Monthly Archives: June 2014

Poor Wandering One

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6-20-14

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6-20-14

In my last post (6-17-14) I said that  although summer was the slow season for birding, there is faint hope for unusual vagrants. And on the 20th a scissor-tailed flycatcher showed up in my yard.  It spent only enough time for me to get some crummy photos in the fading light.  I’ve checked out the  likely spots for it to hangout, but it seems to have been a one-day-wonder.  This bird is a true vagrant, a wanderer.  Easily the best bird I’ve found since last September’s Inca dove.

Below are some photos of scissor-tailed flycatchers that I’ve taken  over the last several years in San Diego and at Twenty-nine Palms.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 4-10-08 at 29 Palms

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 4-10-08 at 29 Palms

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Mission Bay Park

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Mission Bay Park

A Summer Tanager showed up in mid-May looking for a mate and is still hanging around town singing his heart out.  The adult male sings from perches ranging from the Jacumba CSD well west of town all the way to the north side of Seely Ave. just west of Campo St.  Its usually found around the lake and swamp.  Poor thing sings non-stop.  Its getting a bit late to breed, so he’ll just have to wait until next year.  I could not get any decent photos of this bird, but I’ve included two which I took in San Diego and Arizona.  In 2006 summer tanagers nested here and fledged three chicks.  I found one adult male at the swamp in October 2013.  Their range seems to be expanding and we very likely will have more of them back again.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager, Balboa Park

Summer Tanager, Madera Canyon, Arizona

Summer Tanager, Madera Canyon, Arizona

I found two blue grosbeaks, both immature birds, perhaps siblings, at the swamp several days ago.  This immature male is just beginning to get some blue feathers.

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Just as summer arrives, our first fall migrants have arrived.  Yesterday I found a female Rufous or Allen’s hummingbird at one of my feeders. Females and immature males of these two species cannot be told apart in the field.  Today I had two male Allen’s at my feeders.  Again, I’ve attached photos of Allen’s hummingbirds that I took several years past in San Diego.

Allen's Hummingbird, male

Allen’s Hummingbird, male

Selasphorus Hummingbird, female, either Allen's or Rufous.

Selasphorus Hummingbird, female, either Allen’s or Rufous.

Coast Horned Lizard

Coast Horned Lizard

Coast Horned Lizard residing in my yard, eating its way through the harvester and tree ants since March.

 

 

 

 

Summertime, and the Birdin’ is Lazy

 

June 17, 2014

Yes friends, the birding is painfully slow in Summer.  Birds that can be seen are the usual summer suspects; Nesting Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Vermilion Flycatchers, Tricolored Blackbirds, Green Herons, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Western Kingbirds and the common year-round residents such as California Quail, California Thrashers and California Towhees.  Black-throated Sparrows can be found east of town on Old US 80 between Carrizo Gorge Road and In-Koh-Pah.

This time of year does, however, offer a faint hope for unusual vagrants and wanderers such as Common Ground-dove, Ruddy Ground-dove, Inca Dove,  and Bronzed Cowbird, all from the Imperial Valley.

Yellow Warblers may be nesting at the lake in the willow-riparian habitat.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are also a possibility in June.

And who knows what amazing bird might just drop by for a rest.

Western Tanagers Squabble over the Jelly Feeder

Western Tanagers Squabble over the Jelly Feeder while a Hooded Oriole waits for her chance.

Western Tanagers have left and gone away. They’ll be back, in their drab winter feather, in September.

Ring-billed Gull.  A trash bird anywhere else

Ring-billed Gull. A trash bird anywhere else.

My first gull species in Jacumba, a wandering ring-billed gull appeared on June 1.  These birds are a plague in most places, but here they rarely stop.  I don’t know whether we should be insulted or thankful.

1948 De Soto Club Coupe slowly disintegrates in the Jacumba Sun

1948 De Soto Club Coupe slowly disintegrates in the Jacumba Sun

Take heart! Soon the fall migration will begin, and about the end of July we should begin to see some Rufous and Black-chinned hummers. Last year Lazuli Buntings arrived at the end of July, and were followed by many of the same birds that we saw in April and May.

Watch the skies!