10), Common Ground-Dove (20), White-winged Dove (40), Mourning Dove (50), Greater Roadrunner (2), Barn Owl (1), Great Horned Owl (1 – one at Ramer Lake), Burrowing Owl (20), Lesser Nighthawk (3), Black-chinned Hummingbird (10), Anna’s Hummingbird (5), Costa’s Hummingbird (2), Gila Woodpecker (3), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), American Kestrel (20), Peregrine Falcon (2), Black Phoebe (15), Say’s Phoebe (2 – one in Niland where this species probably nests), Vermilion Flycatcher (2 - one adult male and female together at Lakeview Golfcourse adjacent to Fig Lagoon), Western Kingbird (50), Loggerhead Shrike (6), Common Raven (5), Horned Lark (5), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (20), Cliff Swallow (1000), Barn Swallow (2 – two at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley where this species is nesting), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (10), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (2), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling (150), Phainopepla (3 – three together in Niland), Common Yellowthroat (10), Yellow-breasted Chat (1 - one singing near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley), Abert’s Towhee (20), Savannah Sparrow (1 – one Large-billed Savannah Sparrow near the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads was the first that I have encountered this summer), Song Sparrow (20), Black-headed Grosbeak (2 – two in the western part of Niland were believed to be early fall migrants), Blue Grosbeak (3), Red-winged Blackbird (500), Western Meadowlark (15), Yellow-headed Blackbird (10), Brewer’s Blackbird (25), Great-tailed Grackle (200), Bronzed Cowbird (8 – one adult male and two females together at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley, one adult male and two females near the southern end of International Avenue in Niland, and an adult male and female together at Lakeview Golfcourse adjacent to Fig Lagoon), Brown-headed Cowbird (40), Bullock’s Oriole (1), House Finch (35) and House Sparrow (75) - 112 species.
    
    Guy McCaskie
    .
    
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  11. San Jacinto Wildlife Area - June 13.15 LINK
    DATE: Jun 14, 2015 @ 5:26pm, 3 month(s) ago
     There were a few interesting birds at San Jacinto today. On the first Walker Pond were 4 southbound WILSON'S PHALAROPES, present since yesterday (fide Chet). At the wetland on the west side of Davis was a female WOOD DUCK with two young ducklings. This is the first nesting of WODUs that I know of in the wildlife area. Three BUFFLEHEADS remain on Pond 4. Other ducks present include Gadwall , Mallard , Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal,, Cinnamon Teal and Ruddy. Duck.
    Howard King
    
    
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  13. NESS May 14 LINK
    DATE: May 15, 2015 @ 6:06am, 4 month(s) ago
    Bob McKernan and I fought through wind and sand in the Coachella Valley to have a rather decent weather day at NESS. Of seasonal interest -- no Calidris, no Ruddy Ducks, surprisingly few American White Pelicans, few Eared Grebes. What we did see: Red-breasted Mergansers 2, Common Loon (breeding plumage), Yellow-footed Gull (adult), Willow Flycatchers 5, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Townsend's Warbler, Cassin's Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak; the last two being in the same blooming ironwood at the SRA as the Prairie Warbler was a week ago. Seen in most thickets -- Western Wood-Pewees, Wilson's Warblers, Yellow Warblers.  Inca Doves are seeming established in the Oasis area. Twelve Whimbrels are possibly the  last of the migrant shorebirds. 
    Chet
    
    
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  15. SJWA May 9 LINK
    DATE: May 10, 2015 @ 11:22am, 4 month(s) ago
    Additions to previously reported three Purple Martin (2 males, 1 female) found by Mark Chappell along the duck club road, (perching on lines as if resting after a long flight), were Solitary Sandpiper, (Tony Metcalf), Wood Ducks, Black Tern, the lingering Northern Pintail. Most numerous migrants were Western Wood-Pewees, Wilson's Warblers, Warbling Vireos, and Violet-green Swalllows. 35 Snowy Egrets is an increase from somewhere.Chet
    
    
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  17. Chestnut-sided Warbler and RIV notes LINK
    DATE: Apr 12, 2015 @ 2:28pm, 5 month(s) ago
    A Chestnut-sided Warbler, assumed to be one of two that wintered (the first being found by Bill Deppe on October 29) continues at Fairmount Park, singing and in full feather finery. Quite nice. This morning (April 12) it was seen by Mark  Chappell and me between the playground and the lawn bowling enclosure. Also Nashville, Yellow, Orange-crowned warblers outnumbered by Yellow-rumps.
    At the north end of Salton  Sea on Friday, April 11,  Black-chinned Hummingbird, MacGillivray's Warbler (State Rec Area) Franklin's, Glaucous-winged, Western gulls conspicuous in the hundreds of Bonaparte's, Ring-billed, and California gulls; Herrings dwindling. 14 species of shorebirds including 50+ Whimbrel, few dowitchers of both species, only 2 Dunlins, many Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, Marbled Godwits, Snowy Plovers, Western Sandpipers.  A pair of Blue-winged Teal remains at Salt Creek; a male Red-breasted Merganser and 12 Brant were at 84th Ave on Thursday (Dave Goodward). Two well-defined Vs of Double-crested Cormorants (approx 300), very high heading northeast at dawn appeared to be in serious migration, but, as the Salton Sea day goes, cormorants and pelicans crisscross the sky in constant motion in all directions, so...? 
    
    At SJWA, shorebirding has been very good, including Willet, Whimbrels, (15 on Thursday, Dennis Bauers), Long-billed Curlews, hundreds of Calidris and dowitchers, both yellowlegs.   12 species of ducks are hanging in, including Wood Ducks and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers most numerous. Raptors are at a low ebb (that may be redundant) still: Bald Eagle (Dennis), White-tailed Kite (Dennis), Swainson's Hawks, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, in the last week. American Kestrels are surprisingly scarce. Red-tailed Hawks are nesting. Bell's Vireo, Bullock's Orioles, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Wilson's Warbler are present; as is the elusive Northern Waterthrush (early in the week). Tricolored Blackbirds still easily seen at the Bridge Street dairy, Yellow-headed Blackbirds more conspicuous in the marshes.
    
    Chet
    
    
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  19. Willet, Lake Elsinore 3/14/15 LINK
    DATE: Mar 15, 2015 @ 8:22pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Today, Saturday 3/14/15, I birded the Lake Elsinore levee and back basin area, seeing 56 species. One WILLET was at mile marker 1.5 as the levee curves towards the T-peninsula. Lots of American Avocets sporting breeding plumage. 56 American White Pelicans. Great Blue Herons & Horned Larks are nesting. Most of the ducks have left. Check list with photos below.
    
    http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22353729
    
    Happy Birding,
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar, CA
    
    
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  21. NESS March 10 LINK
    DATE: Mar 11, 2015 @ 6:50pm, 6 month(s) ago
    A pleasant day at NESS, excellent weather. Especially interesting for the date -- a very sharp looking adult Yellow-footed Gull at 84th, expected to be south in March. A ratty looking Pacific Loon is a very early migrant or just mixed up. I watched it diving in the Sea over a wide, far area and wasn't sure what I was looking at; when I returned from a barnacle beach gull walk it was in the marina, preening most intensely, raising up with full crop bulging and flapping ratty wings. For more than a hour. Clearly a Pacific/Arctic sort, default to Pacific for no reason other than distribution. In general, fewer gulls (no worries - still thousands including a few Westerns), fewer ducks, ONE Snowy Egret all day. Great Blues on nests around the east side. FOS flies.Chet  
    
    
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  23. Continuing Eurasian Wigeon LINK
    DATE: Feb 27, 2015 @ 10:37am, 6 month(s) ago
    The Eurasian Wigeon continued this morning near Salt Creek east of Menifee. The bird was with an American Wigeon flock in the large puddle on the west side of Leon Rd. before the creek crossing. There was also a female Common Goldeneye and Horned Grebe mixed in with the numerous ducks and grebes at the nearby water treatment ponds along Simpson Rd., in the easternmost of the two ponds.
    Charity Hagen
    Lake Elsinore
    
    
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  25. Montclair WW Dove, Blue-crowned Parakeets LINK
    DATE: Feb 23, 2015 @ 8:11pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Rain-soaked Birders.
    I stopped at Wilderness Basin Park on San Bernardino Street, in Montclair, to see what ducks are in the pond right off the 10 Freeway. Nothing exciting in the water, but I immediately noticed a small flock of beautiful, yet unfamiliar "Aratinga" parrots now named  Blue-crowned Parakeets (Thectocercus acuticaudatus). They were a lifebird for me, unless I have seen them in LA County, and failed to record sightings there. Regardless, I saw zero entries for this species in San Bernardino County in eBird, so I am curious whether or not I may have the first county record. The birds were actively feeding in trees in the park, but moved back & forth to trees across the street, southeast of the park: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92222297@N07/16615788182/
    Equally fun was a White-winged Dover that flew by, 30 feet up in the air, flying west, straight into LA County.
    Tom
    
    Thomas Geza Miko
    http://www.tgmiko.com/
    Claremont, Los Angeles County, California
    909.241.3300
    
    
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  27. Lesser Black-backed Gull at Big Bear Lake LINK
    DATE: Feb 16, 2015 @ 9:23pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Today 2/15, Elaine and I birded Big Bear Lake. We stopped at Swim Beach to look for ducks and found a dark backed gull.After several minutes of confusion, self doubt, and celebration we identified the bird as a Lesser Black-backed Gull, A first record for the SB's (San Bernardino Mts.) Attempting to get a documentation photo for the "scrutenizers" the bird flew off to the west. We rediscovered the bird behind the Big Bear U.S. Post Office and Marina Resort. From the beach the bird was sitting on the empty dock on the east side of the bay with several California, Ring-billed and 3 Herring Gulls. After several birders showed up to check out the gull we moved in closer and got some good photos of the bird. We left the area around 2:00 pm and the bird was still sitting on the dock. The Mountain is full of surprises
    Eric and Elaine Tipton, Running Springs CA.!
    
    
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  29. Mountain Lakes Birding Day LINK
    DATE: Feb 1, 2015 @ 10:12pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Today I scouted most of the major San Bernardino
    mountain lakes finally ending in Mentone at the Agate Ave water
    treatment lagoon before seeing the parrots to bed! The day was mostly
    sunny, cool and calm at the higher altitudes. Roads were all clear
    though there is still moderate snow over the Onyx Summit pass area.Starting
    at Silverwood Lake there were two continuing COMMON LOONS, both seen in
    one scope view once, but otherwise surfaced mostly one at a time.
    There were also two continuing LEWIS's WOODPECKERs working the central
    picnic/beach area as well as the wooded picnic table area spread through
    the oaks to the left. Two flocks of Purple Finch added variety to that
    area. Lake Gregory hosted an unexpected GREEN HERON. At Lake Arrowhead,
    I hoped for HORNED GREBE and found 5 making it a 4-grebe lake. Green
    Valley Lake held only a few species and nothing new. Big Bear Lake from
    multiple vantage points was loaded with waterfowl including two sets of
    splendid Hooded Mergansers. Common Mergansers were at every stop
    including 5 females at the Agate site in Mentone. A "popcorn feeding"
    frenzy of ducks at the Lake Arrowhead Village walk surprisingly brought
    in Redhead, Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks along with the expected
    Mallards and Coots. It was fun looking down at these species completely
    iridescent with the bright sunlight as they thrashed about in the water
    right below the railing.
    Stops for passerines were
    limited today because of my focus on the water opportunities. However,
    in spite of listening for winter finches at several sites, I missed
    crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, and Pine Sisken. Did have one male
    Cassin's Finch located after hearing him call at Jenk's Lake. Arrived at
    the parrot roost site near Church Street in Redlands at 5 PM. The
    birds were flying in from the east and were very spread out and active
    finally congregating on the usual roost street. The flock was hard to
    number but I estimated the usual 100 or so birds. Of those I could
    locate at least 8 Red-crowned as well as one each Red-lored Parrot and
    Mitred Parakeet. The vast majority of this flock continue to be
    Violet-crowned.
    Happy Birding All,
    Roger Woodruff
    Loma LInda
    
    
  30. -back to top-
  31. Mountain Lakes Birding Day LINK
    DATE: Feb 1, 2015 @ 10:26pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Today I scouted most of the major San Bernardino
    mountain lakes finally ending in Mentone at the Agate Ave water
    treatment lagoon before seeing the parrots to bed! The day was mostly
    sunny, cool and calm at the higher altitudes. Roads were all clear
    though there is still moderate snow over the Onyx Summit pass area.Starting
    at Silverwood Lake there were two continuing COMMON LOONS, both seen in
    one scope view once, but otherwise surfaced mostly one at a time.
    There were also two continuing LEWIS's WOODPECKERs working the central
    picnic/beach area as well as the wooded picnic table area spread through
    the oaks to the left. Two flocks of Purple Finch added variety to that
    area. Lake Gregory hosted an unexpected GREEN HERON. At Lake Arrowhead,
    I hoped for HORNED GREBE and found 5 making it a 4-grebe lake. Green
    Valley Lake held only a few species and nothing new. Big Bear Lake from
    multiple vantage points was loaded with waterfowl including two sets of
    splendid Hooded Mergansers. Common Mergansers were at every stop
    including 5 females at the Agate site in Mentone. A "popcorn feeding"
    frenzy of ducks at the Lake Arrowhead Village walk surprisingly brought
    in Redhead, Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks along with the expected
    Mallards and Coots. It was fun looking down at these species completely
    iridescent with the bright sunlight as they thrashed about in the water
    right below the railing.
    Stops for passerines were
    limited today because of my focus on the water opportunities. However,
    in spite of listening for winter finches at several sites, I missed
    crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, and Pine Sisken. Did have one male
    Cassin's Finch located after hearing him call at Jenk's Lake. Arrived at
    the parrot roost site near Church Street in Redlands at 5 PM. The
    birds were flying in from the east and were very spread out and active
    finally congregating on the usual roost street. The flock was hard to
    number but I estimated the usual 100 or so birds. Of those I could
    locate at least 8 Red-crowned as well as one each Red-lored Parrot and
    Mitred Parakeet. The vast majority of this flock continue to be
    Violet-crowned.
    Happy Birding All,
    Roger Woodruff
    Loma LInda
    
    
  32. -back to top-
  33. January 22: Aqueduct Big Day LINK
    DATE: Jan 23, 2015 @ 8:41am, 7 month(s) ago
    LA and western San Bernardino County Birders,
    
    Yesterday, Dan Maxwell, Adam Searcy and I birded the California Aqueduct from I-5 in the west to Hwy 395 in the east. We stopped and counted birds at all road crossings (and a few dead ends) - 53 locations in all. Many of these locations hadn't seen another birder (at least according to eBird) since all of the aqueduct crossing hotspots had been created by Mike San Miguel Sr back in February-March 2008. There were 6-7 more aqueduct crossings in Hesperia between Hwy 395 and the mountains, but exhaustion and darkness prevented us from getting to them.
    
    Most of the waterfowl in the Aqueduct were diving ducks: scaup, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers, and Bufflehead, though there were a smattering of others throughout. Numbers of ducks across the aqueduct were not uniform. The greatest concentrations were in the far west Antelope Valley (west of about 195th Street West), with occasional pockets further east. It seemed that the most remote places, where the Aqueduct was the only open water around, also had the lowest numbers of ducks.
    
    Anseriformes Totals:
    Canada Goose - 7
    Gadwall - 18
    American Wigeon - 1
    Mallard - 275
    Northern Shoveler - 3
    Redhead - 6
    Ring-necked Duck - 282
    Greater Scaup - 1
    Lesser Scaup - 1159
    Scaup sp. - 651
    Bufflehead - 481
    Common Goldeneye - 62
    Hooded Merganser - 4
    Common Merganser - 71
    Ruddy Duck - 56
    Duck sp. - 15
    
    We also counted these other aquatic birds in the aqueduct:
    Pied-billed Grebe - 3
    Eared Grebe - 3
    Great Blue Heron - 2
    American Coot - 227
    California Gull - 65
    
    It was an interesting experiment, and the public road crossing are essentially our only access points to this deep water "river" of across the Antelope Valley. Since these crossings only occur every mile or so (usually more), it's interesting to imagine how many diving ducks are actually using it - quite probably way more than any other single body of water in the immediate area.
    
    Jon Feenstra
    Altadena
    
    
  34. -back to top-
  35. Prado Tropical Kingbird, Perris McCown's Longspur LINK
    DATE: Jan 12, 2015 @ 4:06pm, 8 month(s) ago
    This morning I birded the west end of San Bernardino County.  It was a great morning with 100 species by the time I returned home about 1pm.  Rain was intermittent and then steady at the end of the morning.
    Mill Creek Wetlands is always fun; nothing really to report but I would mention that the past few times I have been here right at sunrise, an estimated 1200 White-faced Ibis come off the roost and move to the north in large flocks, cool to see.  Had a nice view of a Least Bittern there this morning too. (checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21297315)
    I birded Prado Regional Park by bike, which really well.  I managed to bump into the elusive TROPICAL KINGBIRD.  It was initially in the area between parking lot 6 and the lake, and then moved over to the area of the Osprey shelter.  As others have reported, the RED-THROATED LOON and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL continue from the boat dock.  It took me some effort and a 2nd try in the rain, but I did see 1 SWAMP SPARROW back in along the west edge of the pond where it has been wintering.  75 species for the park and then a more steady rain forced me onward.(checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21303170)
    En route to the Mary Vagle Nature Center I had a nice Prairie Falcon along Armstrong Rd in Sunnyslope.  At the nature center, 6 VARIED THRUSHES were around the parking lot.
    (checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21303598)
    Also, yesterday morning (1/10/15) I checked out Dunlap Rd near Perris once again.  I finally connected with MOUNTAIN PLOVER, with at least 26 birds NW of the intersection of Dunlap and San Jacinto (mostly very distant).  There was 1 cooperative MCCOWN'S LONGSPUR about 400 yds to the SW of the intersection.  It was a bright bird and was approachable.
    (checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21289115)
    
    Yesterday afternoon, I checked the pond at Agate Ave and Salerno Ave in Mentone.  A good mix of ducks including 2 Common Mergansers, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 2 Common Goldeneye.(checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21289229)
    Great birding,Michael WoodruffLoma Linda, CA
    
    
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  37. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Fulvous W-Duck origins LINK
    DATE: Jan 9, 2015 @ 9:04am, 8 month(s) ago
    Paul is correct about there being multiple Fulvous Whistling Ducks in the Arizona area, but I just wanted to add a few more details about these birds that I think are worth mentioning on this listserve. The first reports were from 20 Dec 2014 and actually involved 9 individuals, a flock of 8 and a single bird near by (both locations are west of Phoenix). There have been subsequent reports from the location were the flock was first reported including a report of 12 from 6 Jan 2015. Back in winter 2005-2006 when Fulvous Whistling Ducks showed up in coastal California there were a couple individuals in the Phoenix area as well. All of this I think strengths the case for these birds to be of wild origin and likely the result of water conditions in their regular range. Good birding
    
    David Vander Pluym
    Lake Havasu City
    
    On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 3:27 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul1...> [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> wrote: > > > Well, here's a case where keeping tabs on the avian goings on in > adjacent regions outside the specific area of interest is of help: 2-3+ > weeks ago (approximately) a total of about 3 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks > were found at two separate locations in central Arizona in the Greater > Phoenix area (one site was west of the city near Buckeye)--very unusual > for Arizona as well, and perhaps especially so for winter (ditto here in > CA). So those AZ occurrences coupled with the multiple RIP birds at the > SJWA strongly suggests that these birds were of WILD origin and came > north as part of some "larger scale" event in to the southwest U.S. > Given their declining status in nw Mexico and especially in the > Southwest U.S. (where formerly regular in small numbers during summer at > the south end Salton Sea, but no longer), it is too bad that they met > their demise. > > --Paul Lehman, San Diego
    
    
  38. -back to top-
  39. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Fulvous W-Duck origins LINK
    DATE: Jan 9, 2015 @ 5:56pm, 8 month(s) ago
    Thanks for the input Paul, Chet, and Ed.If they are wild birds, it's really dumb i.e. counterproductive that they shot such a rare bird. 
    Tom
    
    On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 3:27 PM, Paul Lehman lehman.paul1@... [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
     Well, here's a case where keeping tabs on the avian goings on in
    adjacent regions outside the specific area of interest is of help: 2-3+
    weeks ago (approximately) a total of about 3 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks
    were found at two separate locations in central Arizona in the Greater
    Phoenix area (one site was west of the city near Buckeye)--very unusual
    for Arizona as well, and perhaps especially so for winter (ditto here in
    CA). So those AZ occurrences coupled with the multiple RIP birds at the
    SJWA strongly suggests that these birds were of WILD origin and came
    north as part of some "larger scale" event in to the southwest U.S.
    Given their declining status in nw Mexico and especially in the
    Southwest U.S. (where formerly regular in small numbers during summer at
    the south end Salton Sea, but no longer), it is too bad that they met
    their demise.
    
    --Paul Lehman, San Diego
    
    -- Thomas Geza Miko
    http://www.tgmiko.com/
    Claremont, Los Angeles County, California
    909.241.3300
    
    
  40. -back to top-
  41. Fulvous W-Duck origins LINK
    DATE: Jan 8, 2015 @ 3:27pm, 8 month(s) ago
    Well, here's a case where keeping tabs on the avian goings on in
    adjacent regions outside the specific area of interest is of help: 2-3+
    weeks ago (approximately) a total of about 3 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks
    were found at two separate locations in central Arizona in the Greater
    Phoenix area (one site was west of the city near Buckeye)--very unusual
    for Arizona as well, and perhaps especially so for winter (ditto here in
    CA). So those AZ occurrences coupled with the multiple RIP birds at the
    SJWA strongly suggests that these birds were of WILD origin and came
    north as part of some "larger scale" event in to the southwest U.S.
    Given their declining status in nw Mexico and especially in the
    Southwest U.S. (where formerly regular in small numbers during summer at
    the south end Salton Sea, but no longer), it is too bad that they met
    their demise.
    
    --Paul Lehman, San Diego
    
    
  42. -back to top-
  43. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Fulvous Whistling Duck origins LINK
    DATE: Jan 8, 2015 @ 3:26pm, 8 month(s) ago
    A few thoughts. As one who spends obsessive amounts of time at the SJWA, I agree. The good part of that is -- there is so much waterfowl habitat in the SJWA/duck club contiguous area, and limited access to most of it..The bad part -- how little nesting habitat for ducks and other water-oriented birds is maintained at SJWA beyond the shooting season.  As to the the Fulvous-Whistling Ducks; I guess they could have been missed on the CBC, or released later. Or arrived on their own (major mistake). Searches (limited access) since the first fatalities were photo'd and proudly displayed have been unsuccessful. I don't know about the recent additions to that bunch, but the first one were not banded, to my knowledge. I have no doubt there are listers among the gun crowd and I'm pretty sure there were releases in the Santa Ana River in 2005. The only one I have seen in the county was a banded one in Hidden Valley, 2006, I think. Garrett and Dunn mention San Jacinto Lake as a former nesting site. I do not know the ramifications, probably none but confusion to birders, of releasing unbanded native birds outside of the known range of the species. Chet
    
    On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Ed Stonick edstonick@... [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
     Hi Tom!
    
    With the money spent on duck hunting (guns, ammo, tags, dogs, decoys, etc.) I wouldn't be surprised if they "stock" the flock, too.  I have heard about hunters saying things like (wigeon hunters), "I'd sure like to bag a Eurasian!"
    
    With all the birders that check out SJWA, many of which are quite skilled, it's pretty amazing that no FUWDs have been seen before.
    
    Ed
  44. -back to top-
  45. Fulvous Whistling Duck origins LINK
    DATE: Jan 8, 2015 @ 1:38pm, 8 month(s) ago
    Hello,A friend said something interesting, the other day: he speculated that the Fulvous Whistling Ducks at SJWA are escapees i.e. released for hunting purposes. I gather he said that because of the photos on FaceBook of hunters holding them up, as prizes. You never know, but it would seem like too much work to go out and buy 4 or 5 Fulvous Whistling Ducks, drive them to San Jacinto, then hope that they cooperate, so that I can shoot them, when the place has thousands of ducks and geese flying, walking, and swimming between me and my Fulvous Whistling Ducks.I would think that inasmuch as all of us birders would like to drive out to SJWA to see them, and get them on our state/county/year lists, hunters have the same desire to be able to say "Yeah, I shot one of those in San Jacinto Wildlife Area," then show you a photo on his cell phone.
    
    Any thoughts???
    -- Thomas Geza Miko
    http://www.tgmiko.com/
    Claremont, Los Angeles County, California
    909.241.3300
    
    
  46. -back to top-
  47. Re: [inlandcountybirds] SJWA Whistling ducks LINK
    DATE: Jan 8, 2015 @ 9:54pm, 8 month(s) ago
    According to the hunting report, another 3 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks were shot during today's hunt (1/7/2015), so perhaps 1 or more may still be out there.
    Matt GrubeRedlands, CA
    On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 7:53 PM, mario.pineda90@... [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
     
    Just saw a photo on the San Jacinto Wildlife Area Facebook page and it shows two Fulvous Whistling ducks were shot today (1/3). It's a shame they were killed instead of found by birders.
    
    Here is the link to the facebook page. (warning, shows photo of the dead ducks, just in case people don't like seeing that)
    
    https://www.facebook.com/SanJacintoWildlifeArea/photos/pcb.555797964556771/555796191223615/?type=1&theater
    
    Mario Pineda
    Fontana, CA
    
    
  48. -back to top-
  49. Re: Fulvous Whistling-Ducks LINK
    DATE: Jan 5, 2015 @ 9:36pm, 8 month(s) ago
    Not that I'm trying to rain on anyone's parade, but despite the fact that the appearance of six Fulvous Whistling-Ducks at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area is interesting and intriguing, isn't their appearance in winter at least a little concerning with regard to their status as wild (i.e., countable) birds?
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    
    
  50. -back to top-


-revision history-
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'. 




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