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Lake Hodges and other inland shorebird potential

Lake Hodges and other inland shorebird potential
By – 8:37 am

As many of you know, they have substantially lowered the level of Lake Hodges so that they can do some dam repair work. The entire upper (east) end near Bernardo Bay is dry. But there is good mudflat and short-grass habitat in the Del Dios area, visible from Lake Drive. Lake Drive runs north-south, along the west side of the lake, and the area where the lake makes a large bend is where the habitat is. Just south of the closed entrance to the recreation area (boat ramp) and the former Hernandez Hideaway restaurant. There is easy parking at the site right along Lake Drive. One needs a good scope! Probably best in early morning, given the lighting and lack of heat distortion. This area is worth a check for shorebirds and herons for the next few months, as long as the habitat continues. An alternate Greater Yellowlegs there today (2 July) was probably a fall arrival.

There is currently reasonably good mudflat habitat also at the upper end of Sweetwater Reservoir, which also requires a good scope, lack of heat distortion, and also a 3/4-mile walk. At the northeast end of Lower Otay Lake (where good early last fall), there was OK edge-habitat about 10 days ago, although they did seem to be adding water to the lake at that time.

–Paul Lehman, San Diego