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Exploring East of I-15 (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! They only forecast drizzle today, but it was coming down pretty good in spots going up 15! I wanted to hit Wilderness Gardens for March, but also
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2004
      Hi, all!

      They only forecast drizzle today, but it was coming down pretty good in spots
      going up 15! I wanted to hit Wilderness Gardens for March, but also wanted
      to check out the trailhead at Yaqui Creek Road for the San Pasqual Valley
      Trail. On the way there I suddenly remembered that the Highland Valley Trail
      crossed Sycamore Creek Road (which I noticed when I went to visit Susan at the San
      Deguito Park headquarters), so I pulled in, pulled over at the trail crossing,
      and had a delightful time on this leg of the trail (even with the drizzle)!
      I went southbound (I guess) where the trail parallels the road and the creek
      for a good while, then veers left to parallel Highland Valley Road. You have
      sage to your left and luscious willow riparian to your right, and had lots of
      the expected riparian things, including Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Downy
      Woodpecker, in addition to Nuttall's and Acorn (Susan told me she had all four
      woodpeckers out of her office once!). At the resting spot picked up Hutton's
      Vireo, Bullock's Oriole, and American Goldfinch for the day, and picked up a
      Lincoln's Sparrow near the little footbridge on the way back. At the car a pair
      of Kestrels were chasing away a Sharp-shinned Hawk!

      Headed up and down to Bandy Canyon Road, but by the time I parked at the
      trailhead it was still drizzling pretty good, so I opted to wait for five minutes
      and see if it would quit (which it didn't). I'm anxious to try the eastbound
      route, but I didn't see where you could pick up the westbound route; it all
      looked closed off. (But then again, I didn't venture out of the car to poke

      From there went down to highway 78 and west to the freeway, then up and over
      to Wilderness Gardens. It was still pretty dreary when I got there, but at
      least it wasn't precipitating! House Wrens were all over, including one
      individual that sounded like he was taught to sing by an Orange-crowned Warbler! Had
      lots more Acorn Woodpeckers here, of course, plus Flicker and Nuttall's, and
      picked up the usual oak fare, including a handful of Lawrence's Goldfinches
      binking and tinkling. Rough-winged Swallows wheeled overhead as well, a Hooded
      Oriole "wheeped", and a Robin made a single alarm call. In the scrub I heard
      a buzzy note that made me think Lincoln's Sparrow, but when I pished the only
      things to respond were a couple of Hermit Thrushes. As I was enjoying him he
      was suddenly driven off his perch by the Lincoln's Sparrow! Pishing didn't
      work, but an interloping thrush did!

      Wanted to see if Nate Harrison Grade was open seeing as I was planning on
      coming down it Monday for a Big Day dry run, and it was, but things were REALLY
      quiet with the wet, especially as you ascended through the soup! But at the
      orchards the orange trees were in bloom and it smelled FABULOUS at the first
      stop! Chipping Sparrows evidently liked it as well as they were singing away
      down there! The only things that seemed to be in large numbers were Wrentits,
      but I was happy to see a pair of Black-chinned Sparrows come tearing in to
      pishing! Juncos and Spotted Towhees did the same, but in the pines and oaks it was
      horribly quiet; the only mountain stuff I managed to add was a single
      Steller's Jay and a White-breasted Nuthatch! I was hoping to rise above the mess at
      Palomar, but no such luck! The sun finally DID come out, but not till I was
      well on my way back to I-15! Bird list:

      Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      California Quail Callipepla californica
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      American Robin Turdus migratorius
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
      White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
      Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Lawrence's Goldfinch Carduelis lawrencei
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
      Black-chinned Sparrow Spizella atrogularis
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
      Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

      45 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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