2008 BGBY List

This is all walking from my home, no bike or public transit; and certainly not a car.

February 9, William R. Mason

  1. Swan Goose
  2. Canada Goose
  3. American Wigeon
  4. Mallard
  5. Ruddy Duck
  6. Horned Grebe
  7. Eared Grebe
  8. Great Egret
  9. Snowy Egret
  10. White-faced Ibis
  11. American Coot
  12. Whimbrel
  13. Long-billed Curlew
  14. Ring-billed Gull
  15. Mourning Dove
  16. Rufous Hummingbird
  17. Black Phoebe
  18. American Crow
  19. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  20. Western Bluebird
  21. European Starling
  22. Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)
  23. Chipping Sparrow
  24. Song Sparrow
  25. Lesser Goldfinch

San Diego Creek, 2008-02-16

  1. Gadwall
  2. Northern Shoveler
  3. Pied-billed Grebe
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Turkey Vulture
  6. American Coot
  7. Anna’s Hummingbird

William R. Mason, February 17

  1. Cackling Goose
  2. Egyptian Goose
  3. American Wigeon
  4. Double-crested Cormorant
  5. Osprey
  6. Red-shouldered Hawk
  7. Red-tailed Hawk
  8. Greater Roadrunner
  9. Nuttall’s Woodpecker
  10. Northern Flicker
  11. Hutton’s Vireo
  12. Common Raven
  13. Bushtit
  14. Orange-crowned Warbler
  15. Townsend’s Warbler
  16. Common Yellowthroat
  17. Spotted Towhee
  18. California Towhee
  19. White-crowned Sparrow
  20. House Finch

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-03-01

  1. Cinnamon Teal
  2. Green-winged Teal
  3. Bufflehead
  4. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  5. Black-necked Stilt
  6. American Avocet
  7. Spotted Sandpiper
  8. Greater Yellowlegs
  9. Tree Swallow
  10. Barn Swallow
  11. Marsh Wren
  12. Great-tailed Grackle

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-03-13

  1. White Pelican
  2. Bonaparte’s Gull
  3. Killdeer
  4. Brewer’s Blackbird

San Diego Creek/Upper Newport Bay, 2008-03-19

  1. Lesser Scaup
  2. Willet
  3. Western Grebe
  4. American Goldfinch
  5. Allen’s Hummingbird

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-03-19

  1. Belted Kingfisher

March 23, William R. Mason

  1. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  2. California Quail
  3. Downy Woodpecker
  4. Pacific Slope Flycatcher

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-03-27

  1. Blue-winged Teal
  2. Long-billed Dowitcher
  3. Least Sandpiper

William R. Mason, 2008-04-02

  1. House Wren

San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge, 2008-04-03

  1. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  2. Caspian Tern
  3. Clark’s Grebe

William R. Mason, 2008-04-04

  1. Ash-throated Flycatcher

William R. Mason, 2008-04-11

  1. Black-throated Gray Warbler

William R. Mason, 2008-04-12

  1. Yellow Warbler

Stanford Terrace, 2008-04-13

This one I found while walking to San Joaquin:

  1. American Robin

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-04-13

This was the monthly trip with the Sea & Sage Audubon Society. I can’t believe I missed the Green Heron. Last month I saw it, but I had driven to the refuge so I can’t count that one.

  1. Cliff Swallow
  2. Brown-headed Cowbird
  3. Common Moorhen

William R. Mason, 2008-04-27

I was away in China for about 10 days, and quite a lot of new species had migrated
in by the time I returned:

  1. Western Tanager
  2. Nashville Warbler
  3. Bullock’s Oriole
  4. Wilson’s Warbler
  5. Warbling Vireo

The riparian strip on the east end of the park has been incredibly productive lately.

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-04-27

  1. Wilson’s Phalarope

William R. Mason, 2008-05-01

About 12 in a small flock by the ponds.

  1. Cedar Waxwing

William R. Mason, 2008-05-03

  1. Black-headed Grosbeak

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-05-11

  1. Vaux’s Swift
  2. White-throated Swift
  3. Virginia Rail
  4. Yellow-breasted Chat
  5. Least Tern

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-06-08

  1. Green Heron
  2. California Thrasher
  3. Bell’s Vireo

Bell’s Vireo was a life bird on this trip, but the real prize was the Green Heron. I swear this was my nemesis bird this year. I’ve seen it multiple times at the marsh, but only when I had driven over, never when I had walked, so until now I couldn’t count it for the BGBY list.

Now the only bird I’ve seen there while driving and not walking is American Bittern, but that’s going to be even harder to refind. Usually you’re lucky to see one or two bitterns a year, even though they may breed there. They’re extremely secretive.

William R. Mason, 2008-06-10

  1. Western Kingbird

William R. Mason, 2008-07-11

  1. Hooded Oriole

William R. Mason, 2008-08-03

  1. Bewick’s Wren
  2. Nutmeg Mannikin

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-08-10

  1. Baird’s Sandpiper

San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge, 2008-08-14

  1. Semipalmated Plover
  2. Lesser Yellowlegs

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-08-17

  1. Black-bellied Plover

Upper Newport Bay, 2008-08-19

Walked to work today, with scope.

  1. Brown Pelican

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-08-19

And walked back home through the refuge.

  1. California Gnatcatcher
  2. Wrentit

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-09-06

  1. Cassin’s Kingbird
  2. Red-necked Phalarope
  3. Solitary Sandpiper

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-09-14

  1. California Gull
  2. Northern Pintail
  3. Short-billed Dowitcher

William R. Mason, 2008-10-11

Some idiot set a fire in the park while I was there, so I got stopped and questioned by the police. Still, I did add two birds to the BGBY list:

  1. White-tailed Kite
  2. Western Gull

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-10-12

Great day even if I did miss the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers other folks saw:

  1. Dunlin
  2. Pectoral Sandpiper
  3. Ring-necked Duck
  4. Redhead

William R. Mason, 2008-10-12

I saw this first while walking home from San Joaquin. I had to go back in the afternoon to confirm it was a Wood-peewee and not a Willow Flycatcher. It was quite late either way.

  1. Western Wood-peewee

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-10-19

Another good day even if I did miss the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers again:

  1. Say’s Phoebe
  2. Hermit Thrush

These were the first sightings of these birds there since the spring. Hermit Thrush was a county bird for me.

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, 2008-11-9

A great day! 60 species with five BGBY firsts including a life bird! I finally found the Blue-gray Gnatcatchers again, but the Sage Thrasher (a life bird) was even more impressive.

  1. Sage Thrasher
  2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  3. Herring Gull
  4. Peregrine Falcon
  5. American Pipit

William R. Mason, 2008-11-13

Now that Daylight Savings Time is over, I can get in a couple of hours before work in the park. I’ve been looking for some reported rarities including Black-throated gray Warbler and Baltimore Oriole real close without success. However this morning I avoided the temptation to bird the riparian struip along the southwest end of the park, which, while usually productive, has been producing any new birds. Instead I headed staright out into the wild area, at Bobcat Junction which paid off with:

  1. Golden-crowned Sparrow

As well as this new birds, I also racked up California Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wrentit, and White-crowned Sparrow, all of which had been problematic for me earlier in the year. The White-crowned Sparrows seem to be everywhere now. I’m not sure why I didn’t find any back in February-April when I forst moved out here.

UCI Ecological Preserve, 2008-11-28

I went looking for a Cactus Wren but instead I found a:

  1. Merlin

I can add several more from my bike:

San Diego Creek, 2008-08-21

  1. Rock Pigeon

Golden Spoon, P.C. 1, Newport Beach, 2008-10-19

  1. House Sparrow

Upper Newport Bay, 2008-11-16

Today I rode my bike over to the Muth Intepretive center in time for high tide. I was hoping to pick up several birds I’d missed earlier or seen from a trip where I’d taken a car, and I did pretty well. I got three I’d seen earlier and one that was completely unexpected:

  1. Ross’s Goose (the surprise)
  2. Clapper Rail
  3. Short-eared Owl
  4. American Bittern

I may have to try this again. I still don’t have Hermann’s Gull, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Loon, or Sora. The first three I had the previous week there when I’d driven over. Neil Gilbert even had a scope on a Sora, and I still couldn’t find it. This may prove to be the real nemesis bird for the year.

Upper Newport Bay, 2008-12-31

Last day of the year and last chance to fill in any misses, so In took a long ride along Upper Newport Bay and then down to Robert Badham:

  1. Sora

Robert E. Badham Marine Life Refuge, 2008-12-31

  1. Brandt’s Cormorant
  2. Heerman’s Gull
  3. Pelagic Cormorant
  4. Black Turnstone
  5. Wandering Tattler
  6. Ruddy Turnstone
  7. Surfbird
  8. Red-breasted Merganser

If we don’t count exotics, then we have to reduce this list by three: Swan Goose, Egyptian Goose, and Nutmeg Mannikin.

Obvious Misses

What should be on my list but isn’t:

  1. Phainopepla (One was at San Joaquin back in March but I didn’t hear about it until months later)
  2. Swainson’s Thrush
  3. Costa’s Hummingbird
  4. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  5. Western Scrubjay (missed this one on the Sea & Sage trip at SJWS in June although others saw and heard it)
  6. Tropical Kingbird (missed at San Joaquin in February)
  7. Hooded Merganser: never found the time to look for this one San Joaquin in December
  8. Northern Waterthrush: never found the time to look for this one San Joaquin in December
  9. Gull-billed Tern (missed at San Joaquin in Summer)
  10. Black Tern (missed at San Joaquin in Summer)
  11. Yellow-headed Blackbird (saw this one within walking distance at the UCI Arboretum but I’d driven to work that day)
  12. Common Ground-dove (regular at San Joaquin)
  13. Willow Flycatcher (May have seen this one at San Joaquin 6-14-08 after four hours of searching but it didn’t call so I couldn’t be sure!)
  14. Least Bittern: Frequently heard at San Joaquin, but so far I haven’t
  15. Common Loon: Saw this in Upper Newport Bay, but only when I took the car. Did not see it on my one trip to the ocean.
  16. Loggerhead Shrike: Saw this once in Upper Newport Bay, but only when I took the car.
  17. Savannah Sparrow: Ditto
  18. Surf Scoter: Never rode my bike out to the piers :-(
  19. Reddish Egret: Never rode my bike out to Bolsa Chica :-(
  20. Elegant Tern: Ditto
  21. Black Oystercatcher: Didn’t spend enough time at the beach :-(
  22. American Oystercatcher: Ditto :-(
  23. Cactus Wrens breed on the UCI campus, but I didn’t find one on my single trip to that area.