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Mission Trails & Santee (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! First of all, a question: does anyone know the official position of the Santee Sewer Ponds regarding birders? The last time I asked (which, granted,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2004
      Hi, all!

      First of all, a question: does anyone know the official position of the
      Santee Sewer Ponds regarding birders? The last time I asked (which, granted, was
      over a year ago), I was told by the guy in the office that birders were
      welcome, so long as they stay out of the way of the trucks coming through. Today a
      very nice young man in an official vehicle said he had just asked the guy in
      the office about birders, and told him they WEREN'T welcome! We finally met
      halfway and I agreed to ask whenever I go, but has anyone else had any dealings
      with the powers that be there?

      Okay, now on to the birds: headed to Mission Trails first where I hiked the
      Oak Grove Loop Trail, best bird being a Rufous-crowned Sparrow singing across
      the street. There appeared to be a family of Ravens in the oaks down in the
      creek by the bench. Enjoyed watching a Phainopepla sing his "hink the beeper"
      song along the road going back (watching the birds actually make their sound is
      always fun)! When I got back they hadn't opened the gate yet, so I sat and
      waited for about 15 minutes, enjoying a male Blue Grosbeak singing from the top
      of a tree. By 8:20 they still hadn't opened the gate (they're supposed to be
      open by eight), so I decided to hit Santee and then come back.

      The lakes in the park were pretty empty, but there were sure lots of babies
      around: cute little Wood Ducklings with Mama, and several stripey Pied-billed
      Grebes! Forster's Terns appeared to be breeding (or at least trying to), and
      on the way back enjoyed the Cliff Swallows nesting under the Mast Street
      Bridge. Had a single Tricolored Blackbird fly by, and was surprised to hear Acorn
      Woodpeckers, although I guess I've had them here before according to my
      records. Over at the sewer ponds had some surprises: a female Bufflehead was still
      hanging around in the first pond, and down by the marsh there was a Bell's
      Vireo singing in the sparse riparian area on the other side of the pond! The best
      "view" was a mob of Cliff Swallows gathering mud from a puddle, looking like
      so many giant butterflies with their upraised, quivering wings! Also enjoyed
      a male Ruddy Duck "bubbling".

      Back at Mission Trails the road was finally open, so I headed down, stopping
      every half mile. This was a great way to do it (which I had never done
      before), picking up the usual suspects, as well as Canyon Wren, more Bell's Vireos,
      and Yellow-breasted Chat towards the end. Took a look at Kumeyaay Lake, where
      a Shoveler was still hanging around with the Mallards, and the real treat, a
      pair of Least Bitterns, flew across the far side of the lake! A White-tailed
      Kite checked out the area from high on a dead branch, and heard Downy
      Woodpecker on the way back. Flushed a female Blue Grosbeak from a bush while crawling
      under the gate...

      Bird list:

      Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
      American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
      Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Great Egret Ardea alba
      Snowy Egret Egretta thula
      Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis
      Wood Duck Aix sponsa
      Gadwall Anas strepera
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
      Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
      Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
      Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
      White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      American Coot Fulica americana
      Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
      Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
      Western Gull Larus occidentalis
      Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri
      Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
      White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis
      Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna
      Costa's Hummingbird Calypte costae
      Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
      Nuttall's Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens
      Cassin's Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans
      Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
      Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
      Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens
      Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris
      Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      House Sparrow Passer domesticus
      Bell's Vireo Vireo bellii
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus
      Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Tricolored Blackbird Agelaius tricolor
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
      Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

      75 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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