Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Ramona Grasslands Preserve
Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona, California. February 1, 2015. Greg Gillson.
 I visited the Ramona Grasslands Preserve on February 1 [birding site guide here], and walked the Wildflower Loop. This is a 2 mile loop that starts about 1/4 mile from the parking lot. It is a popular horse riding trail, shared with dog walkers and other hikers.

The first part of the trail is grassland. Then it goes through an oak woodland. The farthest portion climbs up slope into chaparral.

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird. Ramona Grasslands Preserve, California. February 1, 2015. Greg Gillson.
The grassland has many singing Western Meadowlarks, flitting American Pipits, and a few rather rare Mountain Bluebirds. Rock Wrens were singing from the scattered boulders. Oh, and some rather tame cattle were there which, along with now rare fires, help keep the grasslands from growing into brushy chaparral.

The oak woodlands has Acorn and Nuttall's woodpeckers, Red-shouldered Hawks, White-breasted Nuthatches, Western Bluebirds, and Oak Titmouses.

This early in the winter the chaparral was almost devoid of birds, though a few Spotted and California towhees were calling, even if not seen.

Ramona Grasslands Preserve