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By Miriam Raftery




October 31, 2011 (Lake Cuyamaca) - In search of fall foliage, I ventured out to Rancho Cuyamaca State Park today.  Though it's still early for the vibrant gold aspens and oaks yet to turn, some splashes of color were visible. 

I found a far more rare and thrilling sight -- a pair of bald eagles soaring high above Lake Cuyamaca.

  Though I knew there are several nesting pairs in our County, this was the first time I've ever seen bald eagles locally--and I've lived here nearly my entire life. View a video of the male eagle in flight:

I have, however, spotted eagles before in Alaska and Idaho. The male's large, hooked beak, white head and large, regal wing span is unmistakable.  It's a joy to know that our magnificent national bird is finding a niche here in East County.

As an added bonus, I saw a second bird species that was familiar to me from other places I've visited, but that I hadn't spied in San Diego County before.  


A flock of Canada geese, migrating south for the winter, has taken up residence on the south shore of the lake--mingling with other geese in a noisy cacaphony of sound. View video of a gaggle of noisy geese taking a stroll. 

Though my visit was short, I also saw a great blue heron take flight, as well as blackbirds, ducks, and coots.  The afternoon ended with a stop in historic Julian for a stop at the Cider Mill to bring home some delicious apple butter, blueberry jam and wildflower honey--my favorite backcountry treats. 

What better way to while away an autumn afternoon? 

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Thanks, Miriam. Nothing would

Thanks, Miriam.
Nothing would make me happier than than the reintroduction of (formerly) native species; Eagles, Black--Grizzly, maybe?--bears, and Mexican Gray Wolves.
Seeing Eagles soar over Cuyamaca is nothing less than sublime.

bald and golden eagles

My husband and I just saw our first two bald eagles last year even though we grew up in San Diego. WHAT A THRILL! We are also having photos confirmed right now by the Audubon Society of our sighting of possibly a pair of golden eagles and their nest in the McCain Valley area - right where the Powerlink and Tule Wind turbines will be. Sad time for these majestic birds!

Lucky you! Do let us know if

Lucky you! Do let us know if you confirm any new nest sites especially along the Powerlink route -- the one thing regulators have been fairly effective at is shutting down work on Powerlink near eagle nests during nesting season.  One of our videographers succeeded in getting choppers grounded briefly for more pilot training when one flew too close to golden eagle nests in Lakeside.

Bald Eagles

Exciting news! I've seen Goldens before, but never knew that Bald Eagles ranged this far south.

Craig - One of our

Craig - One of our photographers got video last year of another pair of bald eagles over one of the reservoirs in Lakeside, San Vicente as I recall.  10 News even ran the video as these are rare birds our our region.  I've heard there is also a nesting pair along the coast somewhere around La Jolla or Torrey Pines.