A few years back there was a Golden-Crowned Sparrow found in New Jersey's Monmouth County and my friend Rob F. and I had tried for it, waiting over 90 minutes in a heavy steady rain without any luck. Making my second attempt for this bird in the normally "sunny" San Diego, I guess it was appropriate that it was drizzling this morning too. I had come to Black Mountain at the suggestion of local birder Kevin Pickard. He frequents this spot and had recently seen the sparrows.
I walked up the hillside and birded in the rain for an hour seeing lots of birds but not my desired sparrow. When the rain started to lighten I was out of time and decided to come back again later this week, hopefully with Kevin, and also the sun !
As I got to my car I shook off the rain jacket and saw the sparrows across the street from where I had parked. If only I had stayed dry in the car ! Nevertheless I was able to get great views of these sparrows, even having time to setup my scope for amazing closeups.
Next up I made my way to San Elijo Lagoon. Here my target was California Gnatcatcher. Local Jan N. had suggested the site and it paid off nicely. I saw two or three of the Gnatcathers quickly and even pretty close at some points. Fortunately it was dry by this time and I got to enjoy these birds and several other species while I was here.
Credit: Peter Knapp
Thanks goes out to the local birders who helped me get two life-birds today!