April 4, 2020

Birds in the time of Covid: Lagoons of North County, San Diego, April 2020

In times like these, one finds themselves socially distanced and alone with the smaller things on this planet.

Which begs the question, Is birding important during a pandemic?

With resounding confidence I assert, 'NOW, MORE THAN EVER.'

San Dieguito and San Elijo lagoon of North County, San Diego still remain open to hikers as long as they convince the ranger they will not be congregating with others.

Ok, plowing foward...

For this post, we have a special cameo appearance from a celebrity landscape painter from central California.

Ryan 'two T's' Petterson is well known throughout the geological features/water-color painting community, however, he is considerably less well known among the birding community of San Diego.

But, please let's give this rock-jock a chance. He has requested a chance to pre-ID the birds on this post. No one has ever asked for such a challenge on the Captain's Log before, so what could I do??
I had to oblige.

Ryan, I wish you all the best. The microphone is yours. If you see fit, please list the common names for each bird, top to bottom in a comment below. And I will remind, you....the world is watching.

I included multiple shots for some birds, to show off different behavior or colors.

Common Yellowthroat (adult male Southwest)

Common Yellowthroat (adult male Southwest)

American Avocet (breeding male)

American Avocet (breeding male)

Marbled Godwit (non-breeding)

American Widgeon (breeding pair)


Mourning Dove

California Towhee

California Towhee

Green Heron (1st year)

Anna's X Costa's Hummingbird hybrid (yeah, I know....I'm getting a bit ambitious with this ID)

Anna's X Costa's Hummingbird hybrid (yeah, I know....I'm getting a bit ambitious with this ID)

Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper (maybe)

House Finch

Spotted Towhee


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Ryan said...

I delight in the Saturday morning challenge! Alright, here's my take. The hummingbirds are hard in that light so I'm tentative on those. And I can't tell the scale in 15, so that one is also tentative.

1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Common Yellowthroat
3 American Avocet (breeding male)
4 American Avocet (breeding male)
5 Marbled Godwit (non-breeding)
6 American Wigeon (breeding pair)
7 Mallard
8 Mourning Dove
9 California Towhee
10 California Towhee
11 Green Heron (1st year)
12 Anna’s Hummingbird (?)
13 Anna’s Hummingbird (?)
14 Temminck's Stint
15 House Finch (juvenile)? Hard to tell scale in this picture though, could be a towhee.
16 Spotted Towhee
17 Willet
18 Yellow-rumped Warbler

Captain Curran said...

Well, first of all - thanks for playing Ryan.

Great news! You scored 13/14, which is an A-.

I am only docking you for missing the Temmick' Stint range, being exclusively Alaska and BC. There's no way it got that far off track and ended up here.

I am not 100% on my spotted sandpiper ID of that shorebird, and will welcome any correction from anyone.

Also, I don't really know what I'm doing here - so that makes handing out bird ID grades that much more fun.