SoCal, the Second Chapter.

My second day in San Diego began with dropping my friend at work (sucka!), picking up a vegan breakfast sandwich from the cafe above the Ocean Beach co-op, and heading to Tijuana Slough NWR.  It's a loud spot with lots of helicopter action, more or less on the Mexico border.  But there are Clapper Rails there. 

NOT a Clapper Rail

I found some great birds around, took terrible photos of said birds, and left without seeing a rail.  I headed over to the Dairy Mart Road ponds to see what all the fuss was about there.  

Nuttall's Woodpecker

This spot was very productive bird-wise, but not so much photo-wise.  A couple of Nuttall's were all that wanted to pose without fifty branches in the way.  I met a couple there from Vancouver (WA or BC, I'm not sure) who had seen "lots" of Clapper Rails at Tijuana Slough that morning.  Curses!  So after a quick Taco Bell break (just two miles from the Mexico border- so wrong!) I went back over to the TJS NWR.

Blue-winged Teal

I saw the most Blue-winged Teals I've ever seen together (four), a Northern Harrier doing display dives (sky dancing, I believe it is called), and zero Clapper Rails.  I threw in the towel and headed over to pick up my friend from work (a hard day of riding go-karts).  We decided there was time for more birding before dinner and headed to Famosa Slough. 

Black-necked Stilt

We walked along the water to the channel on the north side of the road.  I was trying to get a decent photo of a Little Blue Heron when my friend said "hey what's that brown bird?"  How she even saw this brown bird is beyond my comprehension.   But there it was, a freakin Clapper Rail. 

We looked at each other for awhile before the he turned around and walked back into the grass, in true rail style.  Later on my friend noticed it had come out again...

After getting all excited about this life bird I started to fear it was just a tall Virginia Rail, but thankfully Seagull Steve confirmed and I was able to rest easy.  Some more birds from Famosa:

 Little Blue Heron & Snowy Egret


This was actually my first time seeing parrots.  It's weird. 

Now I'm going to briefly skip ahead in my trip to my last hour or so in San Diego.  I stopped by the San Diego River to try one last time for Black Skimmers.  No dice, but some other good birds...

Little Blue Heron

 Bad shot of good hair (Elegant Terns)


 The good birds never end in this place.  It's awesome.  Stay tuned for the third and final installment of my trip!  Such good times!!!!


  1. Congrats on the Clapper Rail sighting... And I love the parrot shot, cool to see so many together.. Great birds and outing.. Have a happy week!

  2. Glad you got the Clapper Rail! The snowy egret and heron are great. Now...are you sure Taco Bell is vegan?

  3. Jen,
    Almost 6 months here now! I visited pretty much all the same areas 10 days ago. Still blogging about it (one species per day, more or less).
    Greg in San Diego

  4. LoL that dang Clapper Rial was hiding from you glad you did see it on the second go round..the Parrots were def a plus..


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