Williamson’s Sapsucker 12-17-13

Williamson's Sapsucker - female

Williamson’s Sapsucker – female

Williamson's Sapsucker - female

Williamson’s Sapsucker – female

Birding has bit a bit slow in Jacumba recently.  But today things perked up a bit.  First- I found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the area just north of the east part of town.  This is the first gnatcatcher I’ve found in the vicinity.  I expected that gnatcatchers would be easy to find around Jacumba, but they are either rare or have just avoided me. The spot that I found the bird was not perfect – lots of discarded furniture and junk littering the disturbed semi-desert chaparral habitat.

Later I was very surprised to find a lovely female Williamson’s Sapsucker in my yard.  It was hanging out with the Red-breasted Sapsucker that’s been visiting in the afternoons for a couple of weeks.  Williamson’s are considered very rare winter visitors in San Diego County, but they have been regular in small numbers in the area around Lake Cuyamaca for the last several winters.  This is another in a string of very good birds!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

On December 18 I found a Harris’s hawk just west of town perched on a utility pole.  This is the first I’ve found since October 25.  The same day I found a golden eagle soaring above Boulevard and a Merlin hunting over the ag fields east of town.