2014 Early April In Tecolote Canyon

Swamp Sparrow

I’d been hearing reports of a Swamp Sparrow at Tecolote Canyon for over a week from the local birding hotline. I don’t consider myself a ‘chaser’ like some folks who seem driven to be first on the block to put an unusual bird on their “list”. But waiting the week and still seeing reports, I made the decision to visit the location. Being a place I’d never visited before gave me the added incentive to drive to Mission Bay and follow the road to its end, park and look around.

I found Tecolote Canyon interesting. Overlooking its opening from where I parked, is a steep hillside uncluttered with buildings until you got to the highest ridge. Considering it runs through a neighborhood that has been ‘developed’ for residential usage during most of the 20th century, it surprising to find such a natural place. Rapid housing expansion in the 1950s to accommodate all the post-war population boom that resulted both from the burgeoning aircraft industry and all the sailors and soldiers who fell in love with the area while stationed here in WWII, were major factors leading to the development.

I visited this place two days in a row and met the Swamp Sparrow, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Western Scrub Jay (now called California Scrub Jay), Nutmeg Mannikin (now called Scaly Breasted Munia), California Thrasher, Hermit Thrush, and Western Kingbird.

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