San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[San Diego County Bird Atlas Project]

Bird Atlas News and Updates
Winter 1998

Palomar Audubon Society Meeting 25 February 1999
Christmas Bird Counts
Blockbuster Weekends
WingDing Things

Palomar Audubon Society Meeting 25 February 1999

The San Diego County Bird Atlas will be the program at the meeting of the Palomar Audubon Society in Escondido on 25 February 1999. Phil Unitt will present not only the latest results and maps of a variety of species, he will discuss practical techniques for observing birds and confirming their breeding. Using recordings, we'll review the songs of some frequently overlooked species. Having a problem with an identification? Ask at the meeting or send a message before so the topic can be incorporated in the program. This will be an informal question-and-answer workshop, so please com with whatever questions you may have concerning the project, and please share your experiences with what works and doesn't work in watching birds. Meet at 7 PM at the Joslyn senior center, 210 Park Ave. (just east of Broadway), Escondido.

Christmas Bird Counts

Christmas Bird Counts are a major source of data for the Sna diego County Bird Atlas. Last year, they provided fully a quarter of the winter records. The atlas is perhaps the most effective use ever made of these counts. So please participate in as many as you can handle. If your territory overlpas more than one square, please record your observations in each square separately. We now have the capability to generate maps allowing you to see exactly hour your christmas bird Count territory fits in the atlas grid system. Agian, we are coordinating with each count's compiler for maximum consistency with the bird atlas.

Here are the schedule and organizers of this year's counts:

San Diego: Saturday 19 December.
Claude Edwards, 619-563-6695

Borrego Springs: Sunday 20 December.
Bob Thériault, 760-767-3312

Lake Henshaw: Monday 21 December.
Claude Edwards, 619-563-6695

Oceanside-Vista-Carlsbad: Saturday 26 December.
Dennis Wysong, 760-754-1264

Rancho Santa Fe: Sunday 27 December.
Robert Patton, 619-560-9681

Escondido: Saturday 2 January.
Ken Weaver, 760-782-0654.

Blockbuster Weekends

In an effort to increase our knowledge of squares still not adopted or poorly covered, we've scheduled four more blockbuster weekends this winter, visiting mostly new areas. On our blockbuster weekends, we break into small teams to cover as many squares as possible in a day, then reassemble in the afternoon to learn what everyone has been seeing. We have a camping site arranged for those of us wishing to stay overnight, then tackle different squares the next morning. It's a great opportunity to get together informally and see areas seldom visited by birders. All participants are welcome for either or both days.

9-10 January: Anza-Borrego Desert. Meet at 7:00 AM on Saturday 9 January at Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs. Camping at Borrego Palm Canyon campground.

23-24 January: Oak Grove/Chihuahua Valley. Meet at 7:00 AM on Saturday 23 January at Warner Springs, in the parking lot on the west side of the road just south of the gas station. Camping at the Oak Grove Forest Service campground.

6-7 February: Julian/Pine Hills. Meet at 6:30 AM on Saturday 6 February in the parking lot of the Manzanita Ranch in Wynola. Camping at William Heise County Park.

20-21 February: Special Corte Madera Ranch blockbuster. Advance reservations required! Directions given when you confirm. Thanks to the cooperation of Dale Clark and the homeowners of the Rancho Corte Madera association, we again have the privilege of visiting this remote and beautiful area. Coverage of the key areas of the four Corte Madera squares (Q20, Q21, R20, R21) is possible only with these prearranged events, so a good turnout for this weekend is essential to the atlas completeness.

Please call or send email to to let us know if you're coming on any of the blockbusters so we can plan our effort most effectively.

Wing Ding Things

Mark your 1999 calendar now for Sunday afternoon 14 March. Our Spring Wing Ding will be at a unique and beautiful location—the Gemological Institue of America in Carlsbad, right above the flower fields. We're delighted our speaker will be Jerry Schad, known to most of you through his books on San diego hikin trails. Known also for his great photos and as a great speaker, jerry will present "Afoot and Afield in San Diego county," his perspective on getting into the backcounty that's our goal to cover for the bird atlas. Please ake advantage of this opportunity to learn from Jerry's experience. More details in the next Wrenderings.

Thanks again to the many who made our Fall Wing Ding at the Chula Vista Nature Center a success, to Andy Yuen our speaker, to Nancy Conney, Charles Gailband, and the nature center's bird crew for demonstrating the live birds of prey, to Pat Wagner for keeping the bookstore open, to Barbara Anderson, Kathy Estey, Dorothy Green, Cheryl Mann, and Joan Roberts for helping with check-in, to the Zoological Society of San Diego for financial support, and especially to Barbara Moore for putting it all together. It was a pleasure to be able to recognize and award our threshold-clearers for their accomplishments. Those who had cleared the threshold goal in one square received an engagement calendar illustrated with the stunning bird photography of Wayne Lynch, those who cleared it in two received also a weight-distributing binocular strap manufactured by La Mesa Camera, and those who cleared it in three or four (champion Ken Weaver) received also a gift certificate to the Museum store. Thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the grant that made these awards possible.

Winter 1998 Wrenderings | Wrenderings Archive | Bird Atlas Introduction