Date: November 21, 2018
Place: Dairy Mart Pond, San Diego, California
Coordinates: 32.554526, -117.062776
Length: 1 mile
Last fall we went on our Thanksgiving vacation to Southern California, traveling away from the heavy Camp Fire smoke that covered the Bay Area and passing through the smoke cloud of the Brush Fire that was burning Malibu down. Rain was due in Northern California and the forecast was for it to arrive at SoCal later that week but on our third day into our vacation it was dry and smoky still.
After spending the previous day enjoying the Cabrillo National Monument hiking trail and tide pools we were ready to go south to our main destination: the Tijuana River Valley and following that, the Border Field State Park, both of which were prime birding areas.
Of the birding hot spots of the Tijuana River Valley Pappa Quail chose to stop at the Dairy Mart Pond. We parked in a small, dusty, and empty parking lot and got out to see a wide, vacant trail running between hedges of tall holly bushes.
|Our hike as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS|
|San Diego Wire-lettuce, Stephanomeria diegesis|
As it turned out that particular bird was of a species already familiar to him but that he found out after we got back home.
|Mule Fat, Baccharis salicifolia|
|American White Pelican|
|Great Blue Heron and Northern Shovelers|
In fact, there were two of them, moving slowly among the branches. They were difficult to see and to photograph, but nonetheless, it was an exciting sighting. Certainly more exciting than seeing them there than wandering through our neighborhood at night.
|Torhleaf Goldeneye, Viguiera laciniata|
Most of the birds we saw there were pretty much the same we've seen earlier, but then I turned Pappa Quail's attention to a yellowish bird that was perched on a dead branch on a far way vegetation island.
It's a kingbird, said Pappa Quail. But he was very excited, because that particular kingbird is a tropical kingbird and the San Diego area is it's most northern tip of its living range and it was the first time we were seeing it.
|Giant Reed, Around donax, Non-native, invasive.|
|Castor Bean, Ricinus communis, Non-native, invasive, and highly toxic.|
Near the trail I saw yet another blooming plant, this time a California native - the jimsonweed.
|Jimsonweed, Datura wrightii|
|California Ground Squirrel|
|View of Tijuana|