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: http://youtu.be/nJk2lqqeROA
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?