February 2011 home page

  Wildlife Goes Lagoon!
Ed Mirsky | Hoska Drive


First Bird Count of 2011 Is tallied. Birders meet monthly at Del Mar Public Works next to the River Path to tally the counts and species seen at five different areas within the San Dieguito Lagoon Area. The January 2011 count of 118, was the highest in 13 months and brought the total number of species identified since January 2010 to 175, including two new species: the Sharp-shinned Hawk and Glaucous-winged Gull.
Photo Stu Smith


Last year was a wonderful year for the wildlife at the San Dieguito Lagoon. The ebb and flow of the tides has brought in the seeds of marsh grasses as well as mud-flat worms and other organism invertebrates. The tidal basins served as hatcheries for a number of fish species. The fish are present in greater numbers than expected and that’s good news for the coastal fisheries. And 173 species of birds (see FSGRV website: http://fsdrv.org/pdf/Checklist_12mon.pdf) were counted during monthly bird surveys for the year, including Brown Pelican, Clapper Rail, Least Tern, California Gnatcatcher, Bell’s Vireo, and Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. All of which are on State and Federal watch lists due to their low abundance. In addition, Peregrine Falcons are regularly seen in the lagoon, including juvenile falcons probably raised in the Torres Pines Reserve. Cactus Wrens were common in San Diego County, but are hard to find now. One was seen in the park, and was even carrying nest-building material—let’s hope. In addition, species restricted to wetlands are present (Virginia Rail, Sora, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Least Bittern, Osprey), which is very good news.
We’re hopeful that 2011 will be an equally good year for the lagoon. And we seem to be off to a good start with the January 9 first time sighting of a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Bird Count Checklist for January 2011


This material was also published on the FSDRV website


Photo Stu Smith



Photo Stu Smith



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