Friday, February 20, 2015

GBBC, Weekend to-dos in San Diego, and the Chargers

I happened to get extremely ill last weekend, so I had to limit some of the bird counting for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I did see some interesting birds, but the only unusual one I saw was a cackling goose at Chollas Lake:

In the South Bay, I saw a bunch of shorebirds, too!
Shorebirds in the South Bay

This weekend, San Diego Audubon will have what might be the last Salt Works tour of the year. They close it down during the summer so that the birds can breed in peace. There is a long tour of about four hours and five miles long. And, a short tour which could last up to three hours. Once you go in, you can't leave until the tour is over unless it's an emergency. Though kids are welcome, it's not recommended. My experience has been that kids under 10 or 12 tend to get bored and restless as the pace is slow. They also must stay with the group and can't run ahead or stop to play anywhere.

It might be canceled due to the predicted rain this weekend. You can call Peter Thomas at 858-571-5076 for more information. The good thing is that it doesn't start until Noon, so you don't have to get up early for this one. Meet at the gate on Bay Boulevard south of Palomar Street in Chula Vista. Be sure not to be late or you may get locked out.

The Chargers: You may have heard about the Chargers bombshell when they said they've been working out a plan with the Raiders to move to Carson City in the L.A. area. The people in Carson act like it's a done deal and somehow have a plan that involves no public money. Mayor Faulconer here in San Diego is a bit upset because they've been working on negotiating with the Chargers for about nine months now and he says he never knew about these plans.

A lot of people here in San Diego aren't happy with this sudden move. I'm wondering why the same deal can't be worked out here. The only thing I can think of is that it requires the co-operation of another team and San Diego is not a two-team town. So, that means that either the city or the Chargers will have to use their own money.

I love the Chargers, but, I don't think the city should shell out a lot of money for a new stadium considering the team and the NFL make a lot more money.

Now on

I did two articles there recently:

Large Number of Band-tailed pigeons dying


Sea Lion Pups Stranding Themselves in Record Numbers

Monday, February 9, 2015

Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend!

This is an osprey photo I took in 2011. I even did the GBBC back then.

February 13-16, 2015 is the Great Backyard Bird Count. This is a less formal bird count than the Christmas Bird Count which happens in December. Despite the name, you don't just have to count in your backyard, but you can if you want.

I plan to count somewhere for each day of the count. I like to do Lake Murray, around my home, Chollas Lake and somewhere in the South Bay. If you decide to count, try to pick an area where you are less likely to see people counting the birds. Be sure to count for at least fifteen minutes (of course you can count for longer periods).  You can sit by your window and watch birds come to your feeder if you like. After you count, go to the GBBC site and enter them on eBird through their link for them to count  If you're not familiar with eBird, visit the site and familiarize yourself with it.

It's important to get out there and represent San Diego with a high number of bird species. San Diego, and California, usually have some of the highest species numbers in the nation during the GBBC.  Some of the areas which may need some counters are the more remote areas of the desert and mountains. If you are planning to hike around this weekend, perhaps bring your bird journal with you so you can count the birds. Also, urban areas such as mid-city and southeast San Diego may also need counter. Southeast San Diego has a lot of birds, actually.

Don't worry if you don't know how to identify every bird you see. Just do the best you can.