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Torrey Pines to San Elijo (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Today started up at Torrey Pines, then went through San Deguito Lagoon and on up to San Elijo. The threatened rain must have dumped last night (at
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2 5:00 PM
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      Hi, all!

      Today started up at Torrey Pines, then went through San Deguito Lagoon and on
      up to San Elijo. The threatened rain must have dumped last night (at least
      we got it good in Tierrasanta) as this morning was GORGEOUS! The early morning
      joggers were out in force, and part of the Beach Trail was still closed off,
      but I discovered you could still go up the little hill and around that way
      (gave you a great view but REALLY turned the trail into a "three-star" for me).
      Wrentits and California Towhees were all over, but I was wondering what
      happened to all the thrashers I used to get there; only had one this time! A
      Cooper's Hawk glided over near the little hill, and enjoyed a cute little
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow on the floor near Razor Point. In the water were several rafts
      of Western-type Grebes, along with a token Brown Pelican. At the resting spot
      I was shooting what I thought was the Scrub Jay that just popped up, but it
      turned out to be a Cassin's Kingbird! The Scrubbie WAS there, but on another
      branch... A Lawrence's Goldfinch tinkled overhead as I wheezed up the hill;
      Lesser Goldfinch was also new for this trail for me.

      Since I learned that the path going directly into San Deguito Lagoon would
      eventually be closed in favor of a nice nature trail on the north side (once the
      preserve becomes fully "developed" along the lines of San Elijo), I skipped
      that and went straight to the Crest Canyon Overlook and decided to try the
      trail again. Yep--it still went uphill, but again, I figured doing this once in
      awhile wouldn't kill me (my body must be rebelling against the overindulgence
      of good food of late...), and while the bird list in the dickey department
      wasn't too different than what I collect by ear while scanning the lagoon, I DID
      add California Gnatcatcher to the list, so that was worth the hike! The usual
      wetland suspects were in the marsh, including both Cinnamon and Blue-winged
      Teal, several female Lesser Scaup, a pair of Eared Grebes WAY out there, and the
      resident Belted Kingfisher on the wire.

      Headed on up to San Elijo and discovered the back way to the El Camino Real
      trailhead (I was snooping around the north side of San Dequito, as the map of
      the lagoon I got from Susan almost implied there was already a makeshift trail
      there, but there isn't). It was a lovely walk with Hutton's Vireos,
      Pacific-slope Flycatchers, and my first Black-headed Grosbeak of the season singing
      away! At the resting spot a Marsh Wren actually popped out for a look, and a
      pair of White-throated Swifts circled overhead amongst the Cliff Swallows.

      Rios Trail was last, with lots of goodies seen from the overlook: tons of
      Avocets with lesser numbers of Black-necked Stilts, and lots of ducks; mostly
      Shovelers, but also a few token Canvasbacks, Ruddies, a Bufflehead, and yet
      another Blue-winged Teal (I remember when these things used to be considered rare,
      but now they seem to be all over!). A couple flocks of Western Sandpipers
      wheeled back and forth, and heading down the trail the White Pelicans kept
      lifting off and displaying their arial ballet (they have their bill horns, too)
      while the cormorants stayed settled on the spit. A small pod of Elegant Terns
      flew by while Forster's fed closer to shore. Down at "sea level" there were very
      few ducks; just a handful of Mallards and one pair of Gadwall, but at the
      resting place there was a large pod hiding across the way, made up of Shovelers,
      Green-winged Teal, and a token Cinnamon. Something scared the gee whiz outta
      the whole group, and some hidden Willets lifted off and sounded the alarm
      (didn't see a Peregrine or similar raptor...). Song Sparrows were going nuts all
      over, an American Goldfinch made it another goldfinch sweep, and actually had
      another gnatcatcher near the bench. Crawled back up the hill to the car and
      headed home after that with 73 species for the morning. Bird List:

      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
      Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis
      American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      American Wigeon Anas americana
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
      Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Canvasback Aythya valisineria
      Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Cooper's Hawk Accipiter cooperii
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
      American Avocet Recurvirostra americana
      Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
      Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
      Elegant Tern Sterna elegans
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      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
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Lawrence's Goldfinch Carduelis lawrencei
      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
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
      Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

      73 SPECIES

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


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