San Diego Birding Pages
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Approximate Birding Time: 35 min. to an hour
Facilities: There are restrooms in the community building, at the dike, and near the playground.
Directions: The least complicated way is to take I-8 east to El Cajon, and take highway 67 north. Take the Winter Garden exit, and turn right at the end of the off-ramp. Turn left at the light, which is Woodside, and follow this road straight to where it runs into the park at Lindo Lane. Veer right, follow this road, and turn left into the park at your first opportunity. Many people park in the big parking area there on the left, but you can also drive into the park a ways and find several small parking slots, or even park on the dike if it's really full.
A stroll around the entire lake could easily take an hour or so; the west section of the lake is generally where the barnyard waterfowl hang out (along with a resident flock of Canada Geese), but so do the Wood Ducks that have successfully bred here! Recently there's been a White-fronted Goose wannabe hanging around with the flock, so don't be fooled! The pepper trees and eucs in this area can be good for migrants (Yellow Warblers apparently nest in the pepper trees), and check the blackbird flocks on the lawn for Tricoloreds. The little spit across the way is not as productive as it used to be, but it's still worth checking for White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, shorebirds, and gulls of various types, depending on the season. Ducks (particularly Ruddy) like the middle of the lake in winter, along with Pied-billed Grebes and the ubiquitous American Coots. Be sure to check the big eucs for nesting herons in spring and summer! The Red-crowned Parrot flock can show up anywhere, but they're not very reliable here. Eurasian Collared Doves have arrived in the area, so check your doves carefully!
Chow time at the park
West side picnic area
Great Blue Heron nest
The most productive part is the east half. Look for Black-crowned Night and Great Blue Herons, and Snowy and Great Egrets fishing around the reeds, as well as the occasional White-faced Ibis. This used to be a reliable place for nesting Tricolored Blackbirds, but unfortunately their numbers have decreased since the Great-tailed Grackles moved in; Red-winged Blackbirds apparently haven't been affected by this invasion, as they can be very common. On rare occasion you might even hear a Least Bittern calling from the rushes, or spot a Common Moorhen or Green Heron poking shyly among the reeds. Listen for Marsh Wrens among the more common Yellowthroats. The willows and deciduous trees in the east end can have any number of songbirds, especially Lesser and American Goldfinches, Western (summer) and Cassin's Kingbirds, and Yellow Warblers (summer). This can be a good migrant trap, and in winter any number of things could show up; a male Vermilion Flycatcher has been hanging out here some winters, and in 2005 a Gray Flycatcher showed up, but more expected are things like Black and Say's Phoebes, Cedar Waxwings, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warblers (look for the occasional Myrtle), and Nuttall's Woodpeckers; oak-loving birds such as Red-breasted Sapsucker (both Red-naped and Yellow-bellied have also shown up here, so check all sapsuckers carefully), House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch and Western Bluebirds sometimes show up in the deciduous trees as well. There may even be some shorebirds in the shallows, such as Least and Spotted Sandpipers. Raptors include Cooper's and Red-shouldered Hawks.
Path along the east side of the lake
Shallow east end, often good for the shier ducks
Grove at the east end, often a rarity trap
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. Species in red denote vagrants or irruptive species and should not be expected.
|American White Pelican||█||█||●||●|
|Great Blue Heron||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||●|
|Black-crowned Night Heron||●||●||●||●||●||●|
|Eurasian Collared Dove||●|
|Western Scrub Jay||●||●||●||●||●|
|Northern Rough-winged Swallow||●||●||●||●||●|
|Black-throated Gray Warbler||●|
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