|Canyon Wren. Black Canyon Bridge, Ramona, California. April 5, 2015. Greg Gillson.|
|Dawn on Black Canyon Road.|
Last winter I went over to Borrego Springs and closely documented the wintering "sage" sparrows there and came away with photos of both the Sagebrush Sparrow and the "Mojave" form (canescens) of Bell's Sparrow. These two are very similar. So now I wanted to document the nominate (belli) form of Bell's Sparrow.
There are some Bell's Sparrows just south of San Marcos up on a ridge of the Elfin Forest. One must hike the Way Up Trail. The hiking guide for this trail says it is "moderately difficult," and suitable for children--mountain goat children, perhaps. 1.5 miles over rugged dirt/rock and an elevation gain of 876 feet. When I reached the top I did not find Bell's Sparrows, or anything that would entice me to repeat that ordeal. I could only hear the rapid pounding of my heartbeats in my ears and my gasping breaths. There must be a place closer to San Marcos where I can find Bell's Sparrows closer to the road, perhaps something with only a half mile of hiking on relatively flat landscape? Enter Black Canyon Road.
|Black Canyon Road. Hills, rocks, dead tree tops--Black-chinned Sparrow habitat.|
|Bare soil, sparse sage, yucca--perfect Bell's Sparrow habitat.|
|Black Canyon Rd is accessed north of Ramona on Hwy 78 from Magnolia Avenue.|
|Black Canyon Bridge.|
And the Canyon Wren was a new County Bird for me (#294).
|Rock Wren. Black Canyon Bridge, Ramona, California. April 5, 2015. Greg Gillson.|
|Migrant Orange-crowned Warbler on Black Canyon Road.|
|Migrant Lincoln's Sparrow at Black Canyon Bridge.|
|Lark Sparrow at Lake Sutherlin.|
|Western Kingbird at Lake Sutherlin|