Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Southern California - update two

I'm still posting this in 2013, though for some it'll now be 2014. The last couple of days have been spent in and around San Diego, right near the Mexican border here in California. Endless sunshine, decent seascapes and plenty of birds too. California's full of easy birding, and wherever you stop there'll be umpteen Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warblers chipping away as well as White-crowned Sparrows, California Towhees and the like. These aside though, I was keen to mop up on a few specialities that have been hanging about these southern climes. First up, I headed an hour or so northeast and inland where bizarrely a flock of Blue-footed Boobies turned up - now down to two due to fatalities, 2013 has been a bumper year for this southern species with loads of records in California both coastal and inland since September time.
Blue-footed Booby - one of two at Lake Skinner 31st Dec 2013
Returning to San Diego, I stopped in Balboa Park where along Park Avenue a lingering Painted Redstart duly obliged, alongside a few Townsend's and Orange-crowned Warblers.
Painted Redstart - Balboa Park, San Diego 31st December 2013
Then it was onto a residential area in Chula Vista, where after a while after finally finding the right place, I located the annually returning Thick-billed Kingbird - as well as a few Cedar Waxwings that were bombing about. Near here, and right on the border with Mexico, I've spent a fair amount of time around the Imperial Beach and Tijuana Slough areas - birds have included Pomarine Skua, Marsh Wren, Little Blue Heron and the really distinctive Belding's Savannah Sparrow.
Belding's Savannah Sparrow - Tijuana Slough 30th December 2013

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