Sagebrush Sparrow & White-winged Doves – Ramona
As part of the Escondido CBC on Saturday January 5th Courtny Achenbach and I observed a SAGEBRUSH SPARROW on mitigation land to the west of the northern terminus of Pine Street in Ramona. This location is unusually far west for this species, which more regularly winters in the desert. It was observed foraging on the ground with 8 Bell's and several White-crowned Sparrows at the weedy edge of an extensive area of sage scrub. The Sagebrush Sparrow was immediately discernible, even from a distance, due to its very pale coloration relative to the coastal Bell's Sparrows. Closer observation allowed us to observe the fine streaking on the back that is characteristic of this species.
This area is accessible by heading north on Pine St. to where it bends to the west and parking on Katherines View Way. On the south side of the road, walk along the marked hiker/horse trail to the west, going through (or around) the first gully. Then head south along the edge of the sage looking for the flock on the ground.
Additionally a conservative count of 14 WHITE-WINGED DOVE were noted along Black Canyon Road at the north end of the Oak Tree Ranch mobile home park, representing a substantial increase of this desert-dwelling species for the area. Four were noted at this same location on the count last year.
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports