Fall Birds 11-29-16

Red-breasted Sapsucker drilling sap wells

Red-breasted Sapsucker drilling sap wells

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

These birds are often seen in large groups.  They are related to blackbirds and orioles.  The song of this bird lis similar to Scott’s oriole.

Horned lark

Horned lark

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Sage Thrasher

Sage Thrasher

Merlin

Merlin

Summer Tanager & Black-headed Grosbeak 11-22-16

Summer Tanager, female, 11-22-16

Summer Tanager, female, 11-22-16

Black-headed Grosbeak 11-22-16

Black-headed Grosbeak 11-22-16

The Summer Tanager is likely the same bird that I saw on 11-14-16 in the dead pines across Campo Street from my home.  They are becoming more common in the county, especially along the coast.  I had a male in my yard on 10-23-16 which I re-found and photographed the next morning. Black-headed Grosbeaks are rare in the late fall/winter.  These two birds were found together in the same dead tree on Brawley Avenue.

Mountain Bluebird 11-16-16 & Sage Thrasher 11-18-16

Mountain Bluebird 11-16-16

Mountain Bluebird 11-16-16

These attractive thrushes stop by each year about this time.  They prefer really crappy abandoned ag fields or over-grazed pasture lands.  No shortage of crappy habitat around Jacumba.

Mountain Bluebirds 11-16-16

Mountain Bluebirds 11-16-16

These birds were found in the northern end of Jacumba Valley Ranch.

Mountain Bluebird 11-16-16

Mountain Bluebird 11-16-16

These birds are related to Western Bluebirds, American Robins and Hermit Thrushes.

Some common wrens are pretty easy to find around Jacumba.

Rock Wren 11-15-16

Rock Wren 11-15-16

House Wren 11-15-16

House Wren 11-15-16

There is no truth to the persistent rumors on MSNBC that President-elect Trump plans to deport Mexican birds found in the US.  He will not build a bird-barrier across the border.  However, he may attempt to collect and deport all of the filthy European Starlings, Eurasian Collared-doves, and English House Sparrows that compete with our nice, clean, American birds.

Addendum 11-17-16

Prairie Falcon 11-17-16

Prairie Falcon 11-17-16

Prairie Falcon 11-17-16

Prairie Falcon 11-17-16

Sage Thrasher 11-18-16

Sage Thrasher 11-18-16

Sage Thrasher 11-18-16

Sage Thrasher 11-18-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-8-16

I found an Eastern Phoebe at the eastern terminus of Seeley Avenue adjacent to the abandoned ag fields on 11-8-16.  It posed nicely for me, but I didn’t have my camera with me.  I returned a few minutes later and could not find the bird.  About 11a.m. I did a search and after covering most of the east end of town found the phoebe at the east end of Holtville Avenue.  I got some not-so-good shots.  On the 12th and 13th I re-found the phoebe and got a few almost decent shots.  I discarded all but one of the pics from the 8th. In 2015 I found an Eastern Phoebe on November 21 in disturbed habitat adjacent to the abandoned ag fields near where this bird was found.

Eastern Phoebe 11-8-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-8-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

Eastern Phoebe 11-13-16

As the name implies, the Eastern Phoebe is an eastern bird,  usually found from Texas east to the Atlantic and north to Manitoba and the Yukon. This is the third Eastern Phoebe that I’ve seen in Jacumba. The locally common Black Phoebe (aka the Tuxedo Bird), a close relative, is a well known and  common year-round species in the far west .

On the 13th Trent Stanley & I drove out to the Salton Sea.  We managed to find one or two Vermilion Flycatchers at Fig Lagoon, and several Burrowing Owls (aka Potato Birds) along the irrigation canals south of the Sea.

Burrowing Owl, aka "Potato Bird"

Burrowing Owl, aka “Potato Bird”

Burrowing Owl, aka "Potato Bird"

Burrowing Owl, aka “Potato Bird”

Red-naped sapsucker 11-11-16

Red-naped sapsucker 11-11-16 at the swamp in Jacumba

Note the wells that have been excavated into the tree trunk.  Typical of sapsuckers.

The Salteen Sea 11-12-16

The Salteen Sea 11-12-16

Summer Tanager 10-24-16

Summer Tanager, Adult Male 10-25-16

Summer Tanager, Adult Male 10-25-16

Summer Tanager, Adult Male 10-25-16

Summer Tanager, Adult Male 10-25-16

This incandescent adult male Summer Tanager showed up in my pyracantha hedge on 10-24-16. These birds were rare in San Diego County 10 years ago.  Today they are almost common along the coast in the fall and winter.

Along with this tanager I also found a Varied Thrush, a close relative to the American Robin.  Varied Thrushes commonly forage with Robins.  If I get a pic of the thrush I’ll post it here.

Late Fall Migration

Myrtle warbler 10-7-16

Myrtle warbler 10-7-16

This is a relatively uncommon bird – not rare.  It is the eastern version of the very common yellow-rumped warbler.  The variety we get in these climes, often in large numbers, is the western version – Audubon’s warbler.  This species will likely be split into two in the near future.

Common Yellow-throat

Common Yellowthroat

American Redstart, adult male 10-13-16

American Redstart, adult male 10-13-16 

American Redstart 10-13-16

American Redstart 10-13-16

This is an eastern and northern warbler, common into the Yukon, northern Colorado and east Texas.  The migrational route takes this species intro eastern California and they are often seen along the coast in the Tijuana River Valley.  Adult males have these bright orange feathers.  Female and juveniles have bright yellow in place of the orange.    This bird was too shy to pose for my camera.  Typical warble behavior.

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

The yellow spot is an important field mark to use when trying to differentiate this bird from the similar Black-and-White.

Lark Sparrow. ISO 10,000, at last light

Lark Sparrow. ISO 10,000, at last light