Weekend highlights – Point Loma and Coronado Island 01-02 Dec 2012

An early morning venture out to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery revealed possibly the same Pacific Wren Troglodytes pacificus, located on the east side just behind the wall in the eucalyptus grove, that I originally found here on 20 Oct 2012. I faintly heard its chatter alarm call from a distance down in the gulley, so decided to go over and take a closer look. It popped up quickly and loudly protested my presence!

Pacific Wren – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego – CA 01 Dec 2012

Pacific Wren – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego – CA 01 Dec 2012

I heard it call a couple times, but then it came closer to me giving the typical sharp sounding single or fast double scold note. As it approached very close the next time I obtained a recording of the call which can be listened to below.

This female Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus appeared pumping its wings in flight as it flew across a small gap between pine trees. Luckily it perched on an open bough in full view allowing this quick distant photograph before it quietly slid out the back of the pine tree. This species can be so difficult to approach! I always ask myself when assessing a small Accipiter – does the appearance of the head and face remind me of a miniature looking Northern Harrier head? If it does then most likely you are looking at a Sharpie. The tiny stubby bill, positioned lower on a flatter face, really changes the look of this species compared to a Cooper’s Hawk. The smaller Sharp-shinned Hawk also has a pronounced white eye-brow, particularly prominent on the individual below, and skinnier delicate looking legs.

Sharp-shinned Hawk female – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery – 02 Dec 2012

Palm Warbler – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA – 01 Dec 2012

Pine Warbler – Coronado Island, San Diego, CA – 01 Dec 2012

Pine Warbler – Coronado Island, San Diego, CA – 01 Dec 2012

I came across this Baltimore Oriole Oriolus galbula along the east perimeter trail of Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma, San Diego. It was attracted to my pishing and I managed a few photographs before it took flight. The tapered rectrices seem to indicate this is a hatch year bird. It could be either a male or darkly colored female. The head is freshly molting to black plumage but the feathers have fine orange fringes which give it a peppered or patchy coloration. The two white contrasting wing bars can be seen on the greater and median coverts and may indicate this is a female.

Baltimore Oriole – Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA – 02 Dec 2012

Baltimore Oriole – Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA – 02 Dec 2012

Western Scrub-Jay – Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA – 02 Dec 2012

“Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA – 01 Dec 2012

7 thoughts on “Weekend highlights – Point Loma and Coronado Island 01-02 Dec 2012

  1. My husband and I are beginning birders. We attended the Audubon program last night in Rancho Bernardo and enjoyed your presentation very much. We think we saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk in our yard in Murrieta in Feb. I took a video of it and would much appreciate if you could verify its identity. How can I send it to you?

      • Hi Gary, I wasn’t able to send it with Yahoo so I sent you the hawk video using WeTransfer about a week ago. It will be available to see until April 22. I hope you were able to access it.

        • Hi Linda, thanks for sending your video, received! It clearly shows a Cooper’s Hawk eating its victim. This species is frequent in the suburban neighborhoods around the county nesting in larger established trees and terrifying our garden birds!

          • Hi Gary, Thanks for making the ID of the Cooper’s Hawk for us. It sure was a surprise seeing him on our fence that day. We haven’t seem him again.

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