Mike Madriaga 2:30 p.m., Sept. 19
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The Osprey Family of Ocean Beach
Local birders have been flocking to Ocean Beach's Robb Field in recent weeks. One big draw has been the osprey family that has nested atop one of the park's light poles. This family of four includes a proud pair of parents and two chicks, who appear to be about 3/4 of the way to full size.
Wikipedia says that osprey nests usually consist of "a large heap of sticks, driftwood and seaweed" and that Osprey mates - who usually stick together for life - work together for a five-month period to raise their young.
While I was filming the ospreys at Robb Field, "Dad" flew off toward the San Diego River at one point. A few minutes later, he came back with a large fish in his talons. When I left, he was snacking on the fish by himself, but Steve Rowell - one of the birders on the scene, and the knowledgeable narrator whose voice is heard in the video - told me that Dad would eventually bring the fish to the nest for Mom and the kids to enjoy.
Another attraction drawing birders to Robb is the female snow bunting (not shown in the video) who has been spotted in the area. Snow buntings are average-sized birds of the Arctic region that travel south in the winter.
During their winter migration, snow buntings usually make it down to the northernmost states of the U.S. before turning around and heading back north. So it would be unusual to see a snow bunting as far south as Northern California - and it is unheard of to see one in San Diego.
In fact, the snow bunting currently residing at Robb Field is the first to be confirmed as a visitor to San Diego County. And as any local birder will tell you, the count of bird species seen locally had previously stood at 499 - meaning the snow bunting of Robb Field represents the 500th species to spread its wings in San Diego.