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2014 At The Ramona Grasslands

Mountain Bluebird Male

Just inland from where I live in Poway California, and 900 feet higher in elevation, sits the community of Ramona California. This high valley historically has been an agricultural area, but like everywhere else in southern California, the pressure by humanity to build more housing is turning it into a bedroom community. Fortunately, there are some reserves set aside to prevent (for now) the dozer blades from plowing natural habitat under. The Ramona Grasslands County Preserve is one such place.

There are trails through the preserve’s 3,521 acres that hikers, bikers and equestrians share. Roads that surround the preserve give automobiles access to perimeter areas where one can find a variety of grassland birds including wintering Mountain Bluebirds and (at a distance) one of the two documented Bald Eagle nests in San Diego County. As I review the images in this set, I have to conclude that I was birding from my vehicle on these days. I’ve had other excursions where the trails provided me with some nice encounters. These were not one of those days. Images I collected while on hikes in 2013 are still in the archives and contain some nice images of sparrows (Lark, Black-Chinned), gnatcatchers, and other charming feathered friends. I hope to get those stories told when I finish spinning yarns about my 2014 expeditions.

The county parks website has a nice slideshow showing some scenery on THIS LINK.

Images from these February and March excursions include Say’s Phoebe, Cassin’s Kingbird, Savannah Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Lawrence’s Goldfinch and Mountain Bluebird.

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