San Jacinto Wildlife Area Trip Report

First, thank you for your great help in finding the birds yesterday. Not only did the weather cooperate going from 49 to 86 degrees in a few hours with a light breeze blowing, but yellow wildflowers (California Goldfields) were beginning to cover the fields. During lunch break Michael spotted a golden eagle flying over us. Great views were had by all. After lunch a group of us went to the Marston ponds adjacent to the Ramona Duck Club on a mission to find more birds. We stayed on the SJ WA property. We did not refind the big raptor of the morning “walk” which some thought could have been in immature bald eagle, a bird often reported in that spot. The only raptor we found in that area was a big female redtail. With the heat shimmer and distance affecting our morning view, I decided not to count the earlier sighted bird as a bald eagle. And, we did not find the Yellow-headed or Tri-colored Blackbirds. It was either nap time or we didn’t locate the ponds they are nesting in. We did, however, spy an American Kestrel on our way back to Davis Road. It was the second falcon of the day. Earlier in the morning a Peregrine was perched on a telephone pole used by the Gyrfalcon a few years back. Five falcons were reported in the area that day. Just think about it.

Regarding the White Ibis/American Avocet sighting and after much thought, I decided not to list the bird as a White Ibis. Those who saw the bird fly overhead, perhaps half of our group, had different opinions of the bill shape, up-turned or down-curved. And the color, orange or dark. How does that happen? The birds are so different. I had to figure out what people saw and why. As the bird flew quickly overhead, you could not see the curve of the bill. You would have to see a profile view to determine up or down curve.. The reddish face and neck of the breeding Avocet could have influenced people to call the bill orange. Both the birds have white bodies and wings with black on them. The White Ibis would be extremely rare at SJWA but not impossible, the Avocet common and we saw many in different ponds. So…as always, you can list the bird as you wish. Too bad I missed the bird.

The Vaux’s Swift is rare for this area. The ebird people may come back to me for more documentation. Those who saw it please let me know how you determined it was a Vaux’s. And please check out Sonja’s shots of the day. There is one landscape scene that will show you the beauty of SWJA.

Happy birding,
Sally Sanderson
Trip Organizer

—–Original Message—–
From: ebird-checklist <>
To: vcwillow <>
Sent: Sun, Mar 15, 2015 2:18 pm
Subject: eBird Report – San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Mar 14, 2015

San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Riverside, US-CA
Mar 14, 2015 8:30 AM – 1:00
Protocol: Traveling
9.0 mile(s)
Comments: This was a Palomar Audubon sponsored bird walk. The purpose was not to count the number of each species but some counts are provided.

73 species (+2 other taxa)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
American Wigeon (Anas americana)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Green-winged Teal
(Anas crecca)
Redhead (Aythya americana)
Aythya sp. (Aythya sp.) 1
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 2
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) 1
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)
Sora (Porzana carolina)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Vaux’s Swift (Vaux’s) (Chaetura vauxi vauxi) 1 Small dark swift with stubby body, short tail.
hummingbird sp. (Trochilidae sp.)
Nuttall’s Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)
Cassin’s Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans)
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) 5
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 100
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) 2
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) 1
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens)
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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