San Diego!

You might think that returning to the much cooler and wetter northwest might be a bit of a bummer after four days of hanging out in fantastic San Diego.  I had an awesome trip but it's nice to be back in the land of rainbows and hailstorms, where all my flowers started blooming and seeds started sprouting.  Ok, let's get on with the birds!

                      Strelitzia aka Bird of Paradise flower

The reason for my trip, beyond the awesome birds, was to hang out with my good friend from San Francisco who has to travel to SD for work regularly.  While she was busy working on Thursday and Friday, I set out on my own.  A Chestnut-sided Warbler was being seen at downtown Pantoja Park, so that was one of my first stops.

Northern Mockingbird

It didn't take me long to find the warbler activity in the small park, and within ten minutes I was getting excellent looks at my lifer!

See those bright chestnut sides??? Nope??  Ah, well, so it was an immature bird (or a female? or both?), not a sexy adult male.  But I'll take it.

The rest of my first day was spent exploring Mission Bay.  Here's what I found...

Red-breasted Mergansers battling for a fish 

 Long-billed Curlew, with a Snowy Egret & Eared Grebe backup crew

 California Gull

Black Phoebe

I watched about fifty Double-crested Cormorants battle Brown Pelicans for fish in one spot.  Pelicans are effin brutal. 

The neck bite

 The chase

 The chaos

The winner

Cruising over the battle scene were a couple of Royal Terns, another lifer!

 Another beach produced a pile of Marbled Godwits that had no problem with me joining their crew.

In the picnic area of this park I found a Cassin's Kingbird flying around.  Having only seen one once before in New Mexico, I was pretty stoked. 

And that concludes the first installment of my golden state birding adventures... Hope you enjoyed it, stay tuned for more!  Good times!!


  1. Oh I wish they all could be California gulls...

  2. WOW some great birding going on in SD! Love all the shots you brought back, looks like the weather was gorgeous!! I hear its perfect weather there year round, what do you say? Looking forward to the next installment!

    1. Perfect weather- yes and no. It's great for a few days, but I actually love the rain and cold sometimes...

  3. Great series of birds from your trip! The Cassin's Kingbird is one of my favorite. The pelican shots are cool. Happy birding!

  4. Great action shots there of some birds that I've never had a chance to see first hand! Wish I was enjoying that kind of weather!

  5. That Pelican clamping down on the Corm is badass. Good stuff.

  6. I love the Brown Pelican breeding plumage. Gorgeous!

    1. Yeah I was super excited about that- my first time getting some decent shots of it too!

  7. Lots of great stuff...and blue skies! So tell us about those camera settings...are you still on auto? Your photos are lookin' good!

    1. Thanks! No more auto for me! Still learning and messing up quite a few photos..

  8. Wow such crush, much birding, very photos, so San Diego!

    Sweet post!
    I'm trying for a day of Calif birding weekend after next, not as far as the beaches though. You're making me rethink my plans.

  9. That landing chaos pelican looks banded! Such awesome pictures.


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