Refugio Road and Quiota Creek

Florence Sanchez

On Monday, I went back to Quiota Creek and found the birding situation to be much the same as before--activity and singing winding down along the creek and several instances of parents feeding young fledglings.  When I finished my walk, I saw a couple of hikers start up hill on the unpaved road, and so I decided to walk for a couple of hundred yards to see what it was like.  I found that there was a lot of activity and viewing was good because I was looking into the trees, rather than up at them.

So today I hiked the road up the hill from the parking area.  Starting about 6:30, I found it  was a steady uphill climb, leveling a little in places, and not too steep.  The most bird activity was along the lower section, from the start until the section of read that is still paved ends.  It was fairly shady here, which was nice.  After that, the vegetation opened up, there was less shade, and activity was less.  I figure I hiked about 2.5 miles by 9 a.m. and felt good enough to continue, but it was getting warm and the flies were out so I headed back down.

Most abundant birds by far were the singing Purple Finches and Warbling Vireos.  I saw or heard them along the entire route.  I heard a Steller's Jay in the canyon below the first big switchback.  Yellow Warblers were singing in several places.

This would be a great hike earlier in the spring and I've put it on my list to do in the future. It's 5.4 miles (per Google Maps) from where I started to Refugio Pass at the top, and a good way to do the hike would be to get dropped off at the top and hike down to the bottom to be picked up.

Flowers:  For the most part, everything is done or going, but there still is Bush Moneyflower blooming and also red-flowered Keckiella.  I found one small patch of Foothill Pentemon and a single yellow Mariposa Lily right at the roadside (quite late).

Florence Sanchez

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