2012-09-12 Santa Rosa Mountain in September

Canyon Wren
Canyon Wren on the lower slopes of Santa Rosa Mountain. Riverside County, California.

If one reads my blog and scans for “Santa Rosa Mountain” they might get the idea I love going there … and they’d be right. I’ve been visiting this place since the early 1970s, long before my interest in birds and photography. The contrast between the deserts below and the pine forests atop this sky island fulfills my need to commune with the outdoors. When the hustle-bustle of Southern California life leaves me feeling empty, I can count on a visit to the mountain to fill the void.

For me, the crown jewel of the mountain is the springs at 7400’, but I like to keep my head on a swivel while traveling up the mountainside. The lower slopes can provide some meetings not available at higher elevations. Sage and chaparral lovers such as gnatcatchers, thrashers, Rock or Canyon Wrens, and most sparrows might provide a chance encounter and make the ride up the mountain more rewarding. One might get lucky and meet the Gray Vireo here.

Birds I met on this expedition were Canyon Wren, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Western Tanager, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Dark-Eyed Junco, Mountain Chickadee, Lesser Goldfinch, Hermit Warbler, Brown Creeper, Chipping Sparrow, Townsend’s Solitaire.

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