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February 23, 2018 – Vermillion Flycatcher (Birding the Mexican Border)

We rose before dawn to begin our “Birding the Border” tour today. But then, what serious birding trip doesn’t begin with the human species rousing themselves from sleep before the avian?

Wind and chill temperatures throughout the day kept the bird numbers low according to our guides, but you could not have proved that by us as the day was fruitful from the start!

Our birding fiesta began at the Tijuana River Valley Preserve, which has a clear view of Tijuana, Mexico and the fence that separates it from the U.S. From what we could see, Tijuana looked like a bustling city!

The terrain of the preserve was an arid beautiful chaparral, complete with scrubby growth and tumbleweeds. After a brief rain shower we were rewarded with a stunning rainbow that quickly became a double!

Highlights from our travels in different locations within the preserve included particularly striking views of American wigeons and cinnamon teal among others.

After a stop at nearby community garden and a butterfly garden, a local ball field produced the highlight of the day, and perhaps the entire trip – a vermillion flycatcher, who was very accommodating and posed contentedly for quite a long time while we excitedly snapped photos. Not to be outdone, a group of western meadowlarks also put on quite a show.

We finished our birding day at Chula Vista Park, clearly a birding hot spot in San Diego. Highlights include: marbled godwit, western sandpipers and one cackling goose, a bird Ethan has been chasing for years!

At the end of the day we totaled 74 species and two very happy birders!

Bitnami