2-4 miles DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
PLANT KNOWLEDGE: Beginner to Some Experience
Join us at the stunningly beautiful and well-preserved Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary in East San Diego County. The Audubon Society's 785 acre property began 1965 with the donation of 85 acres and continues as a refuge in perpetuity for birds and other wildlife like reptiles, butterflies, pollinators, and mammals. The reserve manager of the Sanctuary, Phil Lambert, will take us briefly through the history and focus of the Sanctuary, and then lead us through riparian woodland and chaparral to view the plants within and the habitat's inhabitants. This is an opportunity to see inside a long standing research area and get as much or as little knowledge from it you want. Phil has a wealth of information and I will also assist in identifying spring plants too, so come curious! Or, if you just want to experience a relaxing shady trail on a warm spring day surrounded by birdsong, you should come as well.
Some of the rare species of flora we might come across are Lakeside ceanothus (Ceanothus cyaneus) and Engelmann's oak (Quercus engelmannii). With luck, annuals will be in bloom alongside flowering perennials, all attracting insects and birds. From the website for Silverwood, some resident bird species here are bluebirds, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, towhees, wrens, goldfinches, phainopeplas, and many other songbirds. Springtime is breeding season, so we'll likely see breeding pairs and nesting habits. The Plant list includes 324 species, most of them native.
Bring sunscreen, water, hiking wear, etc., as always. There are many photo opportunities, especially for wildlife. We'll aim to be done before lunch. However, there are ample restaurants nearby including the Barona casino (Chance to blow the tax return!). Donations help to keep the Sanctuary functional: suggested amount is $5 to $10, but more always helps!
CARPOOL: Per usual, carpool will be available from Fashion Valley mall transit center from 8:20 to 8:30 AM. Park near Fashion Valley Rd at the West Entrance to the mall or come in on the bus or trolley. Parking is free at Fashion Valley all day in "Transit Station" marked stalls, but it is a private lot, so please patronize the businesses there and be aware that there are risks to parking there like any mall.
RULES: No pets allowed. Also, you will need to sign in both for the trip with me AND with Phil Lambert. Thank you for your understanding!
NOTE: The limit for this tour is 15 per request of the preserve. Please mind your RSVP's and DON'T BE A NO SHOW. There will be people on the waitlist who could've taken your place.