For the serious birder, the Chula Vista Nature Center/Sweetwater
Marsh National Wildlife Refuge offers many birding opportunities.
Come and challenge yourself to find as many of the 224 identified
species of the Sweetwater Marsh as you can!
BIRDING SITES IN SAN DIEGO
Note: All sites are coordinated to Thomas
Guide to San Diego County, 2000. Street names are subject to change.
Streets are subject to closure.
Guajome Regional Park, Vista (TG1087:B1) Take Highway 76
east to North Santa Fe Road and turn right. Continue about a mile,
passing Mesa and turn into the entrance on the left. $1.00 parking
fee. (W. waterfowl; S. neotropicals; Y. pheasants, kites, hawks.)
Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad (TG1127:D7) Take I-5 north to
Poinsettia Drive. Turn right and stay on this street. Turn right
again at Batiquitos Drive. Turn right again at Gabbiano. Park at
the small parking area on the right. (W. waterfowl, shorebirds;
S. least terns; Y. hawks.)
San Elijo Lagoon West (TG1167:E6) Take I-5 north to Lomas
Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. Turn west. At Rios, turn right and
go to the end to park. Guided walks 2nd Sat. at 9:00 am. Call (760)
436-3944. (W. waterfowl, shorebirds; S. neotropicals; Y. landbirds)
San Elijo Lagoon East (TG31167:H5) Take I-5 north to Lomas
Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. Turn east and then left at the first
light (right at the exit.) This is Santa Helena. Continue to Santa
Victoria and turn left. Continue to Santa Carina and turn left.
Park at the end of the street. (W. S. waterfowl, shorebirds;Y. landbirds)
Lopez Canyon, Sorrento Valley near Del Mar. (TG1208:D4)
From I-5 going North, take Sorrento Valley Blvd. exit. You will
turn left on Roselle and then right onto Sorrento Valley Blvd. Go
east, crossing the railroad tracks and Sorrento Valley Road. Go
through the business park and start looking for the parking area
on the right about 1/2 mile further. Park there.
From I-5 going south, take Carmel Valley Road and go east to El
Camino Real. Turn right and then right on Carmel Mountain Road.
Continue down to Sorrento Valley Road. Turn left and continue to
Sorrento Valley Blvd. and turn left again. Go through business park
and turn right into the parking area about 1/2 mile further. Call
(619) 484-3219 for guided walks. (W. soaring hawks; S. nesting owls
and hawks, neotropicals.)
La Jolla Coast (TG1227:E7) Going north on I-5, take Ardath
Road west into La Jolla. It becomes Torrey Pines Road. At Prospect,
turn right and keep bearing right to Coast Blvd. Head south on Coast
Blvd. When Coast Blvd. becomes a one-way street, look for parking.
Going south on I-5, take La Jolla Village Drive to Torrey Pines
Road. Turn left and continue down the hill. At Prospect turn right
and keep bearing right to Coast Blvd. Head south on Coast Blvd.
When Coast Blvd. becomes a one-way street, look for parking. (W.
shorebirds, gulls and terns.)
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Central San Diego
San Diego River Project, Stadium Area (TG1269:B2) From SR-163
take Friars Road east. Turn right on Mission Center Road. Go south
two blocks to Hazard Center Drive and turn left into a parking lot
just north of the San Diego River. (Y. waterfowl, waders, swallows.)
Kendall Frost Marsh, Mission Bay (TG1248:B7) Take I-5 to
Pacific Beach. Take the Grand/Garnet exit and go west to Lamont.
Turn left and continue south until you can cross Crown Point Shores
Drive. Park in the first parking lot. Walk along the sidewalk that
goes up the hill. You will be above the marsh and come to an overlook.
(Y. skimmers, clapper rails; W. Brant, waterfowl, shorebirds)
San Diego Flood Control Channel (TG1268:D4) From I-5 take
Sea World Drive and go west. Pass the light at Friars Road, and
turn left at the light at South Shores Drive/Mission Bay Parkway.
Park along side of the Frontage Road. (W. waterfowl, waders, shorebirds,
Dog Beach and Flood Control Channel, Ocean Beach (TG1167:J5)
Take the Ocean Beach Freeway west to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Turn left
and continue south to West Point Loma Blvd. Turn right. Go a few
streets to Bacon, turn right and go to the end to park. (Y. waterfowl,
waders, shorebirds up close.)
Famosa Slough (TG1268:B5) Take the Ocean Beach Freeway west
to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Turn left and continue south to West Point
Loma Blvd. Turn left. Go a few streets to Famosa. Park on the street.
Guided walks 1:00 p.m. 3rd Saturday. Meet at kiosk on Famosa. (W.
waterfowl, shorebirds, blue-winged teal.)
Point Loma (TG1287, 1288, 1308) Take I-5 to Rosecrans, turn
west and continue to Cañon and turn right. Go up the hill
to Catalina. Turn left. After several blocks turn right on Dupont
to bird at Point Loma Nazarene College. Park on the street and check
out the tall old trees. Continue on to Fort Rosecrans, parking along
the road and then to the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument
and the picnic area of the Monument. There is a parking fee of $5.00
at the Monument. Guided walks 3rd. Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Call (619)
557-5450 . (Y. migrating vagrants.)
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Inland San Diego
Lake Hodges, Rancho Bernardo (TG1150:A6) From I-15, take
the Pomerado/West Bernardo Drive exit and go west. Take West Bernardo
Drive to the Joslyn Senior Center. Park near the tennis courts and
follow the trails across the road to the lake. (Y. waterfowl, hawks,
California gnatcatchers, Cactus wren)
Lake Hodges, Del Dios (TG1149E4) From I-15 take S-6 west
to Rancho. Turn left and park in the dirt lot, where Rancho becomes
Lake. (This is better during the week, when the dirt road is not
open to vehicles and there is no sail boarding going on.) (Waterfowl,
hawks, California gnatcatchers)
Blue Sky Ecological Preserve, Poway (TG 1170:G3) Take I-15
north to Bernardo Drive. Go east. It becomes Espola. Just after
Espola makes a right turn, look for the entrance to Blue Sky on
the left. If you come to the light at Lake Poway Drive you have
gone too far. Call (619) 486-7238 for scheduled walks. (W. Hawks,
Turkey vultures, warblers; S. neotropicals)
Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, Mira Mesa (TG1189:D7) Take
I-805 north to Mira Mesa Blvd. Go east about 5 miles to Black Mountain
Road. Turn left and continue about 2 miles to Mercy Road. Turn left
into the parking area and park in the upper lot. $1.00 parking fee.
(Y. hawks, woodpeckers; Y. bluebirds, woodpeckers; S. neotropicals,)
Marian Bear Park, San Clemente Canyon, University City (TG1228:C7)
From I-805, take Highway 52 west to Clairmont Mesa Blvd. Turn left
and then right into Marian Bear Park. There are parking areas on
both sides of Clairmont Mesa; birding is good from either location.
(Y. hawks, towhees, woodpeckers, warblers.)
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, Bay Park (TG1268:F2) From
I-5 take the Sea World exit and go east on Tecolote Road, past the
Tecolote Canyon Park and Recreation to the Tecolote Nature Center.
Call 581-9952 for guided walks. (Y. hawks, owls, neotropicals)
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Old Mission Dam, Mission Trails Park (TG1230:F6) Take I-8
or Friars Road east to Mission Gorge Road. Go north on Mission Gorge,
it will turn and head north east. Pass Jackson Drive and turn left
onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. The gate is opened by rangers
at 8:00 a.m. Drive about 1.5 miles to the parking area of Old Mission
Dam. It will be on the left. For guided bird walks, call (619) 668-3275.
Also try Kumeyaay Lake up the road off Bushy Hill Drive. (W. migrating
warblers; S. least Bell's vireo and neotropicals.)
Santee Lakes, Santee (TG1231:A4) Take Highway 52 east to
Mast Blvd. Turn left and continue to Fanita Parkway. Turn left and
go to Lake Canyon Road and turn right to park along the street.
Walk down to the gate and around the lakes. Do not go into the camping
areas. (W. waterfowl, S. neotropicals, Y. wood ducks.)
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Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, Chula Vista Nature
Center. (TG1309:H6). Please click on links for information regarding directions, hours, fees, and guided tours. (W. waterfowl, shorebirds, meadowlarks,
shorteared owls; S. American pipits, horned larks.)
Tijuana Estuary, Fifth and Iris, Imperial Beach (TG1349:F2)
Take I-5 south to Coronado Ave. in Imperial Beach. Go west to Fifth
Street. Turn left and go to the end and park in the parking area
or on the street. Guided walks 1st and 4th Saturdays at 8:00 a.m.,
every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Call (619) 575-3613 for reservations.
(W. waterfowl, shorebirds, short-eared owls; S. neotropicals; Y.
clapper rails, little blue herons)
7th Street, Imperial Beach (TG1329:G6) Take I-5 south to
Palm Ave. (Highway 75) in Imperial Beach. Go west towards the beach.
Just as Palm Ave. begins to turn north, look for 7th Street on the
right. Go to the end and park. (W. Waterfowl, shorebirds, up close.)
South Bay Biological Study Area, Coronado (TG1329F4) Take
I-5 to Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach (Highway 75). Turn west and
follow Highway 75 through Imperial Beach as it turns north towards
Coronado. Look for the parking area on the right. There is a blue
sign with an egret on it. (W. waterfowl, shorebirds, waders.)
Tidelands Park, Coronado (TG1289.A6) From I-5 take the Coronado
Bridge into Coronado. Turn right at the first opportunity onto Glorietta
Blvd. Glorietta will take you to the entrance of the park. Park
near the restrooms. (W. terns, gulls, waders, ducks, shorebirds.)
Rice Canyon, Rancho Del Rey (TG1311:A5) From I- 805, take
East H Street to Buena Vista Way. Turn left. Go down the hill to
Rancho Del Rey Parkway. Turn right and then immediately left into
the small parking lot. (W. winter residents, S. neotropicals.)
San Diego Wildlife Refuge, Rancho San Diego (TG1271:J7)
From the North, take I-805 south to Highway 94 east. Continue on
94 until you come to Millar Ranch Road. Turn right and park near
the gate with the Refuge "Blue Goose" sign.
From the South, take Highway 54 east to Jamacha Blvd. Turn right
and continue to Highway 94. Turn right and then right again staying
on 94. (W. Hawks, resident songbirds.
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