Migration has started slowly in the Lake Murray area of San Diego in September 2014. At the beginning of the month, very few migrants were seen. But, around the middle of September, there were some new arrivals. A couple of unusual visitors were seen. Here are some of the birding highlights for this area during the month.
Ducks: At the beginning of the month, two male wood ducks were seen near the front entrance. Other than that, there was nothing else other than mallards. Towards the middle to late in the month, green-winged teal began to show up along with several ruddy ducks. Though not exactly a duck, eared grebes showed up in the last few days of the month. There was also a noticeable increase in coots. No signs of lesser scaup by the end of the month.
Gulls and terns: A few ring-billed gulls were seen at the beginning of September, but most of the gulls were western. A surprise of two black terns was also seen near the beginning of the month. These terns are rare in southern California.
Perching birds and flycatchers: There was no change in perching birds at the beginning of the month. A few yellow warblers were still in the area. Scaly-breasted munia appeared to have increased in numbers over the last half of the month. Cassin’s kingbirds were in steady numbers throughout the month as were black phoebes. At the end of the month, at least one Pacific-slope flycatcher was in the area. White-crowned sparrows made their appearance at the end of the month. A small number of yellow-rumped warblers were possibly heard in the area, but not confirmed.
Shorebirds: A few killdeer, a spotted sandpiper, and a lone greater yellowlegs were seen during the month.
Herons: No change in heron species. Great blue, black-crowned night herons, snowy egrets, and green herons were all seen during the month. No sign or sounds of least bitterns.
Raptors: Nothing unusual in the raptor category except a lack of red-tailed hawks in the area. Cooper’s hawks, turkey vultures, and red-shouldered hawks were all seen in the area.
During October, expect coot numbers to increase and the arrival of more species of ducks. Yellow-rumped warblers and white-crowned sparrow numbers should increase into great numbers. Other species of sparrows may arrive in the area. It’s also possible that more shorebirds and gulls will pass through the area on their way to other locations.