Memories of Lindo Lake

Wood Duck - Aix sponsaTucked away within an urban setting in the small town of Lakeside (California) is a large pond called Lindo Lake. The lake is divided by a roadbed, giving the impression of two lakes. During dry months the upper section sometimes turns into a mudflat, but the lower section stays wet year-round. Surrounding the water are trails, lawns, trees, ball fields and other community facilities.

Lindo Lake is the only natural lake in San Diego County. Its water supply originally was Quail Creek, a small perennial stream with its basin nestled in the foothills to the east. In the 1960s, a dam was constructed upstream on the creek and cut off the lake from the traditional watershed. Today, the water source is urban runoff and storm water. The water quality isn’t what it once was.

Egrets and cormorants have nested here in past years, but their nest tree was cut a couple of years ago. I haven’t visited recently to see if the birds have found a new tree. Despite the ongoing degradations, this small lake continues to attract both residents and migrating birds. White Pelicans and Canada Geese are regular winter visitors. Waders and waterfowl are found here year-round. Shorebirds visit in winter. Occasionally some interesting and unusual passerines get reported here, so it’s a good idea to keep your eyes peeled.

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