Re: San Ysidro Dippers

Becky Hoban <bhoban@...>

Cher Hollingworth and I went back down to Montecito again this a.m. to look
for the Dipper, this time paying special attention to detail so that we
could help direct other birders to the spot. Thanks to very detailed
verbal instructions that I received from Liz Mason yesterday, we had no
trouble finding the area today. We did, by the way, find the adult Dipper
(we finally got a visual on it at 1115---it was still quite overcast at the
time), but failed to find any juveniles. The Dipper was singing almost
constantly and calling intermittently, sounding as if he would go up the
opposite bank at times before returning to the water. This a.m. he was
working the area around the actual swimming hole (vs the boulder downstream
from it), sitting on rocks around the edges, and working up the little
waterfall above the pool and then back down again. We got a long terrific
look at him just standing there on one leg stretching his wings and
blinking his little eyes with his bright white eyelids flashing. Cool bird!!

At any rate, I have just a little more detail to add to Rebecca's
instructions listed below.... After you park the car, walk up the hill
following the signs that point to the 'trail' and walk around a chain link
gate and onto the dirt road. You will have to pass around a SECOND chain
link gate before you come to the correct trail marker. The proper trail
marker is the ONLY ONE on the right side of the road, and is the FIRST one
that you'll come to AFTER going around the 2nd gate. It is a wooden sign
that merely says "trail". Follow that trail up the hill to the right as
Rebecca says, with the creek remaining on your left as you go up the hill.
In case you are uncertain about identifying the actual swimming hole....
As you come ABREAST of the pool, the trail suddenly looks as if someone has
roughly paved it with concrete using horizontal striations to increase
footing (you can't miss this part if you watch where you're walking).
There the trail makes a switchback (the very first switchback that you'll
encounter) to the right, and then to the left. If you happen to get onto
the concrete part then you've gone just a few steps too far, and you'll
need to turn around and go back to the dirt part of the trail. Once off of
the concrete, walk the few paces back over to the edge of the creek and
look down to see the pool.

I hope this helps....

Good luck birders!

Becky Hoban

At 08:18 AM 9/1/99 -0800, you wrote:
Here's what I can offer to anyone having difficulty finding this place
was MY first time on this trail--any Montecito regulars out there might be
to enlighten further):

The first part of the trail is a wide dirt road, and is marked with several
signposts indicating San Ysidro and other spur trails. At one point, the road
veers left, and crosses over the creek, but the trail itself narrows and
continues up the right side of the creek and is clearly marked with a sign
says "Trail." Follow it. You'll go through some fairly dense oak/bay
and will climb a little away from the creek, but you'll keep dropping down to
within sight of it. Stay to the right of the creek, and follow the trail.
before you come to the swimming hole, you'll pass a sheer rock face on the
side of the trail. You're almost there. I checked a trail guide last night
at the
bookstore that says the swimming hole is about 1.5 miles from the
trailhead. You
can't miss the pool--it's deeper than any other you've seen so far along
the way,
and is a natural spot for a dip (not to mention a couple of dippers, which
right there above it).

Good luck.
Rebecca Coulter

Becky Hoban wrote:

Hi All,

We went down there to see the Dippers this a.m. and located the creek and
the trail without a problem. Once on the trail however, we failed to find
the "swimming hole". We saw the other trail markers and ignored them
sticking to what seemed to be the main (widest part) trail. We went around
the gate at the trailhead, but eventually came to another chain link gate
that we had to walk around. Eventually, we found that the creek crossed
the road and we had to step over it. We estimate that we hiked well over a
mile until the trail (the wide trail) went left up a steep hill and moved
away from the creek. Is it before that 2nd gate??? Before the little
creek crossing??? Also, are there any landmarks that actually indicate
where the swimming hole is??? We didn't see anything that looked large
enough for a swimming hole, but on the way back down the trail tried to
check out every quiet pool and large boulder with bird droppings on it to
see if that qualified as a possible swimming hole.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated...!! (We did find 2 very
nice Canyon Wrens, though! :-)

Becky Hoban

At 12:08 PM 8/31/99 -0700, you wrote:
Maybe even more specific. For those that don't know, some subscribers are
outside Santa Barbara County (thanks to you all). Perhaps noting the
city or town would be helpful. There are members to this group from SLO
Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez Valley, the south coast (and places in
and Ventura Co. I think it helps if we can be as specific as possible-
that someone might come from out of town to see a good bird and is not
with the location.

Jamie Chavez

Rebecca Fagan Coulter wrote:

Karen B. had indicated it in her message yesterday, but people may
not have
seen that. Here are the directions to San Ysidro Creek:

101 to San Ysidro Road
N. on San Ysidro to East Valley Road
Right on East Valley Road to Park Lane
Left on Park Lane to the fork: East and West Park Lane
Take West Park Lane, drive to top of road, park in area on left.
Trail begins at the chain link fence.

There are a few trails up there that intersect; keep to the San Ysidro
trail. The swimming hole is just over a mile up (according to my very
distance estimate--if anyone else can be more specific that would be


Mike Stiles wrote:

Just a suggestion, but it would be helpful, especially for us
birders, if locations were a little more specific. I don't know
where San
Ysidro Creek is, for example.

Mike Stiles

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