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Farren Road

Florence Sanchez
 

I hiked Farren Road this morning, starting a little after 7 a.m.  It was not windy there, though it certainly was below San Marcos Pass on Highway 101.  As Farren Road goes, it was not very birdy.  I saw a lot fewer birds overall than normal.  However, when I compiled a species list, I was surprised at the number of species I saw.  

Birds of interest at this time of year are always Lazuli Bunting and Blue Grosbeak.  I had 2 or three Buntings total, singing from both sides of the road.  They were all before the reservoir.  I had a fly-over Phainopepla at the reservoir and views of another nice male in the canyon below the oak woodland.  I found Hooded Orioles at the reservoir and again at the end of the Road.  Common Ground Doves sounded off from two places in the avocado orchard above the oak woodland.  I had one Ash-throated Flycatcher at the end of the road and another near the parking area at the top of the hill.  A black-headed Grosbeak was singing in the oaks near the reservoir and another at the top of the road.  I had a Kingbird fly-away, not sure which one it was.

I didn't get a Blue Grosbeak until the end when I was almost back to my car.  I noticed something working in the tangle of thistle and mustard just behind the eucalyptus near the parking spot.  It was a nice male Blue Grosbeak.  Another surprise was a Townsend's Warbler in a small oak well down from the reservoir.

I also had a good list of raptors: Red-tailed and Red shouldered Hawks, American Kestrel, White-tailed Kite (harassing one of the Red-tails), and several Turkey Vultures.  What I didn't have here were any Swifts or Swallows, with the exception of a single Violet-green Swallow near the ranch at the top of the road.  That's a bit unusual based on recent visits.

Florence Sanchez