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White-headed Woodpecker at Hot Springs Mountain

Yesterday, 12/22/19, Andrew Newmark and I went to Hot Springs Mountain with hopes of getting looks at a White-headed Woodpecker in SD County. Andrew drove, we paid $10/each at the Tribal Police station (doesn’t open until 8AM so bring exact cash, an envelope, and a pen) at the entrance, parked by the campground and hiked up the mountain trail. It is accessible by 4WD but we chose to take the scenic route and hike it which took us about 8hrs and just under 12 miles round trip. A couple of those miles were likely us searching the area where it was last reported extensively with no luck. The bird was quiet for the most part (though we did hear it eventually) but we got lucky and found it associating with a chatty Hairy Woodpecker a bit further up the trail (33.3132093, -116.5783471) than the previous reports. It was a pretty tough bird to get on and stay on as it was switching trees frequently so we only had a few brief looks before we lost track of it. There was some snow in the shady areas off trail but I’m sure there will be plenty more accumulating this week so it will likely not be as “easily” accessible in the foreseeable future. 

Checklist with photos:
Happy holidays!

Nathan French

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports