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2013 March In South San Diego County

Prairie Warbler
Prairie Warbler

In March 2013 I went twice to Lower Otay Lake in search of a Prairie Warbler. As did many of my adventures in south San Diego County, my first trip was combined with a visit to Bayfront Park in Chula Vista, where I enjoyed the company of waterfowl, shorebirds and a cooperative Clapper Rail (now called Ridgway’s Rail). Yet it was the warbler I looked forward to meeting this day. Reports of its presence at the lake had been continuing for more than a week. My hope was after a week, most of the ‘me-firsters’ had satisfied their lust for putting the bird on their list, and that a Friday morning might be a relatively quiet time at the lake.

I wasn’t the only birder hunting warblers on this morning. One of the other birders and I knew each other from past shared adventures. Having more eyes on the hunt worked to my advantage though. I needed help to locate the bird. By the time I found the bird, the sun had climbed in the sky, advancing beyond ideal lighting, and I left unsatisfied with my execution of image captures.

I returned the following Thursday, believing I might get better images on a different day. Like my previous visit, I began my adventure with a visit to south San Diego Bay. This time I stopped by 7th Street in Imperial Beach and enjoyed the avifauna at the wetlands there. Later, at the lake I got re-acquainted with the warbler and still had time to say hello to the California Gnatcatchers I’d heard earlier on the brushy slopes above the lake.

Birds I met during these visits were Clapper Rail, Red-Breasted Merganser, Prairie Warbler, California Gnatcatcher, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Double-Crested Cormorant, Pied-Billed Grebe, American Avocet, Willet, Black-Necked Stilt, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow.

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