ABA Lifer #643

Wrapping up my California trip involved heading down this afternoon to the San Elijo Lagoon north of San Diego to see what turned out to be a beautiful male California Gnatcatcher.  While common in Mexico, only about 2000 pairs breed in the U.S.; the photo below shows the short coastal sage shrub where I found the bird.  Way back when we lived in LA in the late 1980’s I passed this area dozens of times traveling on Interstate 5 (it’s in the background); I never took the time to find this bird and check it off.  Finally I tracked one down!

A photo of the bird, courtesy of bird-friends.com on Google Images: