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Miramar to Mission Trails (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Today started at Miramar Lake, where the place was pretty much torn up for some kind of construction, so I was unable to drive down to the end where
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2003
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      Hi, all!

      Today started at Miramar Lake, where the place was pretty much torn up for
      some kind of construction, so I was unable to drive down to the end where the
      trail is. I got as close as I could to the dam, however, and just scoped
      from there; nothing out of the ordinary, but there was a first-year or so
      Herring Gull hanging out at the launch ramp. Lots of Lesser Scaup around,
      and a single Gadwall and American Wigeon were unique for the day.

      Headed down to the east side of Lake Murray after that, where there were lots
      more coots and scaup, and a couple of Bufflehead and Eared Grebes as well in
      the mob. At Padre Bay a little Pied-billed Grebe "sang" for me, while
      something startled the Greater Yellowlegs feeding nearby. At the resting
      spot was inundated by gnats so I was wondering where the Catchers were! The
      most unusual thing was a Song Sparrow feeding an almost full-grown youngster;
      had I seen the bird by itself and only quickly glanced at it, I might have
      written it off as a Lincoln's (with the fine breast streaking and duller
      coloration), but this little guy definitely had nice fat gape marks! Isn't
      this kinda early for them to have raised a brood already?? (Phil????)

      Drove over to the docks and scanned the dam where there were both Western and
      Clark's Grebes, and both Western and California Gulls (plus a single Herring)
      hanging out (the Ringbills were closer to shore). A Snowy Egret fed by the
      picnic area, a kingfisher rattled from somewhere across the lake, and one of
      the cormorants swimming by the dock nearest the dam had those striking white
      crests! The grackles were making chests at each other, and one tree was just
      full of cowbirds. Probably the most unusual bird was a wintering (?) Yellow
      Warbler that was chirping among the Butterbutts.

      Headed over to the west side where the redwings and Marsh Wrens were setting
      up shop, and was able to kick up a Golden-crowned Sparrow among the Whiteys
      (in fact, at one point had a four-sparrow bush: Song, White-crowned,
      Golden-crowned, and Fox!). A California Gnatcatcher mewed while I was
      checking the reeds; thought I may have heard a Least Bittern, but whatever I
      heard didn't repeat itself; it could have been the beginnings of a grebe
      song...

      Headed over to the headquarters after that where I hiked the Oak Trail,
      getting lots of Spotted Towhees right off the bat. It was definitely warming
      up, and the bees were definitely at work as well! Orange-crowned Warblers
      were singing from the oaks, and also picked up a White-breasted Nuthatch at
      the bench. A friend called me about a lunch date about then, and while I was
      talking to her a Wrentit came practically within touching distance! After I
      signed off a Bushtit joined him, coming up to within inches of my face in
      response to soft pishing! Made me wish this would happen when I had visiting
      birders, because you wouldn't believe the number of people who confuse these
      two birds; having them together was wonderful! White-throated Swifts
      chattered overhead, and a thrasher scrambling across the trail was a nice
      touch, too.

      Rolled down the road to the dam area after that, where both Nuttall's and
      Downy Woodpeckers called from the trailhead down the road from the parking
      area. No migrants yet, but the House Wrens and Song Sparrows were sure going
      nuts! I'd never seen the meadow so green before; I was hoping for a
      Grasshopper Sparrow, but no such luck (got a meadowlark instead). Tree
      Swallows gurgled overhead, and a pair (?) of Red-shouldered Hawks screamed
      from the river; the one appeared to drive the other off, so I'm not sure if
      the one was saying "Be my bride" or "Get outta my face!" Down at the rocks I
      was surprised to see the area flooded for the first time in my memory (you
      could still get across, thankfully), and the Canyon Wren came through during
      the five minute rest! A gorgeous Mallard floated in the pond at the dam
      itself, and a Phainopepla took off from the top of a tree. A couple of
      Hutton's Vireos sang and scolded in an oak behind a couple of little old
      ladies, and a Snowy Egret hid on some flattened reeds in the river.

      Headed off for lunch with my friend after that, with 73 species for the day.
      Bird list:

      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      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
      Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      American Robin Turdus migratorius
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Fox Sparrow Passerella iliaca
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater

      73 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      MiriamEagl@...
      San Diego, CA


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