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Cleveland National Forest

Inaja Trail  

This short half-mile loop trail is located just up the hill from Santa Ysabel, towards Julian along highway 78, and might be a good stop on the way to or from another birding area!  (Look for the Cleveland National Forest "Inaja Memorial Park" sign.)  This area was also heavily damaged by the Cedar Fire, but a lot of vegetation was also spared.  The pines are still intact and can have Steller's Jays, Western Wood Pewees (summer), and the occasional disbursing Mountain Chickadee; the oaks can have House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch, Oak Titmouse, Nuttall's and Acorn Woodpeckers, Lesser and Lawrence's Goldfinches, Hutton's Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Western Bluebird year-round; Ash-throated Flycatcher and Black-headed Grosbeak in summer, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Yellow-rumped Warbler in winter.  The recovering chaparral can still be quite good for Wrentit, and as has been the case with many burned areas, Lazuli Bunting and Black-chinned Sparrow have moved in (but as the vegetation recovers, the buntings tend to move on).  You should also find California Thrasher, Bewick's Wren, both California and Spotted Towhees, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and perhaps even Mountain Quail.  The loop is less strenuous (IMHO) if you continue straight on the trail where the "fork" is!  Be sure to enjoy the view of Santa Ysabel Valley near the top; from here you can often hear Western Meadowlarks or sometimes a Canyon Wren from the hillside!  The "official" overlook a little further up the trail gives you a great view of the San Diego River and various peaks, which are marked by a pipe "telescope".  Be sure to scan for raptors at both viewpoints.

Santa Ysabel Valley

San Diego River Viewpoint

Heading back towards the picnic area

Oak woodland

Personal Checklist  ●=small numbers  █ = large numbers (10+) 

Please keep in mind that these lists are NOT comprehensive, and that some months may have had poor overall coverage. 

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Turkey Vulture                    
White-tailed Kite                      
Red-shouldered Hawk                  
Red-tailed Hawk                  
Mountain Quail                      
Wild Turkey                      
Mourning Dove              
Anna's Hummingbird      
Costa's Hummingbird                  
Northern Flicker                  
Acorn Woodpecker              
Nuttall's Woodpecker                
Ash-throated Flycatcher                  
Western Wood Pewee                  
Hutton's Vireo                
American Crow
Common Raven                  
Steller's Jay            
Western Scrub Jay    
Northern Rough-winged Swallow                      
Violet-green Swallow                
Mountain Chickadee                      
Oak Titmouse          
Bushtit                    
White-breasted Nuthatch                  
House Wren                      
Bewick's Wren        
Canyon Wren                      
Wrentit        
Ruby-crowned Kinglet                    
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                      
Western Bluebird                
Hermit Thrush                      
California Thrasher              
European Starling                      
Orange-crowned Warbler                
Yellow-rumped Warbler                    
Black-headed Grosbeak                  
Lazuli Bunting                  
Spotted Towhee    
California Towhee            
Black-chinned Sparrow                      
Dark-eyed Junco              
Western Meadowlark          
Lawrence's Goldfinch                    
Lesser Goldfinch      
House Finch      

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