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  1. Evening Grosbeaks at Big Bear City Hall LINK
    DATE: Dec 7, 2014 @ 11:22am, 11 day(s) ago
    All,
    To follow up on Brad's post about the evening grosbeaks, I'm sitting at a picnic table behind Big Bear City hall where I've been hearing at least several grosbeaks intermittently for the last 2+ hours. They've been hard to see well because they're staying at the treetops and calling only occasionally, but when they call I've been recording them. Audio spectrograms indicate that most of the birds are type 1 grosbeaks but that there's at least one type 2 among them. I uploaded two recordings to Xeno-Cantoand embedded them in an eBird checklist.
    The recordings are available on Xeno-Canto at:
    http://www.xeno-canto.org/205681
    and
    http://www.xeno-canto.org/205682
    The ebird list (with a description of the calls) is at:
    http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20819023
    In addition to the grosbeaks, a couple of red crossbills flew by and sounded like flight call type 2s, but I wasn't able to get a recording to check.
    Regards,
    Lance
    Lance Benner
    Altadena, CA
    On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 10:30 PM, bcsinger@... [inlandcountybirds] wrote:
    
    December 6, Doug Karalun and I spent a cool but sunny day in the mountains from morning until mid afternoon. My first stop before picking up Doug in Running Springs was the Lake Arrowhead dam where the resident adult Bald Eagle was perched on its favorite snag in the southwest corner of Papoose Lake. I also happened to spot a Lewis's Woodpecker nearby working the oaks. I picked up Doug and we headed to Green Valley Lake Campground in search of the ubiquitous Varied Thrush. We didn't see any but did find a calling male Red Crossbill. From there we headed to Big Bear Civic Center and tracked down the continuing 20-25 Evening Grosbeaks about 50 yards west of the west parking area. A quick stop at the Von's Marsh turned up an adult Herring Gull and a FOS flock of Common Mergansers. The recent rains added water to the nearly dry Stanfield Marsh, where we found another Herring Gull (1st winter bird) and the continuing Franklin's Gull. A stop at the Big Bear Sewage ponds yielded a variety of ducks including Lesser Scaup and Common Goldeneye. Doug had to get back, so I dropped him off at his car, headed back to Green Valley Lake Campground where I eventually found two pairs of Varied Thrush near campsite 36.
    Brad Singer
    Lake Arrowhead
    
    
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  3. S.B. Mtns Birds LINK
    DATE: Dec 7, 2014 @ 10:30pm, 11 day(s) ago
    December 6, Doug Karalun and I spent a cool but sunny day in the mountains from morning until mid afternoon. My first stop before picking up Doug in Running Springs was the Lake Arrowhead dam where the resident adult Bald Eagle was perched on its favorite snag in the southwest corner of Papoose Lake. I also happened to spot a Lewis's Woodpecker nearby working the oaks. I picked up Doug and we headed to Green Valley Lake Campground in search of the ubiquitous Varied Thrush. We didn't see any but did find a calling male Red Crossbill. From there we headed to Big Bear Civic Center and tracked down the continuing 20-25 Evening Grosbeaks about 50 yards west of the west parking area. A quick stop at the Von's Marsh turned up an adult Herring Gull and a FOS flock of Common Mergansers. The recent rains added water to the nearly dry Stanfield Marsh, where we found another Herring Gull (1st winter bird) and the continuing Franklin's Gull. A stop at the Big Bear Sewage ponds yielded a variety of ducks including Lesser Scaup and Common Goldeneye. Doug had to get back, so I dropped him off at his car, headed back to Green Valley Lake Campground where I eventually found two pairs of Varied Thrush near campsite 36.
    Brad Singer
    Lake Arrowhead
    
    
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  5. Desert Center December 5 LINK
    DATE: Dec 6, 2014 @ 12:04pm, 12 day(s) ago
    Compelled by regional and continental weather I didn't think it to be too foolhardy to have a look at a favorite desert oasis. 
    Mentioning Prairie Falcon and male Vermilion Flycatcher covers the landbirds; three Savannah Sparrows, approx 60 White-crowned Sparrows, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers had to be worked for. Conspicuous only: Eurasian Collared-Doves, Great-tailed Grackles, Black Phoebes, American Kestrels.
    
    The waterfowl was fun: Snow Goose 3 imms, Ross's Goose 3, one imm, Canada Goose, kinda small, Northern Shoveler 150, Ring-necked Dunk 70, American Wigeon 5, Lesser Scaup, Redhead 5, Gadwalls a few, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, Green-winged Teal, continuing Western Grebe - not a duck.
    
    On the way home I couldn't resist the gravitational pull of the Salton Sea so I had a couple of hours at 84th Ave; only species to mention - Laughing Gull.
    
    Chet
    
    
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  7. NESS Dec 2 LINK
    DATE: Dec 3, 2014 @ 5:52am, 16 day(s) ago
    With Bob McKernan, an interesting day around the north end of the Salton Sea on Tuesday.  Most remarkable was an estimated 18,000 Western/Clarks (very largely Western) Grebes observed in a mega raft extending from North Shore southward. Second most exciting was a Tropical Kingbird (my first in the Salton Sink) observed from Lincoln in private land to the west, north of 68th Ave, Mecca. Typically, we spent a lot of time scanning flocks of gulls (abundant beyond estimate), resulting in: Western Gull - 5, Yellow-footed Gull - adult up the beach at North Shore, Thayer's Gull - first cycle at 84th Ave. A Horned Grebe continues at the State Recreation Area marina. 32  Greater White-fronted Geese flew over Lincoln, calling, as we studied the distant kingbird. Without getting carried away here, early morning at the end of Hayes Road was spectacular with a Peregrine swirling up flocks of shorebirds, the hundreds pelicans and gulls and ducks on the  calm, glassy sea under clouds, amazing visibility. The other end of the day, en route home - rain, wow.Chet
    
    
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  9. Fairmount Park - Cassin's Vireo, Wilson's Warblers LINK
    DATE: Nov 20, 2014 @ 8:06pm, 28 day(s) ago
    I birded Fairmount Park this afternoon for a couple of
    hours. Starting in the area by the playground and restrooms, I sorted
    through mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers for a while but did not come up
    with any of the rare warblers, though one or two might well still be
    around.I worked my way along the south and west side of the main
    lake. On the lake there were a 2 Shovelers, 1 Western Grebe, lots of
    Ruddy Ducks, several Pied-billed Grebes, a wigeon, and a pure flock of
    Ring-billed Gulls. I found a particularly birdy area along Dexter
    (about 100 yds west of Redwood), along the SW shore of the lake. Here I
    found a White-breasted Nuthatch, a couple Western Bluebirds, dozens
    more Yellow-rumped Warblers with other flock-goers, and a CASSIN'S
    VIREO. I obtained a number of photos and a little bit of video and
    posted it to my flickr site (www.flickr.com/photos/ nightjar).
    It seemed to be a fairly bright individual, almost looking like a
    Blue-headed at some angles, but I feel confident in the ID as Cassin's.
    It sang in response to playback (responded with vigor to both CAVI and
    BHVI by the way) and the song was slightly burry, like a Cassin's would
    be.
    I birded last along the creek behind the armory. Lots
    of Scaly-breasted Munias in there and I had both a male and a
    female-type Wilson's Warbler in the willows. I believe Howard King had
    these birds early this week (eBird). Also had a Lincoln's Sparrow.
    Cheers,Michael WoodruffLoma Linda, CA
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nightjar
    
    
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  11. Fwd: Big Bear Birding LINK
    DATE: Nov 18, 2014 @ 4:59pm, 30 day(s) ago
    
    
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  13. San Bernardino Valley Audubon, San Jacinto Valley field trip LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2014 @ 9:02am, 31 day(s) ago
    Tony Metcalf and I led our annual November trip to the San Jacinto Valley yesterday, with most of our time spent at the Wildlife Area. Birders from Palm Springs, Orange County and LA County as well as our inland area participated. Despite dense fog at the start and strong winds at the end, we all had an excellent time and saw many typical birds of the area: waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. Only one Ferruginous Hawk, but it gave us good looks, as did a female/imm. Merlin. A close encounter with a juvenile Golden Eagle impressed us all. Lingering Tree Swallows and at least one Violet-green flew overhead. Small numbers of Mountain Bluebirds graced the Walker Duck Club approach road, and a dozen species of ducks dotted the ponds and swirled overhead. The Varied Thrush invasion reached the Wildlife Area, with a beautiful male along the trail north of the viewing station. There were more shorebirds than we expected, with one Lesser Yellowlegs among the many Greaters, and a late Pectoral Sandpiper spotted by Tony and photographed by many. After the group had mostly dispersed due to the strong winds, a few of us returned to our cars at the Headquarters and couldn't resist a little more birding. We found a flock of 11 Black-bellied Plovers north of pond 1, and a Gray Flycatcher along the road south of pond 3. Thanks to all the participants, and we hope to see you out there again. Dave Goodward
    
    
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  15. Desert Birding Adventure LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2014 @ 6:52am, 32 day(s) ago
    My son, Michael, a friend of his, Neil Gilbert, and I
    ventured into the desert for some late-Fall vagrant trap birding yesterday.
    Arriving at Chiriaco Summit just after daylight, we were immediately
    rewarded by a VARIED THRUSH in a lawn. One each Golden-crowned and
    Ruby-crowned Kinglets, foraged in the front courtyard. The small water
    reservoir pond behind the town featured an unexpected female
    Bufflehead. Overhead a group of 4 Ring-billed Gulls wheeled and circled
    most of the time we were there but never landed. At one point there
    were 3 Dark-eyed Junco including 1 each, "Slate-colored", "Oregon", and
    "Gray-headed"--all well marked. We then headed on to
    Desert Center where we enjoyed difficult to find (for the area)
    species. Along the entrance road there were 4 Snow Geese. At Tamarisk
    Lake, in a large gull flock, Neil almost immediately noted a Bonapart's
    Gull (3 total) and a crisp adult MEW GULL (most unexpected!) in the group of at least 90
    Ring-billed and 8 California Gulls. The lake also held numerous
    waterfowl including a group of two male and three female Redhead, one female Lesser Scaup, and
    flocks of Ruddy and Ring-necked Ducks. 3 Western Bluebirds including one beautifully marked
    male highlighted by the morning sun were a surprise. (We found no Mountain Bluebirds
    all day). Lark Sparrow, W. Meadowlarks, a House Wren, Ruby-crowned
    Kinglet, and Hermit Thrush were a few of the passerines noted. As we
    exited the community, a Prairie Falcon was observed on the power poles
    along the road to the west. Both here and at Chiriaco Summit there were
    small numbers of American Robins which we looked over carefully for a
    hoped for Rufous-backed, but without success! Next we
    finally located the Desert Center waste water ponds. These were quite
    productive including a large flock of N. Shovelers and several
    other duck species, one Wilson's Snipe, an Osprey and a Northern
    Harrier. We also were able to study and photograph a Sagebrush/Bell's
    Sparrow that was a good candidate for Sagebrush designation if the
    taxonomy consensus can ever be achieved. This controversy is
    reminiscent of the dilemma we faced in Eastern WA, before moving down
    here this summer, where the split of Western Flycatcher put our area in
    the "hybrid" zone resulting in Pacific Slope and Cordilleran each
    vocalizing both songs and being indistinguishable otherwise. However,
    an arbitrary
    "split" dictated that the division occur along the WA/ID state line. So
    our "Pac
    Slopes" were identical to the "Cordilleran" in N Idaho just a few miles
    away! On our return trip we stopped by the north end of
    the Salton Sea at the 84th Ave hotspot. In spite of a continuing brisk cool wind
    the bird activity was outstanding. All the typical suspects including
    both Pelicans, Black-necked Stilt and Black-bellied Plover. Western and Eared Grebe flocks, and many
    Caspian Terns along with a few Forester's Tern, to name a few, were present. But there were two excellent gulls
    among the hundreds of usual California, Ring-billed, and Herring Gulls.
    Again Neil was our gull officionado spotting a well-marked adult LESSER
    BLACK-BACKED GULL. Michael then picked out what we initially hoped was
    a Yellow-footed Gull but instead turned out to be a bright adult
    Western Gull. Our day of Desert Oasis birding ended with a
    traditional Date Shake at Hadley's on the way home. See eBird for
    further descriptions and photos of the unusual (for these areas) birds.Roger D. WoodruffColton
    
    
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  17. Silver Lakes Ross's Goose LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2014 @ 10:04pm, 31 day(s) ago
    Yesterday while traveling back home from a camping trip I stopped at Silver Lakes to see what waterfowl were present. On the lake was a Ross's Goose and 3 Lesser Scaup among the myriad coots. Also present were the expected Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Shovelers and Western and PB Grebes. E-bird wanted me to justify my count of 3 DC Cormorants. After the lake I went over to the Waste Water Treatment plant and there were four more Ross's Geese. Also a Harrier, a Savannah Sparrow and lots of Horned Larks. If one was interested in searching among the Horned Larks for more rare species this would be a good place as there were thousands between there and at the nearby fields. I was limited in time and hopefully will be able to come back soon. My complete lists can be seen on a hotspot search on e-bird.
    
    Scott Duncan
    Apple Valley, CA
    
    
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  19. Baker and Desert Studies Center LINK
    DATE: Nov 3, 2014 @ 1:24pm, 45 day(s) ago
    I have been out to the Baker area several times in the last week in between chasing vagrant pipits and warblers in other counties. Overall it's been pretty slow out there. The best bird was a stunning WHITE-THROATED SPARROW this morning at the Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx. Other birds of interest over the last week have been Pine Siskins in several locations and a couple of Wood Ducks, a Red-naped Sapsucker, and a continuing Merlin at the DSC. The Baker Sewer ponds have been birdy, but no vagrant warblers have met me at the gate or sought refuge from the desert sun underneath my car :) Bird numbers at Chet Huffman Park have been low probably due to the one or two accipiters hanging out there.
    
    With the desert temps dropping to freezing and the wind from the north, seems like something good could drop in anytime.
    
    Bill Deppe
    Apple Valley
    
    
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  21. Salton Sea South 10/29/2014 LINK
    DATE: Oct 30, 2014 @ 9:43am, 49 day(s) ago
    Yesterday, Wednesday 10/29/2014, I birded a few areas at or near Brawley and Salton Sea (south), seeing 58 species. Some species I observed were a Gila Woodpecker at Cattle Call Park (Brawley), a Red-shouldered Hawk at Gentry & Walker Roads, and at Lack/Lindsay thousands of American White Pelicans & Double-crested Cormorants, 1 Willet, 3 Black-bellied Plovers, & several Marbled Godwits, Long-billed Curlews, Greater Yellowlegs & Long-billed Dowitchers. Not many ducks yet just a few Northern Shovelers & Ruddy Ducks. Gulls seen were 2 Bonaparte's, a few California and lots of Ring-billed. I did not go to Unit 1, but was told by other birders that several Sandhill Cranes were seen there, but no geese yet. The weather was wonderful 63 to 88 degrees, clear with little to no wind.
    
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar, CA
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  23. Interesting Stuff just out of our area LINK
    DATE: Oct 19, 2014 @ 5:36am, 61 day(s) ago
    Hi everyone. I'll give you a quick synopsis of some interesting stuff just on the border with Arizona. Other people do it all the time in the Parker and Lake Havasu areas on the lake and river up there, so I'll do the same for Cibola NWR which sits right on the AZ/CA border 12 miles or so southeast of Blythe. Most of it is anywhere from right on the border in AZ to maybe alt most 1/2 to a mile a mile over the border.
    
    I had 54 ( to maybe 56 ) species there yesterday (I'm confirming a few species by photos). One of question is simply did I get a late Wilson's Warbler or not. The other is did I get a very dark Red-tailed Juvenile Hawk (probably), or something way more interesting . Known notables were a slightly early return of over 350 Sandhill
    Cranes, a crazy migration of at least 800 Yellow-headed Blackbirds, another male Vermillion Flycatcher, a Wilson's Snipe, a very photo cooperative Sora, two Osprey, and two Belted Kingfishers.
    
    Back in Riverside County I did get 4 Dunlin sitting in a wet flooded farm field with 16 Killdeer just off the I-10 on Hwy 78 as I was coming back from Cibola. On the way home, like a complete idiot, I got lost somehow going to the Desert Center sewage ponds, and almost got stuck in the sand, so I missed Chet's Surf Scoter. I stopped quickly at the Lake Tamarisk Golf Course only to look at the regular ponds. Some coots and ducks like Ruddy's and Ring-necked, and a lone Western Grebe were there. The Grebe made me smile, remembering my good deed done last Sunday when I saved one stuck out in the desert on Amboy Rd., about 15 miles from 29 Palms. I put it in my car after I couldn' t get any rescue facilities to come get it, and I drove
    it back to the pond at the 29 Palms Inn.
    
    At my Desert Hot Springs fish hatchery, the only notables were a Cassin's Kingbird, a Belted Kingfisher and a Northern Flicker.
    
    That's it for now. Happing birding everyone.
    
    John McCallister
    Desert Hot Springs, CA
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  25. Merlin, Dunlin, Lake Elsinore 10/11/2014 LINK
    DATE: Oct 12, 2014 @ 8:58pm, 2 month(s) ago
    Today, Saturday 10/11/2014, seven of us participated in a bird walk/drive at Lake Elsinore, seeing 62 species. Notables were a Merlin, 3 Dunlin, 1 Greater White-fronted Goose. Several species of ducks have arrived. There were still plenty of Least Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, Black-necked Stilts & American Avocets. Link to list below.
    
    http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20204145
    
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar, CA
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  27. Lake Skinner Friday LINK
    DATE: Oct 10, 2014 @ 12:29pm, 2 month(s) ago
    No ducks yet except Mallards and 2 Ruddy's - Coots in the millions!
    
    Best bird by far was a 1st winter Chestnut-sided Warbler in the trees next to the restroom in Day Use 2. Photos can be seen at the URL below.
    
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66253895@N00/with/15311355399/
    
    Dave Furseth
    Murrieta, CA
    http://www.davesbirds.com
    
    
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  29. First week of October at SJWA LINK
    DATE: Oct 6, 2014 @ 3:19pm, 2 month(s) ago
    On a tip from Tony Metcalf I went out today, October 6, to again try to figure out how many Greater Yellowlegs there are.  With many visits since early June, when the few summer yellowegs were present, and repeatedly found 20-50 in different spots spread over the vast wetlands, got wary of overcounting, double counting, it's been speculative and confusing. Tony's "there's gotta be a hundred" was intriguing. He pointed me to the outlier pond (Pond A)  just east of the horse ranch. Wow. Many obscured by vegetation, but repeated counts were in the 100+ range. Also: at least 5 Lesser Yellowlegs  3 Pectoral Sandpipers, one Red-necked Phalarope, and, by golly, one Solitary Sandpiper standing off by itself, partially hidden, pondering the congeners. Certainly the one found by Tony yesterday; and a rather late migrant for the species. So this was all great, onward, to the duck club road, a half mile away, where Mark Chappell and I stalked Pectoral Sandpipers (17 max) yesterday and where I drove off and left my scope and my new tripod. Today: 91 Greater Yellowlegs, 0 Lessers, 16 Pecs, one Red-necked Phalarope. Still speculative and confusing.On another subject -- the first week of October 2014 has become epic for warblers in Riverside County -- 15 species of warblers, including species with few/not many county records (Ovenbird, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided) as well as western regulars including American Redstart, Black-and-white (if I extend to mid Sept.) I notice that none of the rare warblers have been at SJWA, but, the regulars have shown very well, better than Desert Center. Orange-crowns and Common Yellowthroats were the leaders today; Townsend's, Hermit, MacGillivray's, Wilson's, Nashville, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, and, of course, Yellow-rumps this week. Palm Warbler and Northern Waterthrush are due.
    
    Also at SJWA this week (Tony, Mark, me)  American Coots have invaded, Ring-necked Ducks have arrived in good numbers, the first of season Dunlin, still hundreds of Violet-green Swallows (at least early in the week), Vermilion Flycatcher (Tony), Western Flycatcher (Mark, October 5), American White Pelicans 20, Golden Eagle, four falcon sp. (Mark), Greater White-fronted Goose 8 (Mark).
    
    Gulls haven't settled in, but Tony's transient Sabine's Gull last week (Sept 24) is a great start.
    
    Chet
    
    
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  31. No Sabines Gull, San Jacinto Wildlife 9/26/14 LINK
    DATE: Sep 26, 2014 @ 3:37pm, 3 month(s) ago
    Today, Friday 9/26/14, Charity Hagen and I birded the Walker Pond & surrounding area at SJWA from 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM. We did not see the Sabine's Gull reported by Tony Metcalf yesterday. We did see one Pectoral Sandpiper in pond W8. A Golden Eagle and a Peregrine Falcon flying and scaring up the more than 1000 ducks & White-faced Ibis at the Duck Club ponds south west of the Contour Road. Other notables, a flock of 25 Greater White-fronted Geese flying over, 40 + Long-billed Curlew, 3 Black-bellied Plovers, & 20 Greater Yellowlegs. Many White-crowned Sparrows were heard and seen at the riparian area long Davis Road near the park entrance.
    
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar
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  33. SJWA Baird's Sandpipers LINK
    DATE: Aug 21, 2014 @ 1:03pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Tony Metcalf just messaged (12:45) having refound two Baird's Sandpipers found earlier in the day by Dennis Bauers and me, or two different ones. They have been on mudflats both sides of the blue potty at the duck club corner. Also this morning: Solitary Sandpiper by pond 2, Semipalmated Plovers 5, lots of yellowlegs, dowitchers, Long-billed Curlews, Soras, increasing ducks, the usual. And the skittish juv Peregrine, full-cropped and harassed by an American Kestrel. 
    Chet
    
    
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  35. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Semipalmated Sandpiper, Parker Strip LINK
    DATE: Aug 19, 2014 @ 9:26pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Today 18 Aug 2014 Lauren Harter and I stopped by a few of the waterbird spots in the Parker Strip. At Emerald Cove STP we had Dave's SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, along with a couple MEXICAN DUCKS and the summering Lesser Scaup. At the larger ephemeral pond just north of Headgate Dam we had a WOOD DUCK, FOS Blue-winged Teal, and 2 presumed continuing NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS. We've had decent amount of rain this summer and there is a lot more water in the Parker Strip than the past couple years, hopefully these ponds will continue to be filled in the coming weeks. Good birding
    David Vander Pluym
    Lake Havasu City
    
    
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  37. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Lake Elsinore 8/16/2014 LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2014 @ 4:53pm, 4 month(s) ago
    
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  38. -back to top-
  39. Lake Elsinore 8/16/2014 LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2014 @ 7:27pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Today, Saturday 8/16/2014, and despite the nearly 100 degree temp, Charity Hagen, Bill Moramarco and I birded at the Lake Elsinore levee and back basin area, observing 68 species. Some noteworthy species were Bonaparte's Gulls, Marbled Godwits, Willet, Greater Yellowlegs, Least & Western Sandpipers, Semipalamted Plover, Wilson's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Ducks other than Mallard seen were Green-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler. Checklist and some photos at this link. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19490507
    
    Happy
    Birding!
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar, CA
    
    
  40. -back to top-
  41. SJWA Aug 2-8 LINK
    DATE: Aug 8, 2014 @ 1:03pm, 4 month(s) ago
    I made several visits to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area this week, and at various times I enjoyed the company of Tony Metcalf, Dennis Bauers, and Bob Packard. I was celebrating water and mostly ignored the trees. Of seasonal and otherwise interest to me:
    
    A juvenile Peregrine Falcon made appearances on three days, as did a White-tailed Kite.
    
    Out of season/early ducks included one Green-wingerd Teal, three Northern Shovelers. Wood Ducks are one of only two breeding duck species this summer that I know of, and at least one female persists. Mallards are present in the few hundred range, Cinnamon Teals are considerably less, circa 50.
    
    Impressive to me seems to mean more than fifty so: Greater Yellowlegs (70+), Long-billed Curlew (40+), Wilson's Phalarope (50), Snowy Egret (80), Great Egret (40+),  White-faced Ibis (150). Tough counting, everything's moving, lots of wetlands now.
    
    One adult Lesser Yellowlegs was seen early in the week, today's was a juvenile. Hoping for Solitary got Spotted.
    
    Mildly rare shorebirds for the location showed singly this week: Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Marbled Godwit (juvenile).
    
    Peeps have been scarce (lots of water not turned to mud yet) so looking for Baird's was fruitless as I could only find about 30 Least Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers.
    
    A snipe (default to Wilson's) sniped away on August 3, rather early.
    
    This morning, three Sora and two juvenile Common Gallinules were in the west of Davis Rd pond; based on Tony's observations through July it appears we had some summering Soras. 
    
    There were many swallows this week, surprising was the dominance of Violet-green Swallows; I counted 45 on one line as many swarmed overhead. And with them a buff-rumped, chestnut-fronted, juvenile from the Petrochelidon camp. 
    
    A male Indigo Bunting perched high in a willow near the swallow lines.
    
    Chet
    
    
  42. -back to top-
  43. NESS July 21 LINK
    DATE: Jul 21, 2014, 5 month(s) ago
    I walked into Salt Creek at sunrise then spent the rest of the morning at the State Recreation Area, North Shore, the end of Hayes Rd, Lincoln/70th flooded fields, and 81 and 84th Avenues.  Calidris are finally available in numbers, had to happen based on Guy's reports from the south. There were perhaps 1000,  favoring Western Sandpiper but with some near pure flocks of Least Sandpiper, the extensive beach north and south of the end of 81st was  particularly good. Black-necked Stilts are building up and Black-bellied Plovers are arriving. After a week-end excursion to Bolsa Chica with Tony Metcalf and Mark Chappell, and hundreds of Short-billed Dowitchers, I expected fun with dows... but not one of either species today. And only a couple each of Willet and Greater Yellowlegs. California Gulls are stacking up, with juveniles. Other gulls included Western (adult) and  Yellow-footed (10) at 84th, and at least five Laughing Gulls in the flooded field off Lincoln. Small groups of Black Skimmers (total about a dozen) flew south past Salt Creek early. Pelicans and herons in the many hundreds, Osprey, Western Tanager, Black-chinned Hummingbird also, no ducks.
    Chet
    
    
  44. -back to top-
  45. NESS June 14, SJWA June 13 LINK
    DATE: Jun 14, 2014, 6 month(s) ago
    Most amusing in my long morning/early afternoon at NESS was the Jeep Cherokee with barnacles and mud up to the doors at 84th. Not sure how the empty Bud Light box by the back tire played into that... (Public service announcement:  be sure to catch John Oliver's comments on Budweiser and the World Cup.)
    
    As it is the third week on June, birding is at an ebb, unless hundreds of  Brown Pelicans suit you. Most interesting to me, for the date, were two dowitchers (presumed Long-bills) four Greater Yellowlegs and three adult Laughing Gulls. The big dark gulls of 84th (at least six) included Western and Yellow-footed gulls but weren't really situated for the exact breakdown of species and age. I completely avoided ducks and coots.
    
    Speaking of ducks, a small rant, now that I have someone's attention:
    
    A male Canvasback at SJWA June 13, was a surprise, and an interesting addition to our summering/visiting waterfowl diversity, 12 species at least. To this date, the only successful nesting duck species I've seen are Mallard (one family) and Wood Duck (one family - hard to mow a nest box).  Management practices seem to be aimed (excuse me) at the target ducks rather than nesting ducks, the mowing is continuous, the hydrology is mysterious, the nesting season is clearly unknown, the MBTA is a just an acronym.
    Chet
    
    
  46. -back to top-
  47. Salton Sea IMP 1 Jun 2014 LINK
    DATE: Jun 2, 2014, 7 month(s) ago
     I spent part of the Sunday, 01 June 2014 (6:00
    AM to 1:30 PM), in the Imperial Valley and along part of the south shore of the
    Salton Sea. I started the day in Niland where I spent time along the southern
    end of International Road ,
    and somewhat less time in the area west of Highway 111. I then moved south to
    the IID Wetlands and continued south to Wiest Lake, stopping at Rammer Lake,
    Kershaw Pond and the west side of Finney Lake. I then returned to the Salton
    Sea and checked the shore from the north end of Garst Road to the north end of
    Poe Road, stopping at the western part of the Hazard Unit, the Salton Sea
    National Wildlife Refuge HQ, Obsidian Butte, 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. From there I drove eastward into
    Westmorland, then south to Sunbeam
    Lake , and stopped at Fig Lagoon before heading west
    to San Diego .
    It was mostly clear throughout the day, with some light wind at times in the morning,
    and with temperatures ranging from 65 to 105 degrees.
    Waterfowl and shorebird are few and far between,
    and migrant Passerines were limited to a few Western Wood-Pewees and Willow
    Flycatchers scattered throughout the area covered.
    Species seen - Gadwall (5), Mallard (25 -
    including a family of ten ducklings at Kershaw Pond), Cinnamon Teal (1),
    Northern Shoveler (5), Northern Pintail (1), Canvasback (1 - one female with
    other ducks at the north end of Garst Road was the same bird seen here on 21 May),
    Redhead (20), Surf Scoter (1 - one
    female at the west end of Young Road was believed to be the same bird found
    here by Brian L. Sullivan on 28 April), Long-tailed
    Duck (1 - one female at the western edge of the Hazard Unit was the
    same bird found here by Brian L. Sullivan on 27 April), Bufflehead (1 –
    one long staying “crippled” adult male at the west end of Young
    Road), Red-breasted Merganser (1 -
    one “female” at the west end of Young Road was the same bird first
    seen here on 3 April), Ruddy Duck (350), Gambel’s Quail (10), Common Loon (1 - one in basic-plumage at
    the west end of Young Road), Pied-billed Grebe (5), Eared Grebe (15), Western
    Grebe (10), Clark’s Grebe (5), Aechmophorus
    sp (5), Neotropic Cormorant (12 -
    four adults [two pairs, each at a nest] at Rammer Lake, one sub-adult at the
    intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads, one adult at the west end of Young
    Road,, and eight sub-adults at Fig Lagoon), Double-crested Cormorant (2500 -
    many on nests at Rammer Lake), White Pelican (30), Brown Pelican (2500), Least
    Bittern (3), Great Blue Heron (150 - many on nests), Great Egret (75), Snowy
    Egret (100), Cattle Egret (3500 - most attending nests at Rammer Lake), Green
    Heron (10), Black-crowned Night-Heron (75 - most attending nests at Rammer
    Lake), White-faced Ibis (250), Turkey Vulture (5), Osprey (1), Northern Harrier
    (2), Clapper Rail (4), Common Gallinule (5), American Coot (350), Black-necked
    Stilt (75), American Avocet (150), Black-bellied Plover (3), Snowy Plover (5),
    Killdeer (20), Spotted Sandpiper (2), Willet (3), Whimbrel (5), Marbled Godwit
    (6), Red-necked Phalarope (5), Bonaparte’s Gull (35), Heermann’s Gull (3 - three adults
    together at Fig Lagoon), Ring-billed Gull (75), Western Gull (1), Yellow-footed
    Gull (10), California Gull (50), Least Tern
    (1 - one adult at the north end of Garst Road), Gull-billed Tern (35 - none at
    Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge where nesting obviousely
    failed), Caspian Tern (30), Black
    Tern (50), Forster’s Tern (30), Black Skimmer (25 - all at Unit 1 of the
    Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove
    (250), White-winged Dove (150), Mourning Dove (150), Inca Dove (10), Common
    Ground-Dove (15), Greater Roadrunner (6), Burrowing Owl (15), Lesser Nighthawk
    (2), Black-chinned Hummingbird (5), Anna’s Hummingbird (5), American
    Kestrel (10), Western Wood-Pewee (10), Willow Flycatcher (10), Black Phoebe
    (15), Say’s Phoebe (2 - two in Niland where probably nesting), Western
    Kingbird (25), Loggerhead Shrike (2), Common Raven (1), Northern Rough-winged
    Swallow (35), Cliff Swallow (500), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (15), Black-tailed
    Gnatcatcher (5), Northern Mockingbird (10), European Starling (100), Common
    Yellowthroat (5), Abert’s Towhee (25), Song Sparrow (15), Blue Grosbeak (1),
    Red-winged Blackbird (500), Western Meadowlark (20), Yellow-headed Blackbird
    (5), Brewer’s Blackbird (20), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Bronzed Cowbird
    (2 - an adult male and female together at the southern end of International
    Road in Niland), Brown-headed Cowbird (30), Bullock’s Oriole (5), House
    Finch (40) and House Sparrow (75) - 98 species.
    
    Guy McCaskie
    Secretary CBRC
    guymcc@...
    
    
  48. -back to top-
  49. Salton Sea - 21 May 2014 LINK
    DATE: May 22, 2014, 7 month(s) ago
     I spent the day Wednesday, 21 May 2014 (5:15 AM
    to 6:00 PM) with Curtis A. Marantz in the Imperial Valley and along part of the
    south shore of the Salton Sea . We started the
    day at Fig Lagoon and Sunbeam
    Lake , then moved north to
    the area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of
    Brawley. From here we drove north to Niland where, stopping briefly at the
    Kershaw Pond and at the granary in Calipatria. We spent considerable time along
    the southern end of International
    Road and less time in the area west of Highway
    111. We then moved west to the Salton Sea and checked the shore from the
    southwest corner of the Wister Unit to the north end of Poe Road, stopping at
    the north end of Garst Road, the western part of the Hazard Unit, the Salton
    Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ, Rock Hill, Obsidian Butte, the area around the
    intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads, the west end of Young Road, and Unit 1
    of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. From here we drove into Westmorland
    and Brawley where CAM departed northward and I
    headed south to Lakeview Golfcourse adjacent to Fig Lagoon, stopping to look at
    Sheldon Reservoir along the way. I then stopped briefly at Fig Lagoon and
    headed west to San Diego .
    It was clear throughout the day, with some wind in the early morning, and with
    temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees.
    Shorebirds were few and far between, but
    noteworthy numbers of migrant Passerines were at
    Sunbeam Lake ,
    the area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads, southeastern Niland
    and at Lakeview Golfcourse, with Western Tanager s
    being the most numerous, followed by Western Wood-Pewees, Willow Flycatchers,
    Yellow Warblers and Warbling Vireos.
    Species seen - Gadwall (10), American Wigeon
    (3), Mallard (20 - including a family of seven ducklings at the north end of
    Garst Road), Blue-winged Teal (1 - one adult male with two Cinnamon Teal at Fig
    Lagoon), Cinnamon Teal (10), Northern Shoveler (40), Northern Pintail (10),
    Canvasback (1 - one female with other ducks at the north end of Garst Road),
    Redhead (20), Long-tailed Duck (1
    - one female at the western edge of the Hazard Unit was the same bird found
    here by Brian L. Sullivan on 27 April), Bufflehead (1 – one long staying
    “crippled” adult male at the west end of Young Road), Red-breasted Merganser (1 - one
    “female” at the west end of Young Road was the same bird first seen
    here on 3 April), Ruddy Duck (500), Gambel’s Quail (5), Pied-billed Grebe
    (5), Eared Grebe (10), Western Grebe (5), Clark’s Grebe (3), Aechmophorus sp (2), Neotropic Cormorant (15 - fifteen
    sub-adults together at Sunbeam Lake), Double-crested Cormorant (250), White
    Pelican (150), Brown Pelican (750), Least Bittern (1), Great Blue Heron (50 -
    many on nests), Great Egret (25), Snowy Egret (35), Cattle Egret (300), Green
    Heron (5), Black-crowned Night-Heron (10), White-faced Ibis (50), Turkey
    Vulture (25), Osprey (1), Common Gallinule (3), American Coot (350),
    Black-necked Stilt (75 - some on nests), American Avocet (250), Black-bellied
    Plover (15), Snowy Plover (5 - including one sitting on a nest at the
    southwestern corner of the Wister Unit), Semipalmated Plover (1), Killdeer
    (15), Spotted Sandpiper (10), Willet (1), Whimbrel (3), Marbled Godwit (10), Ruddy Turnstone (1 - one adult in
    alternate-plumage at Obsidian Butte), Western Sandpiper (10), Long-billed
    Dowitcher (10), Wilson’s Phalarope (35), Red-necked Phalarope (150),
    Bonaparte’s Gull (50), Ring-billed Gull (75), Western Gull (4),
    Yellow-footed Gull (10), California Gull (75), Herring Gull (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 - one
    first-summer bird near the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads was the same
    bird seen in this area on 10 May), Least Tern
    (3 - three at the southwest corner of the Wister Unit included two sitting on
    nests), Gull-billed Tern (45 - most at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge where they are nesting on an island away from the Caspian
    Terns), Caspian Tern (350 - now
    most nesting at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge but about 15
    still attending nests art Rock Hill), Black Tern (250), Forster’s Tern
    (30), Black Skimmer (20), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (250),
    White-winged Dove (75), Mourning Dove (100), Inca Dove (5), Common Ground-Dove
    (25), Greater Roadrunner (1), Barn Owl (1), Burrowing Owl (10), Lesser
    Nighthawk (3), Black-chinned Hummingbird (6), Anna’s Hummingbird (5),
    Costa’s Hummingbird (1), Gila Woodpecker (5), Ladder-backed Woodpecker
    (1), American Kestrel (10), Olive-sided Flycatcher (1 - one near the
    intersection of Carter and Fites Roads), Western Wood-Pewee (35), Willow
    Flycatcher (25), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (3), Black Phoebe (15), Say’s
    Phoebe (1 - one in Niland where probably nesting), Vermilion Flycatcher (2 - an adult female being followed by
    what appeared to be a hatch-year bird at Lakeview Golfcourse indicated nesting
    at this location - Brian L. Sullivan reported three, including an adult male,
    at this location on 28 April - this flycatcher has not been record nesting in
    the Imperial Valley during the past 50 years), Western Kingbird (30),
    Loggerhead Shrike (4), Warbling Vireo (15), Common Raven (1), Northern
    Rough-winged Swallow (30), Cliff Swallow (500), Barn Swallow (6 - including a
    pair at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads where this swallow has
    nested in the past two years), Verdin (10), Marsh Wren (10), Black-tailed
    Gnatcatcher (2), Swainson’s Thrush (12), Crissal Thrasher (1 - one
    singing near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads), Northern Mockingbird
    (5), European Starling (100), Phainopepla (15 - including a flock of ten in
    Niland), Nashville Warbler (1 - a
    late migrant at Lakeview Golfcourse ties the latest date for a spring migrant
    at the Salton Sink - one collected near Westmorland on 20 May 1995 being the
    previous latest), MacGillivray’s Warbler (1), Common Yellowthroat (5),
    Yellow Warbler (30), Yellow-rumped Warbler (2), Townsend’s Warbler (3),
    Hermit Warbler (1 - one male at Sunbeam Lake), Wilson’s Warbler (6),
    Abert’s Towhee (15), Song Sparrow (15), Green-tailed
    Towhee (1 – a late migrant near the intersection of Carter and
    Fites Roads ties the latest date [one Wister Unit HQ on 21 May 2003] for a
    spring migrant at the Salton Sink), Western Tanager
    (60), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1 -
    one female with an entirely pale bill and streaking on its breast well seen
    near the southern end of International Road in Niland was photographed by CAM),
    Black-headed Grosbeak (10), Blue Grosbeak (1), Lazuli Bunting (5), Red-winged
    Blackbird (500), Western Meadowlark (30), Yellow-headed Blackbird (1),
    Brewer’s Blackbird (20), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Bronzed Cowbird (2 -
    an adult male and female at the southern end of International Road in Niland),
    Brown-headed Cowbird (30), Hooded Oriole (2), Bullock’s Oriole (5), House
    Finch (30) and House Sparrow (50) - 128 species.
    
    Guy McCaskie
    Secretary CBRC
    guymcc@...
    
    
  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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