black skimmer common tern pink-footed shearwater mallard rose-breasted grosbeak african collared-dove sooty shearwater cassin's auklet royal tern osprey elegant tern turkey vulture eurasian collared-dove california thrasher craveri's murrelet
trending birds in last 30 posts.
I found a juvenile YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON this evening on a walk along the Wintersburg Channel at Bolsa Chica. The bird was sitting on the rocks under the bridge midway between Graham St and the tidal gates at PCH. Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/110988414@N04/27888376694/in/dateposted-public/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/110988414@N04/28399758222/in/dateposted-public/ This is the 4th record of one at Bolsa Chica. All have been juveniles. The first appeared in the fall of 2012 and wintered into 2013. The others appeared in late summer 2014 (July 19) and 2015 (August 8). (There was some debate about the 2015 bird and whether it was a pure Yellow-crowned or hybrid with Black-crowned due to extensive yellow on the lower mandible and in the lores.) This bird's appearance is remarkably close in time to the last two. While at Bolsa last weekend I looked under the bridge for night herons but found none. It's eerie how juveniles keep appearing in the same spot year after year. The nearest known Yellow-crowned breeding locations are in Ventura County and southern San Diego county. It's odd juveniles dispersing from those locations would repeatedly show up in the Wintersburg Channel but not appear in other coastal estuaries at points between. It suggests local breeding though there is no evidence yet to substantiate the notion. Roger Schoedl Huntington Beach
Last Sunday (7/17) I saw 2 second-year Common Terns at Bolsa Chica. One of the two Commons behaved oddly. I first spotted it perched a bit outside a tight group of about 50 Elegant Terns. As I watched it walked up to an Elegant and appeared to poke its bill into the side of it. The Elegant responded by nipping at the Common Tern which waddled a few steps off to the next Elegant on the periphery of the flock. Again the Common poked its bill into the Elegant. That Elegant also responded by nipping at the Common to drive it off. The Common Tern was unfazed by the rejections and continued walking around the perimeter of the flock touching each Elegant with its bill. It was pushed away every time. I interpreted it to be some kind of display of aggressive behavior when the strangest thing happened. The Common Tern found one Elegant Tern which did not reject its advance. The Common Tern then proceeded to preen the wing, flank and tail feathers of the Elegant Tern for a few minutes. So what I thought was aggression actually turned out to be some form of social interaction between the two species. After preening the Elegant the Common resumed its walk around the flock poking its bill at each Elegant it encountered. Its advances were again rejected. I eventually lost sight of the Common when it circled behind the flock. I couldn't see if it found another Elegant to preen but it certainly was intent on trying. It was unusual behavior I thought some would find interesting. Roger Schoedl Huntington Beach
I have no idea if these are common or no, but I had at three females spotted and a singing male at Craig Park today. The females were working the low trees along the creek just in front of the dam. The male was singing just north of them, deeper in the eucs. Also a pair of young coyotes prowling, so mind yourself. Picture: http://home.earthlink.net/~bellafortuni/Grosbeak.JPG Wm Erik Voss Fullerton
I had a stunning male Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the Barano Walk Trail at the house with all the hummingbird feeders yesterday (Sunday) at noon. The bird was actually flew into the suet feeder. I parked and entered on Canejo, made a left, and walked 200 yards to the back of the house. Feeders are easily seen from path. Anna's, Allen's, and a single Black-chinned were coming and going for the hour I spent there. Orioles too. Afternoon viewing (after 3pm) is best as light is at your back. As it was midday and the light was terrible, I didn't take my camera. Of course the good bird show up up with the camera in the car. Cheers Dorian Anderson
The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak has been visiting my balcony water dispenser and feeder off and on since June 29. This morning I ran into several birders on the nature trail who had just seen him in a eucalyptus tree closer to the beginning of the nature trail (behind the apartment complex parking lot). I'm writing to add that late yesterday afternoon I saw a grosbeak I didn't recognize at my feeder, and this morning after consulting with the other (more experienced) birders and looking in several field guides I confirmed it was a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Her wings and head pattern were very similar to that of a female Black-headed Grosbeak (some of which were present for comparison), but her breast and belly were very pale and covered in dark streaks, and her bill was lighter in color.She flew off toward Bonita Creek before I could get my camera, but I will keep my camera ready and try to get a photograph if she returns. Sandy Smith Newport Beach
Sea & Sage Audubon held its annual summer pelagic trip today, July 16, on board the Ocean Institute's R/V Sea Explorer with Mike Bursk as captain. Leaders on today's trip were Jon Dunn, Jerry Tolman, Robert McNab, Jeff Bray, and myself. We enjoyed nice weather as we explored Lausen Sea Mount, the oil platforms off Huntington Beach, and the offshore waters between these locations and Dana Point. The highlight of the trip was probably the Long-tailed Jaeger over San Gabriel Canyon 11 km due SW of Huntington Pier that was seen well by all. Other birds included thousands of Black-vented and Sooty Shearwaters along with a few dozen Pink-footed Shearwaters, a flock of about 50 Black Storm-Petrels on Lausen Sea Mount, seven Brown Boobies on Platform Edith, a Northern Fulmar, three Cassin's Auklets, two murrelets seen briefly that were later identified as Craveri's Murrelets from photos, and Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers. Marine mammals sightings during the trip included a Fin Whale, a Blue Whale, Common Dolphins and California Sea Lions. Thank you to the Ocean Institute for getting us out to see the birds and getting us back safely. Sea & Sage Audubon's next pelagic trip is in September; see the website for details. Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA
Hi All Several other birders and I had the Rose-breasted grosbeak this morning at 8am at its previously reported haunt. Park at the park and walk south on the bike/nature trail. The bird has been seen in the eucalyptus trees that line the western edge of the path as one moves south. The apartment with the water dispenser, the apt from where the bird was first reported, can be seen right behind the stucco wall, maybe 200 yards down the path, right where Jeff Bray marked it a few days ago. The bird was bouncing around the trees near there for a few minutes, then flew down towards the creek where we lost it. Photos of the bird will be added to my eBird checklist at some point I also spent a couple evenings last week enjoying the continuing Bolsa tern show. I have posted a few photos, as well as some other OC birds, at the link below. Dorian Anderson Explore Dorian Anderson's 405 photos on Flickr! View on www.flickr.com Preview by Yahoo ? I hope to see many of you on the pelagic trip tomorrow! Cheers Dorian Anderson
I just received a video showing a frigatebird (presumed Magnificent) one mile off Dana Point last Wednesday, July 13.? Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 6.
Jennifer, the birds calling in your video are Cassin's Kingbirds. Robert McNab Laguna Niguel
I have been hearing one or two individuals with this very distinct succinct call over the past month or so in the wild growth area in the hill behind my house. I have not spotted the bird perched but I have seen two "fighting" mid air and they look brown and off-white.My friend thinks it's a mockingbird but I know mockingbirds and these are different. I have a video of the call on my facebook page. Can anyone help ID?BTW the BIRDSONGID app gave it 75% ID as CA thrasher but that app is not very consistent.? Thanks! Jennifer Gardner MIssion Viejo I think i've spied a California thrasher - Jennifer Brown Gardner | Facebook I think i've spied a California thrasher - Jennifer ... I think i've spied a California thrasher View on www.facebook.com Preview by Yahoo
After a futile 2 hours yesterday, I returned to the trail today to try again.? I had waited an hour for the grosbeak to show up when?Chuck, another birder,?came to wait with me.?We waited?another 1.5 hours until?we finally saw it fly into a pepper tree to forage, around 10:30.??The tree was in front of the eucs, to the left?of the first house/condo building on the small hill.?Not great but diagnostic photo will be in my ebird checklist. ? Edana Salisbury Buena Park, CA
Appears to still be one or two White Pelicans at the Santa Ana River (fishing) Lakes. I don't recall seeing them stay for the summer before. K. Rice North Tustin
There are still a few spaces left on the Summer Pelagic Trip sponsored by Sea & Sage Audubon this coming Sat, July 16th. The boat will leave from the Ocean Institute dock in Dana Point. Meeting time is 6:30 AM; return will be at 3:00 PM. Trip fee is $60. Trip leader is Jon Dunn who will be assisted by several other knowledgeable pelagic birders. Advance reservations are needed. Contact Field Trip Coordinator, Nancy Kenyon, if you are interesting in going: nancykenyon@... For details about the trip and trip reports from previous summer pelagic trips, see our Sea & Sage Audubon website at: http://tinyurl.com/jj7faz5 Nancy Kenyon Irvine
I decided to swing by this area after work and found the bird rather quickly along the trail.Park at Bonita Creek Park and just take the trail from there.It was only doing its chink call and I only had it briefly in the eucalyptus trees.Was able to get a few distant photos. Will post later on ebird checklist.GPS location below.? Altitude: 39 feet Accuracy of GPS signal: 16 feet http://maps.google.com/?q=33.64305,-117.86204 33.64305,-117.86204 Jeff Bray Irvine, CA jbray4913@...
I live adjacent to the Bonita Creek nature trial, and on June 29th and again today (around 12:45) I had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak visit a feeder and water dispenser on my balcony.Each time he flew off in the direction of Bonita Creek, and I have heard him singing from that direction.In fact, after I first saw him on June 29th, I waited until he was gone, went to allaboutbirds.com, and played his song to familiarize myself with it.I'd forgotten that I'd left a window open facing the creek, and as soon as the recording stopped I heard the exact same song coming faintly from that direction. I have a photo (not a good one, but enough for identification purposes), and if anyone can tell me in fairly simple language how to get it from my iPhone to this site, I will post it. Apologies for not posting this sooner. I tried to post on the 29th but was unable to do so because the site wouldn't load fully. I'm able to do so today only because I switched browsers. Sandy Smith Newport Beach
Today I was aboard Newport Coastal Adventure's zodiac looking at the harbor seal colony along Abalone Point on the South end of Crystal Cove and there were 2 American Oystercatchers right along the rocks under the mansions up above. -Mark Girardeau Mission Viejo, CA
We had 15 participants in our Bolsa Chica count today (June 8), which covers 5 areas.The major highlight, of course, was the Elegant Terns.Although we know there are 30,000 to 40,000 of them, our rules are to count what we can see from the public area.The group doing that area (The Inner Bolsa) has to look from the boardwalk or just past the boardwalk, and not all of them are visible.Their estimate of what they could see was 10,000, plus assorted others not in the tight group.Our total of Elegants for today was 10,255.The Inner Bay group said there weren’t many on North Tern Island today, mainly on Nest Site 1. Other highlights were 1 female Lesser Scaup in the Pocket Pond/Marsh, 2 Reddish Egrets (1 in the Pocket Pond, 1 in Outer Bolsa seen at the same time), 2 Peregrine Falcons (one came through the Outer Bay and dispersed the shorebirds we fortunately had just counted), 2 Osprey, 2 Ridgway’s Rails (both adults), 126 Least Terns (including 6+ juveniles), 115 Black Skimmers, and shorebirds coming back south, including 971 Western Sandpipers.We did NOT see the Horned Grebe today, nor any Red Knots (perhaps they’ve moved on). Terry Hill Huntington Beach, California
To all OC e B ird users, Your faithful OC eBird reviewers are trying to cleaning up records in the eBird database. In terms of setting species to be flagged in checklists we are currently limited to three filters superimposed on Google Maps. These include the area on the coast from the ocean inland as far as the 405/73/5 highways , the Santa Ana Mountains, and then everything else in between. Needless to say it wouldn't be that unusual to find out-of-habitat species that are not being flagged by the filters in areas where they would otherwise be considered rare. An example of this would be a shearwater flying around downtown Newport Beach. If you encounter a bird outside of suitable habitat please provide appropriate documentation. Here are some notable issues we have recently been trying to clean up: 1) Brandt's vs. Pelagic vs. Double-crested Cormorant. In Orange County both Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorants are typically restricted to the ocean and immediate coast. A fter talking to Doug Willick and looking in the database, t he only exceptions for Brandt's that I have found are sightings of single birds in the inner Bolsa Chica basin, slightly inland along the Santa Ana River , and small clusters reported in Newport Harbor. Pelagic Cormorants are even more restricted to the coast with sightings of single birds recently at Bolsa Chica and of a single bird from this past winter at lower Newport Bay. Pelagic Cormorants are most likely encountered in Orange County along the rocky cliffs between Newport Harbor and Dana Point. I spent a long time reviewing and invalidating erroneous reports of multiple birds inside Bolsa Chica, and this will no doubt be an ongoing issue. Note: Royal Terns are probably also in need of review along the same guidelines. 2) R ocky shorebird specialists such as Wandering Tattler , Surfbird, Black Turnstone, and Black Oystercatcher . There are historical records of Wandering Tattler from Bolsa Chica along the rocky channels, but records from this location should be documented. Most county records of these birds occur on the rocky shoreline between Newport Harbor and Dana Point and on rocky jetties along the coast. 3) Rufous-crowned, Grasshopper, and Black-chinned Sparrows and Cactus Wren. Rufous-crowned Sparrows are known to rarely disperse into the lowlands during winter, but birds found outside their typical habitats should be recorded with appropriate written or photo documentation. This appears to occur casually at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary and Newport Bay based on some excellent responses from local eBird users. Grasshopper and Black-chinned Sparrows are not known to occur outside of their typical habitats and all these species would be extremely unusual anywhere in the highly developed urban sprawl of Orange County . Please provide documentation for any of these species out of appropriate habitat or in suitable habitat away from known locations . 4) Habitat specialist species like Wrentit, California Gnatcatcher , and Oak Titmouse. Any records at places in the middle of what is now urban sprawl and isolated habitat islands like Mile Square Regional Park and Huntington Central Park should include comments describing the observed bird(s) . If you are wondering what I mean, feel free to search for Wrentit observations in the Palos Verdes Peninsula where Kimball Garrett repeatedly posts that they do not occur. Overall I have found that misidentified species can lead to others reporting those species, creating large patches of eBird data that augments actual bird distribution, somewhat akin to a Kool-Aid effect for birders. This last one is probably the most common issue I find in the database : Imprecise Locations & Building Lists . First, eBird was developed as a database for researchers to access input from the many thousands of birders who observe birds and submit lists. As such, you are strongly encouraged to submit checklists from accurate locations over limited time periods (for example, one checklist for an hour spent at Huntington Central Park and a separate checklist for two hours subsequently spent at Bolsa Chica; not one checklist for three hours spent at both locations). Whenever possible, please try to use established hotspots. I understand many people use e B ird to track their own life lists. If you are looking to create a checklist that covers a wide imprecise area, please enter your checklists at the county level or use a personal location. If you are trying to enter your life list, please follow the eBird protocol for life lists: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/973912-how-to-upload-your-life-list . Remember, o nce you have submitted the checklist, click on the option to "Hide from eBird Output" (shown on the right side of the checklist page) Special thanks to Brian Daniels and Tom Wurster for pointing out to us many of these issues in the database. If anyone notices any wayward records feel free to contact us, and we will continue to update the current filters as best as we can to flag unusual records. Also, if you need help navigating any of the functions within eBird, and can't seem to find answers on the Help pages, please feel free to contact one of us with your questions. If anyone is completely at a loss to what I'm talking about above, you can read more about eBird and the data quality review process here: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676-understanding-the-ebird-review-and-data-quality-process If you want to read more about how to write a good description of a species there is a great write-up about that here: http://help.ebird.org/customer/en/portal/articles/973980-reporting-rarities--elements-of-a-bird-description Tom F-H Irvine, CA and your other OC reviewers: Ryan Winkleman ( rswinkleman@... ), Jeff Bray ( jbray4913@... ), and Tom Benson( thomasabenson@... ).
Thanks, Jim.? I couldn't agree more.? I deferred to a more experienced colleague about it, though my original impression was that it was probably a (leucistic?) Eurasian Collared-Dove. - Tom Carranceja Hunt. Beach
Thursday evening, and I just had the most amazing telephone conversation with Peter Knapp (long-time Fish & Wildlife volunteer at Bolsa Chica).He indicates that there are about 15,000 Elegant Tern nests on Nest Site 1 (which is the area running south from behind the fence at the end of the walk bridge), plus there are 4500 to 5000 nests on North Tern Island. His estimate is that there are 40,000 Elegant Terns at Bolsa Chica right now! (You always multiply the number of nests by 2)He explained to me that they graded that area of Nest Site 1 before the terns arrived and set out gridlines.Studies have shown that Elegant Terns nest very close together, at 12 nests per square meter.Using that measurement and determining how many meters the terns are using to nest, gives him that figure. He also ran it by Dr. Charles Collins, the professor who has or had done Elegant Tern research at Bolsa Chica for many years, and he did not dispute that number.Peter went on to tell me that there are about 100,000 nesting in an area in San Diego.Prior to 3 years ago, there were 250,000 Elegant Terns nesting on Loraza Island in Mexico, but they’ve been absent there for the past 3 years due to the absence of food.So either another 100,000 Elegant Terns are dispersed somewhere else in small or large groups or they’ve disappeared. This is something for eBird to be looking for.In addition, he’s been counting some of the other terns and says there are 200 Caspian and 70 Royal Terns, plus 200+ Black Skimmers (many of them nesting on the ocean side of the island).The first Black Skimmer chicks were seen by him this week, so that number will go up. So our earlier estimate of 8,000 to 10,000 is low.I am sure this is the highest number ever for Bolsa Chica--I’ve been birding Bolsa Chica since the 1980’s, and I’ve never seen or heard of numbers this high!? Terry Hill
Hi Tom, In my opinion, the African Collared-Dove is actually a whitish Eurasian Collared-Dove. When I pause the video at 0.31, I see gray undertail coverts and a black base to the outermost pair of rectrices, with the black extending distally on the outer web. Both of these features are consistent with Eurasian, as African has white undertail coverts and a white base to the outermost pair of rectrices (ie, the pair that is visible from below on the closed tail). I'm not personally familiar with the vocalizations of African, but I understand they are sufficiently different to allow separation from Eurasian. Jim Pike HB On Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 6:28 PM, califaunadreamn@... [OrangeCountyBirding] < OrangeCountyBirdingfirstname.lastname@example.org > wrote: Today at Bolsa Chica Ecol. Reserve, I saw a tagged Turkey Vulture (ID#26) south of Brightwater Trail, north of the tidal channel. Video at https://youtu.be/95BKX7N-b0c In the same area, spotted an African Collared-Dove grooming itself on one of the trees on the hillside facing the tidal channel. Video at https://youtu.be/L1jAZZpuzGc A short while later, a couple of Eurasian Collared-Doves landed at the same tree where the African Collared was. Video at https://youtu.be/pCFRQBdApmQ There was also an Osprey *wading* in the same tidal channel. A Black Skimmer (which was working the channel) & a couple of mallards clearly weren't happy with the raptor's presence. - Tom Carranceja Hunt. Beach
Today at Bolsa Chica Ecol. Reserve, I saw a tagged Turkey Vulture (ID#26) south of Brightwater Trail, north of the tidal channel.? Video at https://youtu.be/95BKX7N-b0c In the same area, spotted an African Collared-Dove grooming itself on one of the trees on the hillside facing the tidal channel.? Video at https://youtu.be/L1jAZZpuzGc A short while later, a couple of Eurasian Collared-Doves landed at the same tree where the African Collared was.? Video at https://youtu.be/pCFRQBdApmQ There was also an Osprey *wading* in the same tidal channel.? A Black Skimmer (which was working the channel) & a couple of mallards clearly weren't happy with the raptor's presence. - Tom Carranceja Hunt. Beach
Yesterday (July 5) I saw 2 COMMON TERNS in the tidal basin at Bolsa Chica.? On Monday (July 4) I saw a Black Skimmer skimming the remnant puddle in the center of Talbert Lake at Huntington Central Park (HCP). The water has dwindled to about 100 x 30 feet and is no more than a foot deep yet seems to attract a steady trickle of terns, mostly Leasts plus a few Forster's. A Skimmer seemed a bit out of place. On a visit to HCP this morning (Juy 6) I again saw a Black Skimmer skimming the puddle. A number of terns flying low over the pond included 2 Elegant Terns. It's unusual to see Elegants within the park rather than just flying high over it. As I watched one of the Elegants did something unexpected. It dropped down to the surface of the water and flew parallel to the surface holding its bill open with the lower mandible dragging in the water skimmer-style. Elegants are plunge-divers though I have sometimes seen them swoop down to pluck or briefly skim something from the surface. This Elegant skimmed for many tens of feet across much of the pond and did so multiple times. I don't know if this is behavior Elegant Terns engage in or if it was mimicry of the Black Skimmer present. It's not something I've seen before. I walked all of Bolsa Chica at low tide again this morning. I didn't see the Common Terns but I admit I didn't try very hard (didn't have the energy to look through thousands of Elegants again). Nor did I see any unusual or unseasonal shorebirds. Also, a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos successfully bred at Huntington Central Park this year. Roger Schoedl Huntington Beach
Had a late afternoon trip to SJWS and was rewarded with 5 species of terns - Least , Forster's , Caspian , Elegant and Royal - the last 2 being the first for me there. Don Hoechlin. Costa Mesa Sent from my iPhone
On Saturday, I joined a pelagic out of San Pedro on the Magician, birding primarily in LA Co. waters. Really nice time and turned out to be a really nice day out on the water. We eventually made a trip over to the oil rigs off of Huntington Beach and saw 7 or 8 Brown Boobies on platform Edith. Also had a Black Storm-Petrel in OC waters, and saw a Pink-footed Shearwater right on the county line, but it turned out to be in LA Co. waters. Also very cool to see were 6 or 7 Blue Whales. Sunday I broke down bored, and went looking for the Northern Cardinal at Gilman Park in Fullerton. I managed to catch a short glimpse of it, and found a Northern Mockingbird doing its best to imitate a Cardinal. Lots of fledglings in the park near the new utility building, including both Hooded and Bullock's Orioles, and Western Bluebirds. I noted that most of the Sycamore trees I saw were badly infested with shot hole boring beetles, which seems to be the case more and more all over the county. I also made a quick trip to Heritage Park in Irvine, and ran into Ron and Nancy Overholtz, and we were able to find the Tricolored Blackbird in the blackbird flock. The bird was most easy to distinguish by the feeding behavior, of sticking its tail up in the air, so it was fairly easy to pick out from the other birds once we found it. Lots of Brewer's Blackbirds too. Looking forward to the Sea and Sage Pelagic in 2 weeks. Good chance to see Boobys and whales, among other things. Trish Gussler, Anaheim
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities. 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'.