Saturday, October 24, 2015

Some birds at San Elijo Lagoon (East)

I continue to explore new birding areas (for me) in San Diego County. I've visited most of the more popular sites at least twice. But I also notice some eBird Hotspots adjacent to better known sites. One I explored recently was "San Elijo Lagoon--East," just east of I-5. There a diked path crosses the marshy area from Manchester Avenue (no access) to the end of Santa Inez Lane in a housing development.

San Elijo Lagoon East
A view northward toward Manchester Avenue at San Elijo Lagoon East, Solana Beach, California. October 4, 2015.
Well, I found nothing of note here, only a few hundred feet from the roar of the I-5 freeway. Someone briefly saw a rare Scissor-tailed Flycatcher near the end of this trail along Manchester Avenue a week after I visited. This trail does connect eastward to the La Orilla Trail on El Camino Real. Hiking trails, but not consistently worthwhile birding trails, as far as I can tell. But someone must have liked it to create an eBird Hotspot. Wait. Let me check...

eBird hotspot map

Well, there have been only 37 checklists submitted to La Orilla Trail Hotspot. I looked in past sightings and didn't see any real rarities either. My guess it was created by a local birder. The San Elijo Lagoon--East Hotspot, however, had 199 checklists (including my recent checklist of 17 species on October 4) and 171 species. There have been 10 birders submit eBird checklists there of 71 species since September 1st. I did see an Osprey and a White-tailed Kite not reported by 9 birders since. So it does get birded regularly. Perhaps there is more to it than I found?

Okay, I know where it is in case someone reports something rare there in the future. But it doesn't seem like a place to go to regularly, at least for me. I'm going to stick to the main lagoon off Rios Avenue and the nature center across on the north side.

The only birds I photographed here were a flock of Bushtits.

Bushtit
Bushtit. San Elijo Lagoon, California. October 4, 2015. Greg Gillson.
Bushtit

So I left this area and made a quick visit nearby to the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center. There wasn't much here, either, but I did manage a photo of this Willet.

Willet

Then I found this Say's Phoebe singing in between forays of bug chasing.

Say's Phoebe

And I found this migrant Pacific-slope Flycatcher hiding behind a stick, just like one a week earlier in this blog post.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Anyway, I visited a spot I hadn't been to before. For whatever that's worth.