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South Bay to Torrey Pines (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Today started at South Bay Marine Biological Study Area, then stopped at Silver Strand State Beach, then up to Marion Bear Park, then up to Scripps
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 13, 2004
      Hi, all!

      Today started at South Bay Marine Biological Study Area, then stopped at
      Silver Strand State Beach, then up to Marion Bear Park, then up to Scripps Coastal
      Preserve, then over to Lopez Canyon, then lastly to Torrey Pines State

      It was a gorgeous day, and the shorebirds at South Bay were in great light,
      very close to the trail! They've put up a new observation platform with
      informational signs, but you can still walk down to the gate on the dike (although
      it looks like the wire's been cut back; I wasn't going to venture through...).
      On the south side a Dunlin and Western Sandpiper fed side by side, which was
      a neat comparison! On the north (more busy) side were the usual suspects:
      lots more Westerns and a couple of Leasts, along with Marbled Godwits, Willets,
      and dowitchers, and a single Long-billed Curlew. Further out in the mud were a
      few Semipal and BB Plovers, and in the waterfowl department had Shovelers,
      American Wigeon, Pintail, and further out lots of Brant, Surf Scoters, tons of
      Bufflehead, lesser numbers of Lesser Scaup, and a couple of Eared Grebes.
      Belding's Sparrows sang and cavorted closer to the trailhead, and scanning the
      south "pond" had a few Ruddies as well.

      Silver Strand SB was crammed with people (holiday weekend, I guess); the
      campground was full but the day use area was empty (at least when I pulled in), so
      I parked and set up the scope on the beach, finding all three loons in the
      surf as well as hundreds of Western (until proven otherwise) Grebes. Lots of
      Ring-billed and California Gulls, and a handful of Western and Heermann's, and a
      few Sanderlings complimented the shorebird lineup. A cormorant would fly by
      once in awhile, but too far out to ID for certainty. On the way back to the
      car I noticed several campers had started to fill the day use parking area

      All the stops between there and Marion Bear had been surveyed in February
      already, so I headed straight to MB where upon getting out of the car I was
      delighted to hear the Acorn Woodpeckers again; I thought for sure they'd been
      extirpated! A beautiful male Nuttall's was excavating a hole (it looked like) on a
      tree right in front of me, allowing close approach and wonderful shots! But
      a creepy-looking guy in a creepy-looking car (that had been parked halfway
      down the lot the whole time with his engine running) decided to pull up and park
      where I was, so I decided that, even though he was probably harmless, prudence
      was the wiser action here so climbed back in the car and headed for Scripps;
      at least I know the Acorns are still around!

      There was a pile of walkers and cars turning onto La Jolla Farm Road and I
      was concerned that maybe the mob from the golf tournament was parking even way
      down here, but they weren't; found a spot fine and headed for the gate, but not
      before reproving a lady taking her doberman/shepherd mix (off the leash yet)
      on the trail (she ignored me). The pile of people I saw turned out to be a
      walking class going the opposite direction I was going, but other than those two
      "groups" I had the trail to myself and the towhees and Whiteys. The overlook
      was lovely with a TON of shorebirds way down below, and it was fun to look
      DOWN on the White-throated Swifts screaming around! Evidently there's a trail
      on the south side of the property that heads down to the beach, because before
      long I saw the doberman/shepherd mix go tearing down the beach, happy as a
      clam (mom was a ways back, I guess...). On the loop back kicked up a couple of
      wintering Savannah Sparrows and a Meadowlark for the day.

      Lopez Canyon was very active: Song Sparrows were all over the place, and a
      yelling Red-shouldered Hawk attracted a White-tailed Kite who proceeded to bomb
      him! The ensuing dogfight was entertaining as the hawk held his ground for
      the most part, rolling and bearing his talons at the kite at the appropriate
      moments! A harrier sailed overhead apparently uninterested in joining the
      brawl... Other riparian-loving birds picked up in here included Yellowthroat,
      American Goldfinch, and Hutton's Vireo, plus both phoebes. A curious House Wren
      popped up on the way back.

      Last stop of the day was the Extention Trail at Torrey Pines, picking up an
      avocet and Great Blue Heron in the lagoon off Carmel Mountain Road on the way
      (while trying not to run into the SDGE trucks). That area was pretty quiet;
      had the usual Wrentits and Bewick's Wrens, and a displaying Anna's Hummer, but
      nothing very cooperative. Headed home through the Invitational Traffic with a
      total of 65 species for the morning. Bird List:

      Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata
      Pacific Loon Gavia pacifica
      Common Loon Gavia immer
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Brant Branta bernicla
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Northern Pintail Anas acuta
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
      Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
      Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
      Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
      Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa
      Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
      Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Sanderling Calidris alba
      Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
      Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
      Dunlin Calidris alpina
      Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni
      Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
      California Gull Larus californicus
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      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
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

      65 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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