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Bkue Sky to Pamo Valley (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Felt guilty about not writing up a trip report yesterday :-( so here it is, copied from Word (so please let me know if there are any glitches; I ve
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2004
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      Hi, all!

      Felt guilty about not writing up a trip report yesterday :-( so here it is,
      copied from Word (so please let me know if there are any glitches; I've updated
      to AOL 9.0 so theoretically that's supposed to help...

      Yesterday I wanted to clean up some areas I had yet to survey in March and
      wind up at or near Ramona to meet a friend for lunch, so started at Miramar
      Lake. The lake was still effectively closed (although they're REALLY doing
      something with the facilities up there; people can still walk, but you can't drive
      down to the picnic area, which was what I needed to survey), so I went on up to
      Blue Sky, stopping first at that little lake next to the library because it
      looked like it had some interesting stuff in it. I may add this to my list of
      spots, cuz it had a mess of Ring-necked Ducks in it, plus the only Cinnamon
      Teal of the day!
      I hadn't been to Blue Sky since they built the new parking lot; holy cow!
      They must get a lot of visitors now; that thing seemed to go on and on and on
      before I found the end of it near the trailhead! I remember when you had to
      park on the dirt shoulder! (Now if they'd only do something like that on West
      Bernardo Drive...) Anyway, it was good to hike that area since it's been so
      long; nothing out of the ordinary, but I did hear Acorn Woodpeckers in the
      distance, which was a first for me for this area! I think this was the only place I
      got both California Thrasher and Mockingbird, as well as a calling California
      Quail.

      The aforementioned WBD was next, and the reason I had skipped that before I
      think was because someone was already parked there, and the shoulder beyond
      that has one heckuva drop-off! So I nestled into that little spot where I could
      get out again (and if you're not careful you can slide right down the incline,
      too) and headed down the trail; they've improved this one, too, because there
      used to be one spot where the trail was so sloped I was afraid I'd go sliding
      down the hill, but it's leveled off now. Now that the area is virtually a
      riparian woodland, I had American Goldfinches for the first time there, and the
      place was stuffed with Yellowthroats and Song Sparrows! There was a tiny bit
      of water at the resting spot where a Great Egret was fishing, and heard a
      White-tailed Kite calling down beyond. Alas, no gnatcatchers this time, but House
      Wrens were singing up a storm.

      Next stop was Mule Hill, where the guy at the golf shop had to unlock the
      restroom for me (he was really friendly, but I sure hope they don't mind hikers
      using the facilities...). Had not one, but four White-tailed Kites on this
      trek! Also had a Cooper's Hawk doing his slow display flight. Scared a Mallard
      out of a puddle right next to the trail, and after resting on the new bench
      near the first batch of interpretive signs noticed a Roadrunner up on a rock
      preening! (He didn't like my attempt at their song...) Picked up my first Cliff
      Swallow of the year here, as well as a couple of Roughwings and
      White-throated Swifts on the way back.

      After that stopped at "San Pasqual Ponds", where I took my life in my hands
      checking out the first little lagoon there at the bridge, which was alive with
      stuff: Tree Swallows appeared to be interested in the trees, and there was a
      nice pod of Long-billed Dowitchers along with a couple of Avocets. Duck-wise
      there was a good selection including Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Green-winged
      Teal, Bufflehead, and Ring-necked Duck. A stately Great Blue Heron posed on
      the opposite side while a Snowy Egret fed with the dowitchers. Further down the
      road, the more distant pond had a few American Wigeon and some Marsh Wrens
      gurgling, but that was about it.

      After that it was the San Pasqual Valley Trail, where there were lots more
      American Goldfinches and several curious Orange-crowned Warblers at the resting
      spot. Since I was meeting my friend Linda for lunch I was starving by that
      point, so I took advantage of the orchard's gracious gift and helped myself to
      an orange from one of the trees they planted for hikers! It hit the spot, but
      I dubbed it a "Granny Smith Orange" because it was so tart! Then I noticed
      the sign on the way back saying they weren't ripe till May, but they were
      littering the trail already, so I figured they must be at least edible...

      It wasn't quite time to meet Linda at D'Carlos yet, so I swung into Pamo
      Valley, and the next trail I was gonna survey, Oscoro (or Orosco; I forget) Road,
      was closed, so I just breezed through, enjoying the scenery and picking up
      gobbling Turkeys and Western Bluebird for the day. After lunch I offered to take
      Linda out there if she had never seen it (which she hadn't), and she was duly
      impressed! This time, however, we stumbled upon the Lewis' Woodpeckers, and
      had a magnificent Golden Eagle soaring with the vultures! On the way out a
      small flock of sparrows jumped up on a fenceline, which turned out to be
      Vespers! We also had Lark Sparrows in the oaks further down, so that was a good
      comparison of the "white-tailed" sparrows. It was a great detour!

      Headed home after that with 67 species for the day. Bird list:

      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
      Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      American Coot Fulica americana
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
      Rock Dove Columba livia
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Lewis' Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
      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
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

      67 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      MiriamEagl@...
      San Diego, CA
      www.miriameaglemon.com


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