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Pamo Valley to Oak Oasis (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Poked around one of my favorite places today: Pamo Valley! I was afraid the low clouds would obscure the view going in, but they really didn t, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3 1:01 PM
      Hi, all!

      Poked around one of my favorite places today: Pamo Valley! I was afraid the
      low clouds would obscure the view going in, but they really didn't, and it
      was gorgeous as always: picked up a Hutton's Vireo at the first stop at the
      overlook, plus the usual chaparral fare. I had forgotten that with the
      holiday, however, so came the hunters, and gunshot echoed off both mountain
      ridges! I managed to stay out of their way for the most part... Down at the
      willow riparian area just before the Orosco Trail turnoff was the only
      Orange-crowned Warbler of the day.

      This is one of San Diego County's best kept secrets, I think: it's a
      beautiful valley of oak savannah with some willow riparian running through
      it, and sage and chaparral on the hillsides, along with rock outcroppings.
      The place was dripping with Acorn Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, Starlings
      (most in that funny in-between plumage where they look spotted but still have
      the brown heads), and in isolated flocks Lark Sparrows, House Finches,
      Meadowlarks, and Brewer's and Red-winged Blackbirds. Saw a big flock of
      Turkeys on the far hillside, and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks had each side of
      the valley staked out. In the oaks had White-breasted Nuthatch, Oak
      Titmouse, and Nuttall's Woodpecker, plus the occasional Western Bluebird.

      Poking up the two dirt roads on the eastern side of the valley added
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow to the list. Resting in the nice little oak woodland
      just before the river crossing some hunters who had gone up ahead of me were
      shooting close enough to hear the cracks and echoes off the hillside; time to
      leave! The other road was more peaceful with nothing more than a mountain
      biker coming up; found a rock at the crest with a wonderful view of the
      valley, and a pretty little Sage Sparrow on the way down, still singing! The
      only California Gnatcatcher of the day mewed from the sage as well.

      Next hiked the Orosco Trail, where this time the "No Trespassing" signs on
      the gated road were gone; I was glad to see that as Schad's book includes
      this road as a hike! It takes you along the river and up the hill, and the
      turnaround point was perfect: a nice little opening with a beautiful view and
      a comfortable, moss-covered rock to sit on! Had a covey of California Quail
      bouncing around in here, as well as the usual oak woodland fare.

      I was almost ready to remove "Ramona Pond" from my list of birding spots,
      seeing as the powers that be had removed the reeds and cleared out all the
      surrounding vegetation, but to my surprise there were actually some
      interesting birds there: a Great Egret fed in the algae-covered far end,
      while a pair of Black-necked Stilts sat like litlle pillows on the close
      shore amongst a group of Killdeer. At the far end, behind whatever reeds
      were left, was a family of Mallards. It'll be interesting to see what they
      plan to do to this little parcel...

      Last stop was Oak Oasis, following another wonderful drive down Wildcat
      Canyon Road! Red-shouldered Hawk was new for the day, but otherwise nothing
      but the usual chaparral fare showed up. Headed home after that with 44
      species for the day.

      Bird List:

      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      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
      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
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus

      44 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA
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