San Ysidro Dippers on Sunday

Patrick McNulty

Yesterday on San Ysidro Creek in Santa Barbara, as described
before on this list, my wife and I couldn't find any Dippers
between about 12:30 and 1:30 pm, perhaps due to the fair numbers
of people on the trail and at the pool. This morning, Sunday,
however, I was able to get good looks at an immmature begging
from an adult at about 8:30 am.

They were about 100 yards below the Swimming Hole previously
and about 80 yards upstream from a spot where the trail dips down
almost to the level of the stream in order to cross a dry
steep-sided gully coming in from the right. While walking up the
trail, a good view between the trees is suddenly presented
looking directly up the stream. There is a very large somewhat
overhanging rock on the right of the the stream and two fairly
large boulders across on the left side. Several of the boulders
in the stream are spattered with bird droppings.

As I arrived here at about 8:30, the immature jumped up out of
the water and hopped around fairly aimlessly on several rocks,
occasionally posing to wink his white eyelid, and singing song
fragments which would be consistently answered by a terse zeety
buzz from the opposite bank. Eventually the adult came down to
the same area, and the immature immediately started begging
behavior, following the adult around pleading for a meal and
being chased off. After a few minutes the adult went out of
sight upstream, followed by the kid. When I returned down the
trail about 9:50, I could not find any sight or sound of them.

Of course, I have no idea whether any of these clock times are

Two notes of caution:

1. If you don't know what poison oak looks like, you should be
particularly careful about brushing against plants hanging over
the path or growing around the rocks, especially above the
swimming hole.

2. If you follow the directions previously posted to the top of
Park Lane West, you will find yourself in a land of particularly
strongly worded No Parking, Tow Away, No Motor Vehicles, and
Private Property signs. One senses a certain history here
between trail users and property owners. It would probably be
better, immediately after taking the left fork away from the Park
Drive East, rather than taking the little jog up onto Park Drive
West, to simply continue straight for a couple blocks on this
disconnected fragment of East Mountain Drive. This ends at a
gated-off bridge over the stream where many cars had parked at
the trail head on the right. It only adds about ten minutes to
your walk rather than trying to park higher up the hill, and the
trail winds among partially finished houses designed on a very
grand scale, letting you speculate on sources and rates of
associated cash flow while listening for birds.
Patrick McNulty W: (805) 893-4165
Santa Barbara. CA H: (805) 967-9900
mail: mcnulty@...

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