Where I've been/What I've seen
After rendezvousing with Max and Alex at Villa La Jolla park, we immediately headed down to the Tijuana River Mouth, to see if we could get some good looks at the wintering Tricolored Heron. After getting out of the car we immediately noticed three Little Blue Herons, and two Light-footed Ridgway's Rails.
We continued and ran into some other birders, who also happened to be looking for the Tricolored Heron. We we scanning the marsh when another birder told us he saw the bird on the other side of the apartment we were standing next to. We headed over, saw some Snowy Egrets, but no Tricolored Heron yet. Suddenly, something flew, slightly bigger than a Little Blue, but smaller than a Great Blue. Tricolored Heron! My first lifer on the day. However, the bird decided to land, really close to the sidewalk. Of course, by the time we get over there, it decides to be uncooperative, and has moved away from it's landing spot, to now, around fifty feet away. However, a friendly resident of the nearby apartment let us go on to the site, where we managed to get some close looks of the bird, even if it meant having to hide behind a bush. It still was a bit foggy, which added a weird look and made it hard to focus in my photos
After getting a really good view of the bird, we decided to walk over to the Imperial Beach Sports Park, one of the only places in the county where Yellow-crowned Night-Herons hang out. It took us a second, but we saw one, then two, and so on until we managed to count nine, tying the county record.
We then decided to head over to Nestor Park, to maximize our chances at the rarities there. On the way back to the car I snapped some photos of Snowy Egrets and a partially Leucistic Ridgway's Rail
We then left Tijuana River Marsh/Mouth, and headed to Nestor Park, to see the many rarities being reported there. After walking around the park a couple of times, we had a Merlin and the Black-and-White Warbler, a photo nemesis of mine. Other than that, we didn't have too much success in the actual park at first, so we went across the street to Tesoro Grove. There we had a Townsend's Warbler, but nothing else until I spotted a bird, that appeared to be a kingbird at first, but was bright red! Summer Tanager! An ABA lifer.
We then spotted the female Vermilion Flycatcher toward the end of the loop, being chased by a House Finch for no obvious reason. We were about to start heading toward the car, when Alex spotted the Baltimore Oriole, another ABA lifer! It wasn't too cooperative and stuck toward the top of the pine tree.
We then tried to see if we could pull out a reported Cassin's Vireo, but with no luck we headed back to the car to go see some more Vermillion Flycatchers. We almost immediately saw the male, got some photos, and were headed back to the car when we had a very cooperative female. I managed to get some pretty good pictures of it.
A Red-naped Sapsucker was reported just across the street from the fields, so we decided to check it out. We tried some playback, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher started calling from a shrub, but it didn't want to come out. Then, a woodpecker came in, which happened to be the Red-naped! I quickly snapped some pictures before it decided to fly away. Since some Hutton's Vireos had also been reported, I decided to try some playback to bring them in. It worked, bringing two of them to a nearby tree, and I snapped a decent photo of one.
We then decided to go to North Delta Beach Overlook to see if we could find the Long-tailed Duck and dipped miserably. After dipping, we headed north to Roselle St. Riparian, where another Cassin's Vireo and a Common Merganser were reported. We used some playback in the area where the vireo was reported, and heard the exact same call back from across the stream, but it didn't want to seem to come out. We then walked the length of the stream and didn't see the merganser. We were coming back when something took off. We continued to walk, this time paying attention to the stream, and being a bit more stealthy. I spotted it, and the bird was cooperative for about two minutes before a Green Heron flushed it.
After this, we called it a day, and returned to our houses.