Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A-scouting we will go! (part 2)

Leaving William Heise County Park, John and I returned to Julian and went southeast on Highway 79 to Sunrise Highway. We headed toward Mount Laguna and pulled into the road for Wooded Hills campground.

Walking down the road of crumbling asphalt, we heard and saw Steller's Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers and Pygmy Nuthatches. After making a right onto a dirt road, a House Wren crossed our path, as did a Spotted Towhee. Amid the trees, a Western Wood-Pewee vaguely reminded me of the Black Phoebes that visit my back yard. Mountain Chickadees gleaned insects seemingly everywhere.

In the trees to our left, a male Painted Redstart suddenly appeared before flying across the road. The red on his belly looked beautiful! John had hoped to see an immature -- verification of successful breeding by an adult pair that he'd previously observed.

I saw my first Painteds during last year's ABA convention in Tucson. Such striking birds! To commemorate the lifer, I bought a wood-block print from Alex Cruz, one of the artists displaying his work in the convention's vendor mart.

But back to Mount Laguna! John spied a Wilson's Warbler, and I countered with a Brown Creeper. A few more steps down the path, and more than a dozen Mountain Quail burst before our eyes! Four flew across the road, while 10 scurried to the left and up the slope. So cool!

Almost as cool is the chance to look at nature up close, like this stuff. Moss? Lichen? Bueller? Bueller?

About that time, our stomachs said it was time for sustenance, so we retraced our steps to the truck and retraced the route to Julian. After eating lunch on a shaded patio, we walked over to The Birdwatcher to peruse its plethora of goods.

John wanted to check Sycamore Canyon on Highway 67, south of Ramona. Unfortunately, locked gates greeted our cars. We'll just have to revisit it another day. Oh darn, another day away from the office! (c:

You can find part 1 here.


Blogger Lynne said...

A beautiful trip! Thanks for taking me along.

August 30, 2006 7:42 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

My pleasure, Lynne! I hope to take y'all on more trips (c:

August 30, 2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Greg Hooper said...

Since Buehler is out walking with her mom, I am going to go with: Tree Moss. http://www.mccullagh.org/image/10d-18/tree-moss.html

September 16, 2006 12:17 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Greg!

September 18, 2006 9:33 AM  

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