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3128Highland Valley Road

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    May 14, 2004
      Hi, all!

      Explored Highland Valley Road today, and while the open grasslands aren't
      nearly as interesting as in the winter, I still had some good birds along the
      road, as I decided to bird the whole banana, including a buzz around Bandy Canyon
      Road and across Ysabel Creek and back, plus a peek down Sycamore Canyon Road,
      then finally an exercise walk over at Lake Hodges. Rangeland Road was by far
      the most interesting of the upper section, with a late Ring-necked Duck on
      the distant reservoir and even later (early??) Greater Yellowlegs flying around!
      There were also plenty of Ruddy Ducks, Coots, and Stilts out there, as well
      as Cattle Egrets and one lone White-faced Ibis feeding away. Both Red-winged
      and Tricolored Blackbirds were out there, occasionally coming over the road in
      small flocks. Had a nice Loggerhead Shrike on the wire, too, and a singing
      Horned Lark (and no cracks about shrikes not being nice... :-) ).

      Stopping several times along the road going down the hill picked up the usual
      rural fare, and in the avocado orchards had a Common Ground Dove singing
      along with the Mournings. Almost ran down a Roadrunner, and a Black-chinned
      Hummer went zooming across the road at one rather moist oak woodland area. Heading
      down Bandy Canyon (with a stop at the porta potty), a look at the bridge on
      the far side of the road (where the fancy estate is) had Yellow-breasted Chat
      in the riparian area there. I remember having lots of Hooded Orioles when I
      hiked that trail last time, but the entire road was just loaded with them! A
      stop in the orange groves yielded (interesting) a Chipping Sparrow amongst the
      Brewer's Blackbirds, and swinging back to Ysabel Creek Road via 78 added a few
      Bell's Vireos to the list (couldn't hear any Cactus Wrens or gnatcatchers at
      the Battlefield, though; too much traffic, I guess...).

      Back up on Highland Valley, I continued down and continued stopping, adding a
      Canyon Wren at one stop where the road was really curving and there were open
      rocks, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow at another. Down at the bottom (where the
      Yellow-billed Cuckoo showed up that one year) Yellow Warblers were all over,
      and was treated to a dogfight between a Red-tailed Hawk and a White-tailed
      Kite! A peek down Sycamore Creek Road added Blue Grosbeak and Kestrel to the list
      (things were quieting down by then).

      Stopped at the trailhead for the Hodges section of the San Deguito River Park
      Trail and decided to follow the trail markers rather than do my normal route
      (from the Senior Center down along Bernardo Bay), and it was delightful
      (albeit hot)! Had a lot of the same birds, including Bell's Vireo and Chat in the
      riparian area, and a California Gnat in the sage. At the first big oak tree I
      rested for five and enjoyed watching two Western Fence Lizards battle it out,
      and a California Thrasher got upset at my pishing enough to follow me down the
      trail a ways afterwards!

      Headed home with 72 species for the day. Bird List:

      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
      White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
      Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Black-chinned Hummingbird Archilochus alexandri
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Costa's Hummingbird Calypte costae
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
      Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris

      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens
      Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Bell's Vireo Vireo bellii
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus
      Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Tricolored Blackbird Agelaius tricolor
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
      Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

      72 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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