Birding at Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges on September 6, 2021. Photo by Ryan Wentzel

I hit up the west end of Lake Hodges again since the lake is so close to my home. My weather app said the temperature was in the mid-60s when I set out shortly after 7:00 A.M. from the staging area off Lake Drive (across the street from Hernandez Hideaway). The skies were gray initially but turned a rich azure as the morning progressed and the sun made its appearance.

My route took me south along the Coast to Crest Trail toward the dam. The Labor Day holiday brought out more mountain bikers than is usual for a Monday morning. I had to step aside numerous times to avoid being run over. The lake was busy, too, with standup paddleboarders, kayakers, and anglers all taking advantage of a beautiful morning.

After wandering just over a mile, I turned around and retraced my steps, covering 2.35 miles total in slightly less than three hours. The highlight for me was seeing Western/Clark’s Grebe chicks riding across the lake on their parent’s back.

As always, you can see the full checklist of birds I sighted at eBird.