Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lawrence's Goldfinch at Julian

I finally got my first photos of Lawrence's Goldfinch. This bright male was at a water feature at our inn in Julian last month.

Lawrence's Goldfinch

My first sighting of these striking little birds was in Kern County, California on June 15, 1980. In fact, there were 45 alone at a place called Toad Springs Campground. In the 1980's I saw them a dozen more times in Ventura County, California and once in Arizona at Crystal Hill near Quartzsite. --As an aside, I notice that Quartzsite, Arizona in 2010 had a human population of over 3600, which is triple the number there in 1980. I don't know why, as the average daily high temperature June-September is triple digits!

Lawrence's Goldfinch

It was 32 years from my last sighting of Lawrence's Goldfinch in April 1983 to my next sighting in March 2015. We spent 1985 to September 2013 back in Oregon, where these birds do not occur--except as extremely rare vagrants. So this March, since I didn't have any records for San Diego County yet, I chased down a report of Lawrence's Goldfinches not too far away in Poway. Then I found them again, on my own, at Kitchen Creek in June, and then again at two locations at Julian in July. And finally! I got a photo of my 20th sighting of Lawrence's Goldfinch. Here are the photos!

Lawrence's Goldfinch