Leaders

Paul Lehman

A noted field ornithologist who began birding in his home state of New York at the age of nine, Paul’s accomplishments are inspiring. An expert in weather, migration, distribution, geography, and mapping, Paul’s work can be found in The Sibley Field Guides to Birds of Eastern and Western North America, Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to Birds of North America, The National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America, and the National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America, to name a few. A former lecturer at the University of California Santa Barbara in the geography and environmental studies departments, Paul also served as the Editor of ABA’s “Birding” magazine for nearly a decade. Paul Lehman is a past chair of the California Bird Records Committee and was the special editor for the Western Field Ornithologists to the CBRC’s opus “Rare Birds of California”, edited by Robb Hamilton et al. Paul is currently an associate editor for “North American Birds” and “Western Birds” and a senior tour leader for Wings.

 

Dave Povey

Dave Povey can’t stay away from the ocean. If he is not fishing, he is birding. There are not many San Diego pelagic birds that Dave has not seen repeatedly because he has been at this for nearly 40 years. Dave has done the pelagic portions of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for both the Oceanside count and the San Diego count for over 30 years. Add a trip or two every week in his 21 foot Parker fishing boat, and Dave has years at sea. He is the only known human to have seen a Cory’s Shearwater in San Diego County.

 

Guy McCaskie

No one has had a greater impact on California field ornithology and birding than Guy McCaskie. Decades ago he recognized that desert oases and coastal sites have great potential to concentrate migrating birds, which led to the discovery of many now-famous migrant traps in California. He took the lead in systematically exploiting these traps to document patterns of vagrancy. Guy was also instrumental in the formation of Western Field Ornithologists (WFO) and the California Bird Records Committee, he is the author of “Birds of Northern California”, co-author of ” Birds of the Salton Sea”, and is a regional editor for the ABA publication North American Birds.

 

Gary Nunn

Gary Nunn hails from England originally, where he grew up birding from a young age chasing rarities in the crucible of twitching – the county of Norfolk. He holds a BSc. in Biological Sciences, and PhD in Genetics, both from the University of Nottingham, England. Gary completed research into the evolution and phylogeny of seabirds while he was a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, and a Molecular Evolution Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. He is now a professional scientist working in the life sciences industry in San Diego, California. He has traveled to more than thirty countries worldwide birding but also has a great interest in “patch birding”. Gary currently resides with his wife and young family in Pacific Beach, San Diego County, California which, he notes, is exactly halfway between his two favorite birding patches – Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Point La Jolla.

 

Tom Blackman

A California native Tom has birded the area since High School. A graduate of San Diego State University with a B.S. in Zoology. Seabirds and pelagic photography are Tom’s specialty having birded and photographed tubenoses in the World’s oceans in both hemispheres including participating is several expeditions to identify new pelagic species. Leading on SoCal pelagic trips since its inception, if you need ID or photographic help go see Tom. He is currently serving as President of Western Field Ornithologists and Past-President of San Diego Field Ornithologists.

 

Peter Ginsburg

After a career in the U.S. Navy, Peter Ginsburg began birding. He soon developed an intense passion for birds combined with an unflagging interest in culture and travel, consequently studying birds all around the world. A widely respected birder in Southern California, Peter was an integral part of the development of the San Diego Bird Atlas, his keen eyes and outstanding obversational skiils providing data for dozens of sectors. Peter enjoys sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm of birds with others and welcomes the chance to meet new birders on pelagic trips.

 

Justyn Stahl

After a college ornithology class derailed his life-long ambition of becoming a marine biologist, Justyn embarked on the path of an avian field biologist, starting with two seasons of Prothonotary Warbler research in Southern Illinois. He spent the next two years studying cooperative breeding Acorn Woodpeckers in Carmel Valley, California as part of his Master’s degree, then traveled around a bit: searching in vain for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in Florida; helping a friend with his Ph.D. work in Tanzania; and most importantly, working as a delivery driver for a sandwich shop chain. He moved to California in 2008 where he’s worked as a project manager for the Institute for Wildlife Studies on San Clemente Island, managing the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike recovery effort. Justyn also volunteers his time as an eBird editor for California, program chair for San Diego Field Ornithologists, regional compiler for North American Birds, and a member of the California Bird Records Committee. He began regularly participating in pelagic trips off of Southern California in 2010.

 

Jimmy McMorran

A southern California native, Jimmy was introduced to birding while living in Corpus Christi, TX in his mid-late teenage years. He moved back to southern California when his real passion for birding was triggered. Since then, Jimmy has lived/worked on many of the Channel Islands off of California for bird studies, including the San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike recovery project. He has also surveyed for a variety of bird species throughout the country including the Ivory-billed Woodpecker search in Arkansas with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Currently Jimmy is a wildlife biologist based out of San Diego, CA, and conducts a variety of avian surveys throughout southern California and beyond. Jimmy has personally found rare pelagic species such as Short-tailed Albatross off Santa Cruz Island, CA, and the first Cook’s Petrel photographed in San Diego County waters. Jimmy resides in Leucadia, CA with his wife and young daughter, who now has quite an impressive San Diego County list herself.

 

Matthew Binns

Matthew Binns is an English molecular biologist specializing in Thoroughbred racehorse performance who has made Southern California his home for the past 10 years. He began pelagic birding at a very young age, identifying birds from his father’s boat as they trawled for fish off the Yorkshire coast. He is a keen photographer and has spent more than 100 days at sea, off four continents (North America, South America, Europe and Australia) to locate and photograph pelagic birds. Locally, he has helped Dave Povey with the San Diego and Oceanside Christmas Count pelagic sectors for many years, and with pelagic trips for the San Diego Bird Festival.

 

Matt Sadowski

Matt Sadowski has been birding Southern California and Baja since age ten. He is a consulting biologist for avian conservation programs in the region, and has served as a pelagic bird expert on NOAA research cruises. Matt is an eBird reviewer for San Diego, Orange, and Imperial County records and as such serves as a patient mentor for many newer birders as they struggle with identification. An accomplished pelagic birder and photographer, he has sharp eyes and a keen ability to identifly distant pelagic birds by their flight style. Matt discovered the first San Diego records of Red-necked Stint in the fall of 2008, and Lesser Sand-Plover in 2013.

 

Bruce Rideout

Bruce Rideout is a veterinarian specializing in disease investigations for San Diego Zoo Global. He is also a Research Fellow of The Peregrine Fund and participates in a variety of conservation efforts, including recovery programs for California condors, Hawaiian forest birds, Mojave Desert tortoises, and collaborative programs for Giant Panda conservation in China. His research focuses primarily on infectious diseases of wildlife, avian embryo pathology, and disease risk assessments for reintroduction programs. He has spent over 175 days at sea pelagic birding off the West Coast and is the webmaster for sandiegopelagics.com