Getting there: From I-15 take Exit 27 and go east on E Via Rancho Pkwy. In 0.2 miles this road becomes Bear Valley Pkwy and bends to the north. Another 0.2 miles or less and turn left on Casteneda Drive, which is the entrance to Kit Carson Park. Parking: FREE throughout the park. See map below. Hours: Dawn to dusk. Map navigation: 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025
Where to bird: You may walk the 1 mile loop in either direction. For the purposes of this guide, park in the northern lot just off Entrance Drive (northernmost of the 3 "P" marks on the map). You may have ACORN WOODPECKERS right there in the parking lot.
|Acorn Woodpecker. Kit Carson Park, Escondido. April 10, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
You can follow trails or Casteneda Drive through the park to the north and off the map about 1/8 mile alongside the frizbee-golf course and a usually-dry creek bed. HOODED ORIOLES are regular and more ACORN WOODPECKERS frequent the trees.
|Sand Lake (A on map)|
|Ring-necked Duck. Kit Carson Park, Escondido. April 10, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
|Weedy area (B on map)|
|Yellow-breasted Chat. Kit Carson Park, Escondido. April 10, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
A thick riparian zone ("C") is best in spring for Neotropical migrants such as ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, YELLOW WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and more.
Head north from "C" and off the map along the riparian zone up to 1/4 mile. LESSER GOLDFINCHES, SONG SPARROWS, both SPOTTED and CALIFORNIA TOWHEES, and HOUSE WRENS are abundant. There is some scrub habitat up the hill to the east that has CALIFORNIA THRASHER, WRENTIT, and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS in summer.
Continue on to a drier upland and residential edge portion of the trail before following the edge high above Beethoven Drive and another thick riparian section ("D"). I keep expecting to hear rails in here, but did find a pair of BELL'S VIREOS on my last two visits. Migrant WESTERN TANAGERS may be in the tall eucalyptus trees.
The little cattail encircled pond ("E") is always good for BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. The pampas grass tufts seem a favorite of the SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA, recently added to the ABA checklist as an established exotic. This is another good spot for migrant warblers.
|Cattail pond and pampas grass (E on map)|
|Black-crowned Night-Heron. Kit Carson Park, Escondido. April 10, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
|Scaly-breasted Munia. Kit Carson Park, Escondido. April 10, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
February 2, 2014
April 10, 2016
May 8, 2016