Little-visited park very productive


phil Pryde
 

         Like others, I thought I’d try going to a new venue to look for migratory birds, and decided I’d try Hillside Park in El Cajon.  I can’t recall many (any?) reports coming from there.  The park is open to hikers and dog-walkers. 
         Turns out, it’s a very birdy location.  Between 7:40 and 9:30 this (Wed.) morning I had no trouble ID-ing 27 species of land birds (0 water birds). Those of you better at bird calls than I am (meaning almost all of you) could easily log  > 30 species there.  
         Included were at least a half dozen W. Tanagers, both genders of Black-headed Grosbeak, both Pac. Slope and Hammond’s Flycatchers, and a variety of warblers of which Wilson’s were by far the most common.  Other warblers were Townsends, Yellow,  O-crowned, Y.-rumped, and maybe a Nashville.  (The latter was seen only from underneath and had the whitish area on the belly around the legs, but I never got a look at the head.)  Other interesting observations included two sizable flocks of Cedar Waxwings, a pair of Allen’s Hummers, and a female Anna’s on a nest 5 feet from the path - an easy great photograph.  
         If you haven’t been to Hillside Park, as you go down the hill (eastbound) towards El Cajon, just turn right off Fletcher Parkway onto Buena Terrace (road), and you’re there.  Park on Buena Terr.  Hike in on the main path at least as far as the picnic tables;  the picnic table area was by far the most productive birding area (at least this morning).  Go early; at 7:30 there was almost no one in the park.  

        FYI, Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa is also open, and this (Wed.) morning there were perhaps a dozen W. Kingbirds scattered all around it.  

Phil Pryde, San Carlos

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