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This short half-mile loop trail is located just up the hill from Santa Ysabel, towards Julian along highway 78, and might be a good stop on the way to or from another birding area! (Look for the Cleveland National Forest "Inaja Memorial Park" sign.) This area was also heavily damaged by the Cedar Fire, but a lot of vegetation was also spared. The pines are still intact and can have Steller's Jays, Western Wood Pewees (summer), and the occasional disbursing Mountain Chickadee; the oaks can have House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch, Oak Titmouse, Nuttall's and Acorn Woodpeckers, Lesser and Lawrence's Goldfinches, Hutton's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Western Bluebird year-round; Ash-throated Flycatcher and Black-headed Grosbeak in summer, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Yellow-rumped Warbler in winter. The recovering chaparral can still be quite good for Wrentit, and as has been the case with many burned areas, Lazuli Bunting and Black-chinned Sparrow have moved in (but as the vegetation recovers, the buntings tend to move on). You should also find California Thrasher, Bewick's Wren, both California and Spotted Towhees, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and perhaps even Mountain Quail. The loop is less strenuous (IMHO) if you continue straight on the trail where the "fork" is! Be sure to enjoy the view of Santa Ysabel Valley near the top; from here you can often hear Western Meadowlarks or sometimes a Canyon Wren from the hillside! The "official" overlook a little further up the trail gives you a great view of the San Diego River and various peaks, which are marked by a pipe "telescope". Be sure to scan for raptors at both viewpoints.
Santa Ysabel Valley
San Diego River Viewpoint
Heading back towards the picnic area
Personal Checklist ●=small numbers █ = large numbers (10+)
Please keep in mind that these lists are NOT comprehensive, and that some months may have had poor overall coverage.
|Western Wood Pewee||●||●||●|
|Western Scrub Jay||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||█||●||●|
|Northern Rough-winged Swallow||●|
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