2012-12-27 Del Mar Margaret Fleming Nature Trail

Allen's Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird seen along the Margaret Flemming Nature Trail (Torrey Pines State Park). Del Mar, California. San Diego County.

There is a small corner of Torrey Pines State Park in Del Mar that does not get the attention that the bluffs get. It is understandable though, the bluffs above the beach are breathtaking. However, on the north side of the Penasquitos Valley, between residential developments, is a 200 acre reserve annexed to the state park. This small patch of heaven was saved from the land developers in 1970 after concerned citizens organized and raised enough money to buy the land and save 1500 of the rarest of North America pine trees, the Torrey Pines. These trees exist only here along this small stretch of coast and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Santa Barbara. A four mile hiking trail, called the Margaret Fleming Nature Trail (no bikes or horses allowed) weaves through the coastal sage-scrub and provides a life affirming few hours of distractions from the buzz of life around this part of the California coast.

I’ve only visited this place a few times, but I have enjoyed it very much when I have. I’ve been lucky with Golden-Crowned Sparrows and Red-Breasted Nuthatches on past visits, but I didn’t find the nuthatches on this visit. Many of the coastal sage and chaparral specialists can be found in this area, such as Wrentit, Bushtit, California Thrasher, California and Spotted Towhee. I have met Allen’s Hummingbirds when I’ve been here.

Birds images I captured this day were of Allen’s Hummingbird, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, House Wren, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, California Gnatcatcher.

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