Sunday, October 12, 2014

One year of birding in San Diego County

Factoid that may interest only me...
(à la SI Monday Morning Quarterback)

I have been living in San Diego County for a year now. In those 12 months I have recorded over 270 species. In fact, at the end of September, for just the first 9 months of this year, I saw over 255 species, surpassing the number of species I found in Washington County, Oregon, birding there 30 years.

I had set a goal of seeing 300 species in San Diego County in 2014, but it seems unlikely I'll reach that goal. I decided not to chase rarities, as there are so many regular species I have yet to see within the county. Besides, most of the rarities show up on Point Loma or the Tijuana River Valley--40-50 miles away from where I live in San Marcos in San Diego's North County. I generally only get out for half day birding trips 3 times per month and don't want to spend all my time driving. I did visit Anza-Borrego desert twice and the forested mountains three times on full-day trips, but didn't find all the specialties. Here is a list of some of the species I really expected to find that I haven't yet.

Lawrence's Goldfinch
Western Screech-Owl
Canyon Wren
Prairie Falcon
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Virginia Rail
Lesser Nighthawk
American Bittern
Least Bittern
Long-eared Owl
Dusky Flycatcher
Gray Flycatcher
Bell's Sparrow
Snowy Plover
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Cassin's Vireo
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
LeConte's Thrasher