Cassin’s Finch is a a bird usually seen in the higher mountain areas of the county, and while it is not uncommon, it can be difficult to find. I’ve seen them at the Laguna Park HQ, and along the trail from Sunrise Highway out to the Laguna Meadow. They were not on my radar for Jacumba. But here they are. Go figure. On the 20th I was birding with others, and we saw these finches which we passed off as the more common and similar Purple Finch. Nancy Chistensen posted a pic online and Terry H. suggested that it was a Cassin’s. Nancy’s bird seems to be the first Cassin’s Finch seen at Jacumba. Maybe yes, maybe no.
On Monday, 2-23-15, I was at the pond and noticed a small gull. I got some decent shots, and consulted my Sibley’s Guide. I knew that lit was not one of our very common gulls, and found that it matched Bonaparte’s. It also looks like the ultra-rare Little Gull, so I went back to the lake to see if I couldn’t get some better looks. Alas, it was gone. We often get oddball birds at the lake after a big wind. I don’t know of any records for this bird in Jacumba. The Bird Atlas shows no local records.
The pair of Evening Grosbeaks still tease any birder who trys to find them. This morning I noticed them up in one of my trees. I expected them to come down to feed, in competition with the Tricolored Blackbird mob, or go to water feature. No, they just flew off. I found them later in a tall pine near the north end of Campo Street.
Anslinger was our first drug czar, a real piece of work. He was appointed by Herbert Hoover in 1930 and fired by JFK in 1961. He was personally responsible for boatloads of problems that we are not yet over. He looks just like my grandfather Goldstone. Enjoy.