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Dixon Lake to Oak Hill Cemetary (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Well, the rain went past overnight and it was a glorious day today! Started at Dixon Lake where I hiked the little Chaparral Trail up to a Daley
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2003
      Hi, all!

      Well, the rain went past overnight and it was a glorious day today! Started
      at Dixon Lake where I hiked the little Chaparral Trail up to a Daley Ranch
      connector trail, then back down the road to the parking area. Wrentits were
      all over, and another funky-sounding Orange-crowned Warbler sang from the
      riparian area (the trill stayed absolutely steady rather than rising or
      falling). Up at the rock where I sat had a pair of Rufous-crowned Sparrows,
      and a Canyon Wren sang from the hillside. Back at the car a California
      Thrasher ran across the road and then hopped on top of a bush, where he was
      promptly bombed repeatedly by an Anna's Hummer (and he flinched with every
      "peep", too)! That hummer was weird in and of itself: he sang "WheeEEEo,
      wheeEEEooo, scritch scritch scritch!" I wonder about his parentage...

      Headed over to Whisker Bay, where I actually checked out Catfish Cove first,
      where there were several White Pelicans sailing around! Duck-wise there were
      plenty of Gadwall, Ruddies, and Lesser Scaup, and Pied-billed Grebes were
      pretty plentiful, too. A Rough-winged Swallow looped around, and a House
      Wren gave his gnatcatcher-like scold from a bush. Hiking up the road and
      then down the trail to Whisker Bay produced a very nice California Thrasher
      up on a bush and the usual marsh-related birds. More ducks scooted away from
      the shore as I walked the trail, including a pair of American Wigeon and some
      very nice Ring-necked Ducks. A Black-crowned Night Heron flew over by the
      dam and landed, and more Rufous-crowned Sparrows sang from the hillside. But
      the highlight was this quail-sized thing that exploded from the trail,
      showing a squared off black tail with white corners! I backtracked and
      flushed it again, and this time it flew over me and back, showing bars
      underneath and little rounded wings that "whuffed" with each beat: a
      Poorwill! He naturally disappeared never to be seen again, but what a find!

      The Lakeshore Ditch was anticlimactic after that, but did enjoy a nice Fox
      Sparrow in the bush, and several things bouncing back and forth across the
      trail, including a Hermit Thrush and both White- and Golden-crowned Sparrows.
      Had a singing Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on the way back, and picked up Great
      Blue Heron and Snowy Egret at the docks where the worker was listening to an
      interesting talk show on the radio...

      Headed over to Lake Wolford after that, where the trail down to the lake had
      lots of Oak Titmice, singing White-breasted Nuthatches, a couple of Hutton's
      Vireos, and Orange-crowned Warblers actually showing their orange crown! Yet
      more pelicans were on the water, along with lots of Eared Grebes and a few
      Westerns; a few Forster's Terns batted around as well. A pair of Tree
      Swallows flew overhead, and an Osprey sat on a dead snag (but not for long).

      Headed over to Oak Hill Cemetary after that, generally following the route
      Chrsitine Rideout had shown me. Headed up to the fenceline first, where
      there was no Zone-tailed Hawk (probably hanging out with the TVs at the Wild
      Animal Park...), but there was still plenty of activity right there at the
      fence, including a Cooper's Hawk that yelled at me, checking me out with
      those beady orange eyes! The Butterbutts were plentiful, and some of the
      males were knock-down gorgeous! Cutting back towards the entrance I picked
      up Acorn Woodpeckers for the day, and little birds kept jumping up from the
      grass which turned out to be mostly Chipping Sparrows, with a few Juncos
      thrown in, plus one Lark Sparrow. Christine had told me to make sure I
      checked the little pond (that always looks dead because there's absolutely no
      habitat around it), and I'm glad I did: besides the single cormorant and
      female scaup hanging out, there was also a female Common Merganser croaking

      Went home after that with 69 species for the day (gee, shoulda been paying
      attention--even Rock Dove woulda made 70!). Bird list:

      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Common Merganser Mergus merganser
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      Osprey Pandion haliaetus
      Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Common Poorwill Phalaenoptilus nuttallii
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Costa's Hummingbird Calypte costae
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      American Robin Turdus migratorius
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
      White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
      Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

      69 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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