Monday, March 26, 2012

San Diego I

San Diego
In store this weekend was a return visit to San Diego, the second such journey that I have been on so far in California. The previous visit (that was not mentioned in this blog for lack of birds & interest save Black-crowned Night-herons) was purely oriented on Seaworld, and so was this one.

Of course this time was different, because otherwise this post would not exist. The previous visit was a one-day trip; drive there in the morning, return at night. This time there would be a stay at the hotel on Saturday night, making a two-day trip.

Liberty Station
The hotel was supposedly perched on the river, but unfortunately not the San Diego River, which holds a multitude of specialities at numerous times. But it did look somewhat promising, save the complete lack of undergrowth and trees save a little corner.

I gave the corner a run through because it looked good for spring migrants and found a few Yellow-rumped Warblers (which was unsurprising) and a single Black Phoebe. Some movement and a yellow flash at the back revealled itself to be a FOS male Western Tanager, which while not unusual was indeed a spring migrant; exactly what I was looking for (can't complain).
Not good views, but its enough. It's the only medium-sized yellow bird in the US like this.

Can't stop taking pictures of these Willets.
Shorebird-wise the river only held a few Willets and Marbled Godwits, with the odd Killdeer heard off in the distance. Gull-wise it was almost purely Western Gulls except for three Ring-billed Gulls (1 2cy, 2 adults). On the water itself there were several Snowy Egrets, one Great Blue Heron, a female-type Bufflehead (seemed to be a young male by extensive white on face) and an Eared Grebe.

Y halo thar
 The only other birds were all non-native; European Starlings, Rock Doves and House Sparrows.

And yes, that was all there is to Liberty Station.

Can't deny that Starlings are pretty though, even without good sunlight.

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