Even though the migrants had moved on and I knew the number of species present wouldn’t be large, my new position at work gave me a chance to bird the San Diego area for two days in November.
I reached out to San Diego blogger Greg Gillson for the best spot to see some of the western birds I haven’t seen. Resident birds like Black and Say’s Phoebe’s, California Towhee, Cassin’s Kingbird, Nuttall’s and Acorn Woodpecker. Since I was sitting at 397 species on the ABA (American Birding Association) list, seeing just a few of these birds would put me over 400. Greg replied that Mission Trails Regional Park would be a choice in November. And he was correct.
I decided to go to Mission Trails the first day for traffic reasons and work the coast the second day. I didn’t even get out of the motel parking lot when I heard and then saw a Black Phoebe calling. ABA #398.
I eventually got moving towards the park after seeing a Western Gull, and numerous Anna’s Hummingbirds and Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Once reaching Mission Trails I had the same problem as the motel, getting out of the parking lot. There were lots of birds flying and calling and I since I wasn’t sure if there would be more down the road, I stayed put in the parking lot. Lesser Goldfinches were in good numbers.
A Western Scrub-Jay flew in. More Anna Hummingbirds. Then two Nuttell’s Woodpeckers called and flew into a distant tree, ABA #399. I watched them for some time but they never came closer. Interesting on the barred back versus the stripped of the Downy Woodpecker.
Finally crossing over to the campground parking lot there was a Lark Sparrow that puzzled me for a minute. Guess I had missed it when studying up on the status and distribution.
Then a House Wrens flew in along with Bushtits.
Then a bird I initially thought from its flight was a Jay, flew by and out to an open field. It perched on a distant pole but sat and gave a good, if distant view. Cassin’s Kingbird – ABA #400. (For the record #300 was a Baird’s Sandpiper in Illinois on 8/21/10).
I will post about the rest of the trip at a later date.
So on to #500. I am guessing the time gap between 400 and 500 will be a lot shorter than the gap between 300 and 400 and will come in Arizona.