Memories of William Heise Park

Western Bluebird - Sialia mexicanaThere are 673 bird species recorded in California, and 522 of them have been found in San Diego County. The reason for this diversity of species is the diversity of habitat. Counted among the habitat choices from west to east are; pelagic, coastal sage-scrub, coastal wetlands, riparian valleys, grasslands, sage and chaparral of west facing foothill slopes, oak woodlands, mountain conifers (to 6600’), desert scrub on the eastern mountain slopes, the Anza-Borrego desert below, and all the transitions between. Mammal diversity across the county is equally rich.

At 4200 feet above sea level, William Heise County Park sits where lower elevation oak woods transition to upper elevation pines. Two miles to the north is the town of Julian, and two miles south is Lake Cuyamaca. Blended with the oak and pine woodlands are open meadows, chaparral and creek-side riparian areas. Hiking, biking and horse trails traverse nearly a thousand acres through a variety of habitats. You could meet either the Steller’s or the California Scrub-Jay here, as well as several woodpecker species, bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, sparrows, towhees, juncos, thrushes and others.

My visits haven’t yet exploited all the possible meetings here. However it is a lovely park with good camping facilities, and perhaps I will visit here again and take better advantage of its opportunities.

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