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Mission Dam & Kitchen Creek Rd. (San Diego Co.)

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  • MiriamEagl@aol.com
    Hi, all! Had another great day out in the field with UK John today (he told me his last name, but all I remember is that it started with a G... :-P): we
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2002
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      Hi, all!

      Had another great day out in the field with UK John today (he told me his
      last name, but all I remember is that it started with a G... :-P): we started
      out at Mission Dam and then headed out to Kitchen Creek Road for a shot at
      Gray Vireo and other oak-related species.

      Had to walk from the big parking lot across from Kuyymaii (or however it's
      spelled) Lake cuz they put in a new gate; picked up Say's Phoebe in here, and
      the usual riparian stuff, although the specialties hadn't shown up yet.
      Swallows were back in force, mainly Rough-winged and Tree, along with a token
      Barn. A real surprise at the trailhead was a small group of Chipping
      Sparrows just coming into breeding plumage! Walking through the riparian
      area we heard both Nuttall's and Downy Woodpeckers, and two Black-headed
      Grosbeaks sat out in the open; a new bird for John! Out in the open area
      picked up meadowlarks, and John's first Red-shouldered Hawk went barreling
      through the trees. Finally got a skulky Rufous-crowned Sparrow to come out,
      and down in the "dip" (where the "steps" are) had a Pacific-slope Flycatcher
      and a knock-out Black-throated Gray Warbler! House Wrens were all over the
      place, and at the resting spot near the bridge a Canyon Wren sang briefly
      from the hillside (couldn't find it, naturally). Lots of Butterbutts kept
      John busy thinking he had something different ;-), and a perky Hermit Thrush
      popped up for a view. At the dam another Stupid Cowbird was sitting up on
      top of the tree, so John got a REAL good look this time!

      On the way back to the car we spotted another birding couple and didn't pay
      too much attention until I said, "I hear a Bullock's Oriole; that's probably
      what they're looking at..." Didn't know John needed that one! So in we
      went, the bird flew to another tree, and John got a decent look at it; the
      other couple had a group of Orange-crowned Warblers in view. Almost back at
      the car a Lark Sparrow landed on another tree, which was a new bird for me
      for this area.

      Took the long drive to Kitchen Creek, where I decided to start past the gate
      above Cibbets Flats and work down, since our time was limited. Tried the
      Gray Vireo tape at a couple of spots and got no response, but we DID hear a
      Black-chinned Sparrow in the distance: another lifer for John, but
      unfortunately too far away to pull in. A walk down the trail near the gate
      got a better view of Oak Titmouse for him, and a very excited pair of
      Hutton's Vireo gave sillhouette views only; come to find out a Scrub Jay was
      in there, probably raiding the nest! At the resting spot a pair of Nuttall's
      Woodpeckers tapped unconcernedly, and on the way back an Acorn Woodpecker
      flew across the trail. Also had Ruby-crowned Kinglets rattling in here, but
      we didn't try and pull them out for a view (we were getting picky by this
      time!). A curious Steller's Jay flew up to us on the way out as well,
      chattering at us.

      Fred Canyon Road was still closed, so we headed to my other Gray Vireo spot,
      the PCT where it crosses Kitchen Creek Road. It was pretty quiet at first,
      and I played the tape at one spot with no response, but before long, down the
      trail, we heard one in the distance! We taped him again, and at first we
      thought he "ran away" (not the dominant male, John suggested), but what had
      happened was that he snuck towards us through the brush, and before long he
      was singing closer, then closer, and even closer until he landed on the top
      of a bush about 50 feet away, in perfect light, singing away! Couldn't have
      asked for a better look! He "escorted" us almost all the way back to the
      car, in fact... A Mountain Quail was calling in the background, but that was
      kinda anti-climactic...

      Headed home after that, with 58 species for the day (he was aiming for 100
      lifers on this entire trip; I think he said he's got 96 or thereabouts so
      far). Bird List:

      Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
      Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
      Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus
      Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      American Kestrel Falco sparverius
      Mountain Quail Oreortyx pictus
      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
      Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
      Pacific-slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis
      Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
      Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya
      Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
      Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
      Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
      Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
      Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
      Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
      Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
      Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
      House Wren Troglodytes aedon
      California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
      Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
      Wrentit Chamaea fasciata
      Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus
      Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus
      Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
      Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
      American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
      Common Raven Corvus corax
      European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
      Gray Vireo Vireo vicinior
      Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
      House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus
      Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
      Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
      Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
      Black-throated Gray Warbler Dendroica nigrescens
      Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
      Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
      California Towhee Pipilo crissalis
      Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps
      Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina
      Black-chinned Sparrow Spizella atrogularis
      Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
      Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
      White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
      Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
      Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus
      Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
      Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
      Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
      Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
      Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

      58 SPECIES

      Mary Beth Stowe
      San Diego, CA

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