APOLLO PARK (4555 West Avenue G, Lancaster 93534) LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA

    Cliff Swallow ( Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) in Apollo Park,  March 10, 2010                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke                                  


                 Apollo Park Bird Surveys (Previous Seasons: 2009-2011)    © Callyn Yorke


Bird Surveys (Winter 2010/11)

February 14, 2011

January 27, 2011

January 6, 2011

December 16, 2010

December 2, 2010

November 18, 2010

November 11, 2010


Bird Surveys (Fall 2009 - 2010)




FEBRUARY 14, 2011 (37 Species)

Weather: Fair; 56F; winds W 10-12 mph.

Time: 1005-1105 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise route around the park on the perimeter path, surveying all habitats. A few fishermen, construction workers and maintenance personnel were present during the survey; conditions were fair (windward west side) to good (leeward east side) for identifying bird vocalizations. Most domestic waterbirds and many native species were found on or near the south shore adjacent to the parking lot. Continuing rarities were: Snow Goose (1), Ross's Goose (1)  and Greater White-fronted Goose (1).


Snow Goose  1 (imm)-- continuing -- walking on shore, s.

Ross' Goose  1 (ad) --   continuing -- limping with tarsal deformity, s.

Greater White-fronted Goose 1 (ad)  walking with domestic geese, s.

Canada Goose   55  flocks of 15 -22 birds feeding on grass, s, se, n.

Gray-lag Goose (domestic)  20   pairs swimming near main beach; walking on shore, s.

Chinese Goose  4 (domestic) walking, swimming, s.

Muscovy Duck (domestic)  3 (m,f) on  shore, sw.

Mallard (wild-type)  45  scattered around park; many sleeping on islands.

Mallard (domestic & hybrid)  35  main beach and off-shore, s.

American Wigeon  5 (m,f)  edge of se lake.

Northern Shoveler   10 (m,f) resting on se island; swimming, se.

Cinnamon Teal  7 (m,f) resting on shore, n.

Lesser Scaup  5 (m,f) swimming, se.

Bufflehead  8  (m,f) diving, s, ne.

Ruddy Duck  35  (m,f) resting on water, s, n.

Pied-billed Grebe  3  near shore, se, n.

Eared Grebe  1  diving, se.

Double-crested Cormorant   33 (ad, imm)   most resting on se island; 3 swimming, se.

Killdeer  1 calls, adjacent saltbush field with puddles, e.

Ring-billed Gull  12 (ad, imm) on s shore and resting on se island.

California Gull  3 (ad, imm)  one imm feeding on dead fish, ne.

Herring Gull   1 (ad) swimming, n.

Mourning Dove  2  fence line, n.

Black Phoebe   2  low perch in pines, calls, w.

Common Raven   6  flying over adjacent fields, n.

Horned Lark  10 flying low over alkaline saltbush field, entry road

European Starling  2  fly, call, e.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  1  called once from pines, n.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  active, calls, pines along e fence line.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   15  active, calls, pines around all fence lines.

White-crowned Sparrow  2 (imm) foraging on ground beneath shrub, nw.

Dark-eyed Junco   6  (3 subsp.1 J. h. mearnsi; 1 J. h. hyemalis; others J. h. thurberi)  foraging outside fence line, n; calls.

Brewer's Blackbird  20 (m,f) foraging on ground, main beach,s.

Red-winged Blackbird   3 (m) calls and song, s.

Tricolored Blackbird  1 (m) foraging on pavement with HOSP.

Great-tailed Grackle   6 (m,f) song, calls, s and n.

House Sparrow  15  foraging on ground, s.


JANUARY 27, 2011  APOLLO PARK (39 Species)

Weather: Fair; 33F to 55F; Winds ENE 0-12mph.

Time: 0756 - 1040 hrs.

Observers: Becky Kitto, Deb Anderson and I.

Area Covered: We walked a counter-clockwise route around the park, surveying lawns, Aleppo Pines, shoreline, open water and adjacent fields  of Atriplex scrubland. A few depressions in adjacent fields held water, especially near Fox Field on the north side of the park. About 50 people were in the park, fishing, walking and involved with construction and maintenance. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Birds of seasonal/distributional interest found today included, Snow Goose (1 imm), Common Merganser (2 f), Hooded Merganser (m,f), Turkey Vulture (7) and Red-breasted Nuthatch (2), and two rare subspecies (continuing at AP) of Dark-eyed Junco (hyemalis and mearnsi).


Canada Goose  45  two or three flocks foraging on lawns, swimming, flying over adjacent fields.

Greater White-fronted Goose 1 (ad)  continuing with domestic geese.

Ross' Goose  1 (ad) continuing with domestic geese.

Snow Goose  1 (imm)  continuing  with CAGO, in water and on shore (photo).

                                                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Gray-lag Goose   18 (including hybrids) on shore and swimming.

Chinese Goose  4  swimming near the main beach.

Muscovy Duck   4 (m,f) on shore; one flying, sw.

Gadwall  2 (m,f) swimming in open water, se.

Mallard (wild type  m,f)  40  scattered around lake on shore and in water.

Mallard (domestic and hybrid) 60  scattered around the lake.

Northern Shoveler  6 (m,f) resting on shore, swimming, se.

American Wigeon  12 (m,f) swimming, calls, open water, se.

Common Merganser  2 (f) on shore and swimming, se (photo)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Hooded Merganser  2 (m,f) swimming and diving (m) near shore on ne island.

Bufflehead  3 (m,f) diving, open water, se.

Ruddy Duck   40  (m,f) resting in open water; diving, se.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  diving, ne.

Eared Grebe  2  diving, open water near main beach.

Double-crested Cormorant   14 ( 50% imm) resting on se island; swimming.

Great Blue Heron  1  resting on se island; flying.

Northern Harrier  1 (f) on post in adjacent field with nearby TUVU and CORA, n.

Turkey Vulture  7  on ground in field; soaring above, n (an anecdotal report of at least 50 TUVU roosting in Lancaster earlier this week).

American Coot   300  on lawns and in water; one in flooded area outside park, s.

Ring-billed Gull   12  (ad, imm) flying, resting on shore.

California Gull  3  (ad, imm) flying; one C2) diving repeatedly for a baseball-sized, dark object just beneath the surface

Herring Gull  1 (ad) on shore of se Island.

Mourning Dove  2 flushed from pines and fence, se.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, nw.

Black Phoebe  1  sally-fly catching, from small trees, w.

Common Raven  10  flying around park; harassing a NOHA on a post in n field.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  2  --  continuing -- calling alternately in Aleppo Pine with DEJU, and RUKI, ne.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5  active calling in subcanopy of Aleppo Pines, s, se, ne.

European Starling  6  on ground and on utility wires; song included immitations of Killdeer and BRCO.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  12 (m,f) active, calls in pines around the perimeter of the park.

White-crowned Sparrow  3  roadside of park entrance.

Dark-eyed Junco  30 (including -- continuing -- 2 mearnsi and 1 hyemalis)  foraging on lawns; in pines, ne and n.

Red-winged Blackbird  1 (m) foraging on ground, s parking area; calls and song.

Brewer's Blackbird  50 (m,f) flocks foraging on ground and lawns; calls and song, s.

Great-tailed Grackle  2 (m,f) on ground and in pines around parking area; calls and song, s.

House Sparrow  10 (m,f) on ground around parking area and buildings; calls, s and n.


JANUARY 6, 2011  Apollo Park (35 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 32F; no wind.

Time: 0830 - 1000 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise route around the entire park, including the interior sections, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. The parking area was sectioned off due to construction. Relatively few people were in the park during the survey and the quiet conditions (except for air traffic at Fox Field) were good for identifying bird vocalizations. A woman with a large plastic bag of bread arrived about 0950 hrs and fed a large, noisy flock of ducks and geese at the main beach. Signs around the park announce that Apollo Park is a "Nature Sanctuary". and among several posted rules is the statement "No Feeding the Animals." I have never seen this law enforced at Apollo Park (or any other LA County Park, for that matter).

The northeast lake and islands of Apollo Park, January 6, 2011. L to R: Common Merganser, American Coot and Double-crested Cormorant.

                                                                                                         © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Greater White-fronted Goose  1  -- continuing -- main beach and lawn with domestic waterfowl.

Snow Goose  1 (imm) walking around the parking lot with domestic geese; apparently left the park sometime before 0950 hrs.

Ross' Goose  1 (ad) --continuing--  main beach and lake with domestic waterfowl;  injured foot still causing a limp.

Canada Goose  40  small flocks of 2-12 scattered around the park, foraging on grass.

Chinese Goose  4  swimming and on main beach.

Gray-lag Goose (including hybrids)  20  main beach and shorelines.

Muscovy Duck  3 (m,f)   main beach shoreline.

Mallard (wild-type) 120 (m,f)   most resting on islands around the lake.

Mallard (domestic & hybrid)  40 (m,f)   main beach and adjacent shoreline.

Northern Shoveler  5 (m,f) circular dabbling, near main beach.

Bufflehead 12 (m,f) diving throughout the lake.

Hooded Merganser  5 (4 f, 1 m) diving near shore, se and ne.

Common Merganser  2 (f) separate lakes, shoreline and near shore, se and ne; swam away as I approached (photo).

Ruddy Duck   40 resting on all lakes.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  central-north lake.

Eared Grebe  4  open water s, s-central and ne.

Western Grebe  1  sleeping, open water, n-central.

Double-crested Cormorant  18  shorelines of islands throughout.

Great Blue Heron  1 on ne shore; flighty.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1  in pines, ne island.

American Coot   170  scattered around park; many foraging on lawns.

Ring-billed Gull  16  (ad, imm) main beach with domestic waterfowl; swimming, flying around park; taking bread crumbs.

California Gull  3 (ad, imm) shoreline, nw and se.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, ne.

Black Phoebe  2  sally-gleaning off lawn, calls, central and sw.

Loggerhead Shrike  1 on fence, ne.

Common Raven  10  in pines, on fence, flying around, scavenging garbage; calls.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  1  --continuing-- calls in pines, nw.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3  active in pines, calls, se, e, ne.

European Starling   7  on utility wires, songs with imitations (e.g. Killdeer).

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 1 foraging beneath pines, with DEJU, nw.

White-crowned Sparrow  1 calls, fence line, nw.

Dark-eyed Junco 30 (98% Junco h. thurberi; 2 J. h. hyemalis; 3 J. h. mearnsi  photos).

 Slate-colored Junco Junco hyemalis hyemalis   in Apollo Park, January 6, 2011  © 2011 Callyn Yorke

 Pink-sided Junco Junco hyemalis mearnsi  in Apollo Park, January 6, 2011  © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Dark-eyed Junco: L to R: Slate-colored, Oregon (J. h. thurberi) and Pink-sided in Apollo Park, January 6, 2011  © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Red-winged Blackbird  1  song (partial and brief) in BRBL flock, s.

Brewer's Blackbird  30 (m,f)   flocks moving around on the lawns; calls.

House Sparrow  5  edge of park, s.


DECEMBER 16, 2010  Apollo Park (37 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 46F; winds WNW  5-12 mph.

Time: 0805-1000 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked around the park twice, first counter-clockwise, then clockwise, surveying all habitats with a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Workers using heavy machinery were digging in the the southwest corner of the park. Otherwise, only a few fishermen and other visitors were present in the park during the survey. Conditions ranged from poor to fair for identifying bird vocalizations. Birds of seasonal/distributional significance noted were: Hooded Merganser (7), Herring Gull (2) and two relatively uncommon subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco: Junco h. mearnsi and J. h. hyemalis - photos).


Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (continuing) foraging with domestic geese on grass, sw

Ross' Goose  1 (continuing)  foraging with domestic geese on grass, sw.

Canada Goose   80 (continuing) three or four separate flocks of 12 - 30 birds  foraging on grass; a few swimming near shore.

Chinese Goose   3  foraging on grass, sw.

Grey-lag Goose  (albinos and hybrids)  10  on grass and shorelines.

Muscovy Duck  2  (m,f) shoreline, sw.

Mallard  (wild-type)  60  shorelines and nearshore.

Mallard (domestic, hybrids, etc.)   20 shoreline and nearshore, s.

Northern Shoveler  1 (f)  on shore of island, ne.

Bufflehead  12 (m,f) diving in all lakes.

Hooded Merganser  7 (2 m; 5 f) staying together; males chasing, fanning crest, near island, ne (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Ruddy Duck  15  (m,f) most resting in lake, n, se.

Pied-billed Grebe  6  one tight flock of 5, nw.

Eared Grebe   1 middle of lake, s.

Western Grebe  2  staying together, resting, preening, n-central.

Double-crested Cormorant  24 (ad, imm) resting on island, se, ne; swimming, diving; one with small fish covered with algae.

Great Blue Heron  1  (imm) resting on se island.

American Coot  300  ubiquitous; most in the lake.

Ring-billed Gull  5 (ad, C1, C2) flying and resting on shore, s.

California Gull   3  (ad, C2) flying, resting on se island; swimming.

Herring Gull 2  (ad, C1) chasing RIGU around lake; resting on island, se.

Mourning Dove  4  fence line under pines, se, ne.

Black Phoebe  3   flying low over lawn; calls, sw, se.

Common Raven  10  flying around and adjacent to the park; calls.

Horned Lark   2  flying over entry road.

Red-breasted Nuthatch   1 (continuing?)   calls from pines, ne.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  calls from pines, e, n.

Northern Mockingbird  1  on fence along entry road.

European Starling   20   foraging on lawn next to Fox Field.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  20  in pines and on lawns throughout; calls.

White-crowned Sparrow   20  in adjacent fields, calsl and song.

Dark-eyed Junco  40 ( Oregon Junco h. thurberi   photo ); 1 ( Slate-colored  Junco h. hyemalis - photo);  1 (Pink-sided  J. h. mearnsi:  foraging near other juncos; also see Dec. 2  notes and photo below). foraging on lawns; flushed into pines.

Oregon Dark-eyed Junco (Junco h. thurberi)  in Apollo Park,  December 16, 2010


                                                                                        © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Slate-colored Junco (Junco hyemalis hyemalis)  3 photos:   Apollo Park, December 16, 2010

                                                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Red-winged Blackbird  2 (m,f) foraging on lawns with BRBL, s.

Brewer's Blackbird  28 (m,f)   tight flock foraging on lawns, s.

Purple Finch  2  calls from pines, ne; one on chain-link fence at 50th W and Ave. G.

House Finch  2-4  fly, call, ne.

House Sparrow   5  around buildings, sw; calls.


DECEMBER 2, 2010   Apollo Park (34 Species)

Weather: Fair, 32F; no wind.

Time: 0745 - 0925 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise and diagonal route around the perimeter and through the interior of the park, surveying all habitats (see previous notes for habitat descriptions), using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Several walkers and joggers were in the park during the survey; about five fishermen. Conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations. Noteworthy birds found this morning included, Hooded Merganser (1) and Pink-sided Junco (3). Additionally, a relatively large number of Canada Goose (80) was found in the park, possibly representing distinct sub-populations of seasonal migrants.


Canada Goose  80  at least 3 cohesive flocks of 12-25 birds; one group appeared aggressive (chasing with vocalizations) toward an indivual CAGO foraging on the lawn; the individual goose that was challenged was intially at the leading edge of the flock and quickly moved away from the other geese as they lowered their heads toward the intruder, vocalizing loudly for about 30 seconds.

Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (ad) (continuing) foraging on the lawn with domestic Gray Lags, s.

Ross' Goose  1 (continuing)  foraging and limping with domestic Gray Lags.

Gray lag Goose  (domestic and hybrids)  25  on shore and foraging on lawns.

Chinese Goose    4 (m,f)   with Gray Lags, s.

Muscovy Duck  4 (m,f)    together on shoreline, sw.

Mallard (wild-type)  60  (m,f) scattered around the shorelines, islands and open water.

Mallard (domestic/ hybrid)  50  mostly on or near the shorelines, s.

Canvasback  1 (f) resting mid-water, central lake.

American Wigeon   1  (f) resting on shore, se island.

Bufflehead   6  (m,f)   open water, s and n.

Hooded Merganser  1 (f) (continuing)   open water, n-central.

Ruddy Duck  20 (m,f) resting, open water throughout.

Western Grebe  3  resting together in mid-lake, sw.

Eared Grebe  8   resting, open water.

Pied-billed Grebe  10  open water; diving, preening.

Great Blue Heron  1  on shoreline, ne.

Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (ad)  flew from pine tree on se island.

Double-crested Cormorant   10  resting on island shore; swimming, diving.

American Coot   300  ubiquitous.

Herring Gull 1 (ad) feeding on fresh coot carcass, se island (photo).

                                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke

California Gull   2  (C2) open water and flying, se.

Ring-billed Gull  10 (8 ads)  open water, shore, flying.

Mourning Dove  1  fence line, e.

Common Raven   6  on shore, feeding on coot carcass (before HEGU), se.

American Pipit   1  fly/call, s.

Red-breasted Nuthatch   1  calls, n pines.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   3  calls, e fence line.

White-crowned Sparrow  20  fencelines and adjacent saltbush scrub.

Dark-eyed Junco (2 subspecies: thurberi and mearnsi -  photo) foraging on lawn; in pines, e, n.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Brewer's Blackbird   25 (m,f)   in pines and on ground.

Red-winged Blackbird  2 (m,f0 foraging on seeds in exotic junipers; calls.

Red Crossbill ?  calls heard from flock passing over, nw.

Lesser Goldfinch  3  calls, pines and ornamental trees, sw.

House Sparrow  20  foraging in garden, sw.



OCTOBER 28, 2010 (33 Species)

Weather: fair, 33F to 52F; winds ENE 0-2 mph.

Time: 0740 - 0945 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked around the park twice in a clockwise direction, including through the central section. I surveyed lawns, pines, shorelines, islands, open water and adjacent saltbush scrub. Maintenance crews were busy landscaping and working on buildings. The park is scheduled to be closed from 3PM today until November 1 for maintenance. Except for lawn mowers, leaf-blowers and traffic (sheriff's patrols and maintenance vehicles) conditions were fair for identifying bird vocalizations. Noteworthy birds found today included Cackling Goose (banded), Burrowing Owl (off-site) and Red-breasted Nuthatch.


Cackling Goose  1 ( with aluminum band on left tarsus, blue plastic band on neck # V18). staying fairly close to CAGO; foraging on lawn; swimming near shore (photos). More wary on land than in water. Subsequently, I received notification from the National North American Bird Banding Project (Canadian Wildlife Service), that this bird (# 1847-91139) was banded by CDFG biologist Dan Parraguire near Manteca (Stanislaus County), CA, December 19, 2007 as a HYF.


                                                                           © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Canada Goose  70 (ad)   on lawns and in lake; at least two relatively wild flocks of 12-14 birds; wary and flighty compared with residents.

Ross' Goose  1 (continuing) limping on injured leg; staying close to domestic geese.

Greater White-fronted Goose  1  (continuing) on land and in water with white domestic geese.

Gray-lag Goose  12  taking handouts at main beach.

Chinese Goose  3  swimming near shore, main beach.

Muscovy Duck  2 (m,f) main beach.

Mallard (wild-type)  200 (m,f) resting on shorelines and on islands; swimming near shore.

Mallard (domestic and hybrid)  30  mostly around main beach and SE lake.

American Wigeon  3 (f)   one resting on SE island; two swimming, SE lake.

Pied-billed Grebe  10  around edges of lakes.

Eared Grebe  2 S and SE lakes.

Western Grebe  4  one diving in SE lake; others sleeping on water.

Double-crested Cormorant  6 on shorelines of islands, NE and N; swimming.

Great Blue Heron  1  on N shore; flew to SE island.

American Coot  100 scattered around the lake.

Killdeer  1  calls from W side of lake.

Mourning Dove  4  n edge of park; fly.

Burrowing Owl  1   sunning itself beneath embankment on the east side of 50th St. West near the northeast corner of 50th Street West and Avenue G. Allowed my approach to within about 50 ft., then flew southwest about 200 ft. to raised hummock in saltbush scrub (photo).


                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Northern Flicker  1  fly, call, central section around pines.

Black Phoebe  1  calls, w section.

European Starling  1  feeding on bare ground with BRBL, central-east.

Common Raven   4  flying around park, n.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  2  in pines, central-north; calls from separate trees.

Bewick's Wren  2  active in Salt Cedar and lower branches of pines near YRWA, n fence line; calls.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2  in pines over Salt Cedar, n; calls. MSF with YRWA and WCSP.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   15 (m,f: at least 1 Myrtle by calls) in pines and Salt Cedar, n fence line.

Savannah Sparrow  1  calls from saltbush scrub edge, n fence line.

White-crowned Sparrow  20  pines, Salt Cedar, saltbush-rabbitbrush scrub, edge of park; calls and song.

Dark-eyed Junco  20 (ad, imm; m,f) in pines (feeding on cones) and on patches of open ground around edges of park; calls.

Red-winged Blackbird  6 (ad, imm; m,f) feeding with BRBL in patches of open ground beneath pines; calls and partial song.

Brewer's Blackbird  60 (m,f)   flocks of 10-20 birds moving around the park, foraging on lawns, bare ground and shorelines; calls & song.

Great-tailed Grackle  10  (m,f) feeding on ground with BRBL; calls.

House Sparrow  30 (m,f) on and around buildings; foraging in newly re-seeded lawn areas.






OCTOBER 21, 2010 (43 Species)


Weather: fair; variable cloudiness and dense fog in the surrounding foothills; heavy to moderate thundershowers over the past 2 days; 56F to 60F. Winds, WSW 2-5 mph.

Time: 0735-1000 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked the perimeter and middle of the park in both directions, surveying all habitats (including adjacent flooded fields), using a 10x42 binocular. Foot traffic relatively light; maintenance crews working in south parking lot and north playground. Noisy aircraft at Fox Field. Conditions were generally good for identifying bird vocalizations. Unusual birds found today included, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch and Pink-sided Junco.


Ross Goose  1 (continuing)  s shoreline and lake.

Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (continuing)  s lake.

Canada Goose  60  scattered around the park.

Grey-lag goose (domestic) 10 s lake.

Chinese Goose  (domestic)  4  s lake.

Muscovy Duck (domestic) 3  shoreline, s lake.

Mallard (wild-type)  150  (m,f) many resting on islands.

Mallard (domestic)  40 scattered around the shorelines.

American Wigeon  4 (m,f) SE lake.

Gadwall  2 (m,f) SE lake.

Northern Pintail  2 (m,f) SE island.

Pied-billed Grebe  6  S and N lake.

Eared Grebe  2  S lake.

Clark's Grebe  1 SE lake.

Western Grebe  2 (m,f) N lake.

Double-crested Cormorant  6  central and S lakeshore.

Great Blue Heron  2  SE island; one in flooded field, N.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) NW shore.

American Coot  150   ubiquitous.

Rock Pigeon  2  on lawn, E.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  on lawn and in pines, E.

Mourning Dove 3  in pines and on ground, E.

Killdeer  1  calls from W side.

Northern Flicker  1  in salt cedar, W; calls.

Black Phoebe  2  W and N; calls.

Say's Phoebe  1   flying around a restroom building, W.

Common Raven  4  flying over park.

Horned Lark  2 fly, calls from adjacent fields, N.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  2  working trunk and branches on separate Aleppo Pines, N; calls.

Bewick's Wren  2  active in saltbush scrub, N; calls and song.

House Wren  1  singing in saltbush scrub near fence line, N.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6 active, gleaning foliage in pines, Salt Cedar; calls.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  25  in trees and on lawns throughout; calls.

Savannah Sparrow  1  calls from saltbush scrub, E.

White-crowned Sparrow  30 (ad, imm)   ubiquitous around edges of park; calls and song.

Dark-eyed Junco  20 (1 Pink-sided (m)) on lawns and in pines, E, N and W; calls.

Brewer's Blackbird  40 (m,f)   foraging on lawns, W and central; calls.

Great-tailed Grackle   6  central lawn; calls.

Red-winged Blackbird  8  on lawns, W and central; calls.

Western Meadowlark   4  singing in adjacent fields, N.

Purple Finch  2 (f, m?)   calls from pines, W and NE.

House Finch  4  fly, call, E.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  fly, call, central-E.

House Sparrow  30  on ground around buildings; calls.






SEPTEMBER 26, 2010 (37 Species)


Weather: Fair, 66F to 84F; no wind.

Time: 0910 - 1050 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered: We walked a clockwise route around the park, following the perimeter fence lines. Habitats surveyed included shoreline, open water, Aleppo pines, lawns, Salt Cedar (adjacent property along the  W, N and E fence lines), and a few ornamental deciduous trees. Increasing numbers of visitors (including those with leashed dogs) arrived at the park near the end of our survey. Except for the sudden onset of sprinklers along the northern fence line and park maintenance personnel riding around in ATV's, conditions were good for finding migrants in the trees and identifying vocalizations.


Canada Goose  70  scattered around the park on lawns and in the lake.

Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (ad) continuing... swimming with domestic geese, S.

Ross' Goose  1 (ad) continuing...   limping on S shore with swollen growths on left tarsus, Sept. 26, 2010, Apollo Park (photos).


                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Gray-lag Goose (including domestic hybrids) 25  S lakes and shoreline.

Chinese Goose  4  shoreline with other domestic geese and ducks, S.

Muscovy Duck  2  SE lake and shore.

Mallard (wild-type)  30  shorelines, islands and lakes.

Mallard (domestic-hybrid)  30 shorelines and lakes.

Pied-billed Grebe  4  open water on lakes.

Western Grebe  1  open water near shore, N-central.

Double-crested Cormorant  4  resting on island, N; swimming.

Great Egret  3  on islands and S shore.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) on island shore, NE.

Killdeer  2  fly, calls, central lawns.

Ring-billed Gull   2 (C2) resting on island shore, SE.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  flying SW in south-central park.

Mourning Dove  1  flying N from southern section.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  around red posts in play area, N.

Belted Kingfisher  1  fly, call,  N-central.

Western Wood Pewee  1  aerial-hawking from salt cedars, W.

Gray Flycatcher  1  snatch-gleaning off lawn and shrubs from pines and chain-link fence, SE (photo)

                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Black Phoebe  1   arouond pines, N fence line; calls.

Common Raven  4  flying over park; calls.

Bewick's Wren  1  calls in Rabbitbrush scrub, N.

House Wren  2  calls; active low in shrubs and salt cedar, N.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher   1  Salt Cedar and pines, N; calls.

European Starling  4  flying, calls, S.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3   foraging with YEWA and other OCWA in pines and deciduous trees, N and SE; calls.

Yellow Warbler   10  (m,f) foraging in pines with other individuals; calls.

Wilson's Warbler  3  (m,f)  foraging low in Salt Cedar, N and E; calls.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  pines and Rabbitbrush, N and E; calls.

Sage Sparrow  20  active in shrubs and on ground along fence line, M and E; calls.

Brewer's Sparrow  1  (ad) foraging in patches of brush on ground with SGSP and WCSP, flying from fence, NE; noted small bill, plain face with eye-ring, fine streaks on head; dark tertials and long, notched tail.

Red-winged Blackbird  3  calls from pines, S.

Brewer's Blackbird  20  in pines and on shore, S; calls.

Great-tailed Grackle  8  in pines and on ground; a male molting.

House Finch  4  in deciduous and evergreen shrubs, SW.

House Sparrow  10  around buildings with shrubs, S.









SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 (34 Species)

Weather: Fair; low clouds on surrounding foothills and mts. 56F; winds WNW 5-15 mph.

Time: 0720 - 0900 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise route from the main parking lot to the northwest corner, then returned via the central route. Heavy machinery was being used outside the western fence line; power edgers in the east. Conditions were poor to fair for finding birds due to noisy machinery and increasing winds.


Canada Goose  70 on lawns and in the lake, N.

Ross' Goose  1 flew across central lake to main beach, S; foraging on lawns.

Greater White-fronted Goose  1  swimming with domestic geese, central lake.

Chinese Goose   4  feeding on lawns, S.

Gray-lag Goose  (including domestic albinos)  20  shorelines and open water.

Muscovy Duck   4  shoreline, W.

Mallard (wild type) 40 (m,f)

Mallard (domestic and hybrids) 40

California Quail  20  foraging on ground, NE corner.

Pied-billed Grebe  3 open water, central.

Double-crested Cormorant  4 (ad, imm)  on S island.

Great Blue Heron  1  on S island.

Great Egret  4   interior and main beach shorelines and S island.

American Coot  15  edges of central lake.

Killdeer  2  interior lawn, central.

Ring-billed Gull  1 (C2)  main beach.

Mourning Dove  2  interior lawn and shore, central.

Eurasian Collared Dove   3  interior lawn and shore.

Western Wood Pewee  1  adjacent saltbush scrub; aerial fly-catching.

Willow Flycatcher  3  low perch, sallies from pines, E and NE.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  flying low over adjacent saltbush scrub, E.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  calls from adjacent saltbush scrub, E.

Common Raven   6  pairs flying over; two under picnic shelter.

Horned Lark  10 flying over adjacent saltbush scrub, E.

Barn Swallow  5  flying low, back and forth over saltbush scrub, NE; calls.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2  calling along fence line; active in pines and salt cedar; SE and NE.

European Starling   20 foraging on lawns, N and central.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  in pines, SE corner; calls.

Yellow Warbler  2  foraging together in pine, SE corner.

Lark Sparrow   2  in pines; calls, N.

Sage Sparrow  25  foraging on lawns; active in saltbush scrub; drinking on pathway (photo).

                                                                                                                            © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Great-tailed Grackle   40 (ad, imm. molting)  throughout the park on lawns and shorelines; highly vocal.

Brewer's Blackbird  50 (ad, imm) throughout the park, foraging on lawns.

House Finch 4  flying into pine, W.

House Sparrow  60  feeding on the ground throughout the park, especially in the parking lot.




SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 (29 Species)

Weather: Fair, 61F-78F; winds WSW 0-1 mph.

Time: 0725-0850 hrs.

Area Covered: From the parking lot (S) I walked a clockwise route around the entire park, then through the middle section, surveying lawns, Aleppo Pines, ornamental deciduous trees and shrubs, Salt Cedar, shoreline, islands, open water, and adjacent fields of  Chrysothamnus and Atriplex. Dozens of people showed up at the park, jogging, walking dogs, etc. A sheriff's deputy in a patrol car was stopping and asking questions regarding recent night-time break-ins in Antelope Valley parks. Maintenance workers operating noisy gas edgers were on the north side of the park. Otherwise, conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations.


Canada Goose 60 on lawns and in the water.

Ross' Goose  1 in the water with other domestic geese; also on land, showing same injury to the distal left tarsus (see previous survey notes)

Greater White-fronted Goose  1  in the water with domestic geese (see previous survey notes).

Gray-lag Goose  (domestic white and mixed) 30 in water and on shore.

Chinese Goose  5  in water with GLG.

Muscovy Duck  2  on shore.

Mallard  (wild type)  40

Mallard (domestic) 80

Pied-billed Grebe  6 open water.

Double-crested Cormorant  3  flying in from E.

Great Egret  2  on SE island and shore.

Great Blue Heron  1  on shore, N.

Snowy Egret  2  resting on SE island and foraging N shoreline.

American Coot  10  central lake, edge.

Killdeer  2  on central lawn; calls.

Ring-billed Gull 2 ( ad, imm) on  S shore and flying.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  in pines and on ground, S.

Mourning Dove  4  pairs flying over, S.

Common Raven  2  flying over and under picnic shelter.

Horned Lark  6  flying over; calls. 4 near entrance on edge of roadway.

Western Kingbird  1 (moulting) on top of Salt Cedar, W.

Willow Flycatcher  2  sally-flycatching from low perch in pines and deciduous trees, W and central.

Yellow Warbler  3 (f)   in pines, W and NW.

Wilson's Warbler  1 (m) in pines, W.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1 in Salt Cedar along fence line, SE.

Sage Sparrow  20  along fence line, N and on shore, S.

Red-winged Blackbird  1 (imm)  on lawn, N.

Brewer's Blackbird  40 on lawns throughout park.

Great-tailed Grackle  30 (ad, imm moulting) throughout the park; foraging on trash.

House Sparrow  60  on lawns and around buildings.




AUGUST 28, 2010 (34 Species)

Weather: Fair, 65F; winds WSW 10-15mph.

Time: 0710-0830 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke, Jon Feenstra and I.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise route around the lake meeting JF on the north side (after having taken a clockwise route around the park). Both of us continued a clockwise route back to the parking lot, stopping frequently to observe mostly landbirds in the Aleppo pines and adjacent Salt Cedar along the fenceline. Most of the landbirds were in the northeastern, eastern and southeastern sections, and were relatively sheltered from persistent WSW winds.A mixed species flock of migrants, including Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Wilson's Warbler (JF) and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, was found in the southeastern section of the park. Waterbirds were found mostly in the southern and central lakes, including assemblages of domestic geese with a Greater White-fronted Goose and Ross' Goose (the latter two individuals apparently permanent residents in the park - see previous notes).Ethan observed and noted birds around the main parking lot. A colony of Black-crowned Night Herons, previously numerous around the eastern islands, was not found today.


Canada Goose  70  one flock of 25 in the eastern section was flushed to the lake by a man with a dog; the other undisturbed in the central section.

Ross' Goose  1  with domestic Gray-lag geese. This apparently year-round resident at the park was limping with large tumor-like injury on the left  distal tarsometatarsus

Greater White-fronted Goose 1 (ad) with domestic geese on the S shore, moving to the main lake. Apparently another permanent resident in the park.

Chinese Goose  5  with other domestic geese, S.

Gray-lag Goose   15 including albinos, S and SW.

Muscovy Duck  4  SW shoreline.

Mallard (domestic)  30  shorelines and shallows around the lake.

Mallard (wild-type)  20 shorelines and shallows around the lake.

Pied-billed Grebe 2 open water, central.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  swimming in SE lake.

Great Blue Heron  1  on S island.

Great Egret  4 on S island.

Snowy Egret  3  2 on S island; one on NE shore; one flying.

Cooper's Hawk  1 flying SW through pines.

Ring-billed Gull  4 (ad, imm) SW shoreline.

Rock Pigeon 3  flying over adjacent fields.

Mourning Dove  2  flying near entrance of the park.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1 on light pole, E.

Great-horned Owl  1 (ad) in mature Aleppo Pine along E fence line (photo).

                                                                                            © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Belted Kingfisher  1  flying, calls, central area.

Empidonax sp. 1  SE fence line (JF).

Common Raven  4  flying over the park.

Horned Lark  2  adjacent saltbush scrub; calls.

Bank Swallow   3  flying E 60-80 ft.

Barn Swallow  2  (JF).

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2  foraging (photo) together in Salt Cedar with OCW and BTGW.

                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke


European Starling  5  on lawns and flying through park.

Orange-crowned Warbler 3  foraging together in a Salt Cedar (photo);Blue-Gray Gnatchers and Black-throated Gray Warblers nearby.

                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Black-throated Gray Warbler  2 (m) foraging in pines (calls) and Salt Cedar (photo) with OCW and BGG.

                                                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Wilson's Warbler  1 foraging in pines, SE (JF).

Sage Sparrow  5  foraging on edge of lawn; flushed to fence, NE and N fence line (photo).

                                                                       © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Black-headed Grosbeak  1 NW (JF).

Brewer's Blackbird   14  central lawn.

Great-tailed Grackle    30  S-central.

House Sparrow  10  shrubs and trees around buildings throughout park.








AUGUST 2, 2010 (23 Species)

Weather: Fair, 77 to 80 F; winds WNW 2 mph.

Time: 1045-1145 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a clockwise route around the entire park, surveying lawns, Aleppo Pines, shoreline, open water, islands, and adjacent fields of saltbush (Atriplex spp.). About 50 people were in the park during the survey, picnicking, fishing ,walking; three L.A. County Sheriff patrol cars cruised slowly through the park on the narrow paved paths searching for something or someone. Conditions were otherwise good for finding birds. A few people were throwing bread crumbs to ducks along the southern shore. Of special interest was the continued occurrence of a Greater White-fronted Goose and Ross' Goose; both present in the park for at least the past 10 months, and apparently permanent residents, together with many other domestic waterfowl.



1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (ad) resting on central-south shore with domestic Gray-lag Goose.

2) Ross' Goose  1 resting on  S shore with domestic Chinese and Gray-lag geese.

3) Canada Goose  60  scattered around the shoreline and in open water.

4) Gray-lag Goose   20  white and domestic mix, scattered around the shorelines.

5) Chinese Goose   4  central and southern shoreline.

6) Mallard (wild-type)  20 (f, imm) throughout the park near edges of lakes.

   Mallard (domestic-hybrids)  25 throughout the park on shore and in the water; color ranges from nearly black (3) to white (10).

7) Pied-billed Grebe  3 (ad, imm)  adult on and off of a mud/stick-mound nest on concrete edge of island, NE (photo).

                                                                                      ©  2010 Callyn Yorke  

8) Great Blue Heron  1 on SE island.

9) Great Egret  1  on NE island.

10) Snowy Egret  2 on SE island.

11) Black-crowned Night Heron  8 (imm)  group of six staying close on shore and intereior of NE island.

12) American Coot  6  edge of lake, S.

13) Ring-billed Gull  4 (ad, imm) on S shore.

14) Mourning Dove  3  flying through pines, SW.

15) Loggerhead Shrike  1  calls from SE corner.

16) European Starling  5  flying through park, SW.

17) Common Raven  2  flying around park.

18) Western Kingbird  1  adjacent field north of park.

19) Lark Sparrow  2 (ad, imm)   fence line, W and NW.

20) Sage Sparrow  5 (ad, imm)   fence line and foraging on lawn, SW.

21) Brewer's Blackbird 25 (m,f) flocks moving through park; foraging on lawns.

22) Great-tailed Grackle   30  (m,f, imm) noisy flocks in pines on lawns and on shore.

23) House Sparrow  15  around buildings and shore, S.






JUNE 1, 2010  (30 Species)


                                                                                    Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) Apollo Park, June 1, 2010


                                                                                                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Partly Cloudy, 71F; winds W 10-15 mph.

Time: 0825 - 1030 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked around the entire park twice, first counter-clockwise, then clockwise, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera, surveying Aleppo Pine, lawns, shoreline (concrete), islands, open water and adjacent Saltbush fields (Alkali Mariposa Lily (Calachortus striatus) abundant and flowering in the northern fields). About 20 people were in the park during the survey, including maintenance crews cleaning up a large amount of trash left from the Memorial Day holiday yesterday. Paper plates, cups and napkins were scattered throughout the park, including the lake and shoreline; much of the debris had blown up against the eastern fence. Steady W winds made identification of bird vocalizations difficult, except in the relatively sheltered sections of the park along the fence lines. Migrant landbirds were not as abundant as in the most recent survey (May 19), yet the Aleppo Pines held several migrants, including Willow Flycatcher, Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Western Tanager. All of the aforementioned species were foraging or attempting to forage on the swarms of dipterans around the pines.


1) Greater White-fronted Goose 1 (ad) with Grey-lag geese, central lawn and shoreline; apparently a permanent resident in the park.

2) Ross' Goose  1 (ad)   with domestic white geese, central shore and lake; apparently a permanent resident in the park.

3) Canada Goose  60  (ad, imm)  foraging and resting on central lawns; swimming, central-southern lake.

4) Gray-lag Goose  (wild-type and domestic)  20 central and S area.

5) Chinese Goose  4 central lawn and shore.

6) Mallard  (wild-type)  (ad, imm) 20 scattered around the shore and swimming in open water.

Mallard (domestic and hybrid)  20 scattered around the lake, islands and shoreline.

7) Pied-billed Grebe  1  open water, NW.

8) Great Blue Heron  1 (ad) on shore of SE island.

9) Black-crowned Night Heron  10 (ad, imm) in Aleppo Pines on NE island; calls; apparently roosting -- nesting still unverified.

10) California Gull  10 (imm) central lawn and shoreline.

11) Black-necked Stilt  4  foraging on E  shore; flighty but returning to nearby shoreline.

12) Killdeer  6  pairs on E, central and W side; one apparently on nest in dirt, W of fence line; calls.

13) California Quail  1 calls from N field.

14) Mourning Dove  6  flying around park; calls.

15) Anna's Hummingbird  1  salt cedar edge, W; calls.

16) European Starling  12  (ad, imm) foraging on lawns throughout park; calls.

17) Common Raven  10 (ad, imm) pairs of fledglings calling near nest, NW.

18) Western Kingbird  5  in pines and adjacent saltbush fields; calls  (photo).

19) Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  sally-flycatching in dense dipteran swarm from low perch in pines.

20) Western Wood Pewee  3  2  in salt cedar, W; 1 in pines, SE; calls.

21) Pacific Slope Flycatcher 3  foraging in pines, SE, S and NE; calls.

22) Willow Flycatcher   1 distinctive lack of eye-ring; tail flicking; flycatching at mid-level in pines; briefly chased PSFL in lower branches.

23) Warbling Vireo  1  foraging and singing in pines, N and NE.

24) Yellow-rumped Warbler  1 (f) foraging in pines, W.

25) Sage Sparrow  3  singing and active in Salbush field, N.

26) Western Tanager   2 (m,f) moving quickly through pines; snatch-gleaning insects from needles branches and mid-air; N and E.

27) House Finch  4 in pines; song and calls.

28) Great-tailed Grackle  15 (m,f)   foraging in lawns; calls.

29) Brewer's Blackbird  20 (m,f) foraging on lawns; calls and song.

30) House Sparrow  25  (m,f) foraging on lawns and in adjacent Saltbush fields.







MAY 19, 2010  (40 Species)


Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  Apollo Park,  May 19, 2010

                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair, 54-75F; winds WNW  2-3 mph.

Time: 0751- 1021 hrs.

Area Covered: Beginning at the main parking lot (S), I walked a counter-clockwise route on perimeter paths about 3/4 around  the park and back. Using a binocular and DSLR camera, I surveyed Aleppo Pine, a few deciduous trees, lawns. shoreline, open water, islands and adjacent Atriplex - Chrysothamnus scrub with an abundance of flowering Alkali Mariposa Lily (Calochortus striatus). About 50 visitors and a few maintenance personnel  were in the park during the survey. Conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations. Large numbers of migrant landbirds, representing several species, were taking insects (abundant aerial dipterans) in and around the Aleppo pines. Most of the waterbirds were on islands and the eastern shorelines. A noisy group af adult and juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons appeared to be establishing a colony on an island in the NE section of the park.


1) Canada Goose   65  (ad, imm) on shore and islands; some aggression displays shown on the SE island.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose  1  with domestic geese on NE island shoreline.

3) Ross' Goose  1 with domestic geese on NE island shoreline; flying around NE lakes.

4) Chinese Goose   6  pairs on island and in water.

5) Grey-lag Goose   10 (including whites and hybrids)   on NE island shore.

6) Mallard  (wild type)  4  on shore, NE.

Mallard (domestic, hybrids)  12  on shore and open water.

7) Muscovy Duck  2  swimming NW.

8) Bufflehead  1 (f) resting on shore near main beach; entered water as I approached.

9) Ruddy Duck  1 (m alt. plmg.) resting, open water.

10) Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, NW.

11) Great Egret  1  on shore of SE island.

12) Black-crowned Night Heron   10 (ad, imm; alt. plmg.)   mostly together in pines and flying around apparent colony on NE island; some standing on nests. Others as singles, clinging to branches (photo); repeating vocalizations from group on island.

13) American Coot   4  near S shore.

14) Killdeer  1  calling from SE area.

15) Spotted Sandpiper   4 (alt. plmg.) foraging on concrete shore and on patchy lawns, S and NE.

16) Ring-billed Gull   12 (imm) most resting on SE island and shore.

17) California Gull   3  (imm) resting on SE island.

18) Mourning Dove   6 flying around edges of park; one on central shoreline.

19) Eurasian Collared Dove  2  calling from S-central pines; flying around park.

20) Pacific Slope Flycatcher   3  hawking insects from Aleppo pines lower and middle branches, S and N.

21) Western Wood Pewee   4  hawking insects under and around Aleppo pine; using chain-link fence as a perch; calls.

22) Western Kingbird  3  one pair in Aleppo pines, SE; another flying into adjacent field, N; calls.

23) Warbling Vireo  2  a pair foraging in Aleppo pines, NW; calls and song.

24) Common Raven   6 flying around and through the park; calls.

25) Tree Swallow  1 flying in from NE; calls.

26) Swainson's Thrush  3  in shady areas under Aleppo pines; flushed to higher branches; hawking insects from compost pile, NW.

27) European Starling   6  foraging on lawns, E; calls.

28) Yellow Warbler   25 (m,f)   hawking insects in pines; calls and song; mixed species flock (MSF) mostly with Wilson't Warbler.

29) Yellow-rumped Warbler  3 (m,f)   hawking insects under and in pines; calls.

30) Townsend's Warbler   3 (m,f)  gleaning insects in pines; calls.

31) Hermit Warbler  2 (m,f) gleaning insects from upper branches and needles of Aleppo pines (photo); Townsend's and Wison's warbler nearby.

Hermit Warbler (Dendroica occidentalis)  Apollo Park   May 19, 2010


                                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke


32) MacGillivray's Warbler   2 (m) gleaning insects from lower branches of pines (photo).

MacGillivray's Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei)  Apollo Park  May 19, 2010

                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke


33) Wilson's Warbler  35 (m,f)   gleaning insects in pines throughout the park; calls and song.

34) House Finch  12 (mf)   in pines and edge of park; calls and song.

35) Lazuli Bunting  1 (f)  on fence, S.

36) Brewer's Blackbird   20 (m,f)   foraging on lawns throughout the park; nest defense calls near pines, E and N.

37) Great-tailed Grackle  20 (m,f) foraging on lawns and shoreline; flying into adjacent fields.

38) Bullock's Oriole  2 (f) gleaning insects from pine branches; calls.

39) Brown-headed Cowbird  1 in pines, S; calls.

40) House Sparrow  20 (m,f) around buildings; foraging on lawns and in adjacent fields.









MAY 5, 2010  (48 Species)


Weather: Fair; 62F; winds WNW  20-30 mph.

Time: 0715-0950 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked through the entire park twice, surveying shorelines, open water, lawns, Aleppo Pines and adjacent Atriplex shrubland, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Sprinklers were on in different parts of the park intermittently, resulting in a few detours. High winds created much movement and noise in the pines, reducing my ability to locate and identify birds. Nonetheless, a relatively high diversity of migrant landbirds was found today, particularly in the Aleppo Pines along the southern and eastern boundaries of the park. One new exotic species was added to the Apollo Park bird list, Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), a common caged bird endemic to Australia (photo).


  Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) Apollo Park, May 5, 2010                                                                                                       

                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke



1) Canada Goose   50 (ad, imm)  separate pairs of adults staying close to goslings of two age groups (photos). Successful breeding of this species in Apollo Park is now confirmed. Nesting evidently is occuring on the NE islands in the park..

        Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) with young of two diferent age classes.  Apollo Park,  May 5, 2010


                                                                                                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke

2) Ross' Goose  1 (ad)  on lawn with domestic geese, NE.

3) White-fronted Goose  1 (ad)  on SE island;  looks like the same individual found on almost all surveys over the past several months.

4) Grey-lag Goose  15 (including hybrids)  one group of six adults (domestic, wild type and Chinese Goose) staying close to three young goslings, NE.

5) Chinese Goose  2 (wild type) staying close to goslings and adult Grey-lag geese, NE.

6) Muscovy Duck  2  on NE island.

Mallard (domestic, hybirds, m,f)  14,  singles and pairs swimming in open water and resting on shore.

7) Mallard (wild type)  16  pairs near shoreline throughout the park; one female swimming with young (photo).

         Mallard (Anas platyrynchos)  Apollo Park, May 5, 2010                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke


8) Bufflehead   3 (m,f)  open water, S.

9) Ruddy Duck  (m,f  alt, bsc. plm)  resting in open water and near shore, S.

10) Pied-billed Grebe  3  open water, N and central.

11) Double-crested Cormorant  16 (imm) swimming, central; resting on SE island.

12) Great Egret  1  (alt. plm.)  in flooded field, S.

13) Black-crowned Night-heron   2 (ad, imm)  adult foraging along NE shore.

14) Osprey   1  flying 50 ft. and W  into wind over E lake (photo).

                                                                                    Osprey (Pandion halieatus) Apollo Park  May 5, 2010


                                                                                                                                                            © 2010 Callyn Yorke


15) American Coot  30  scattered around edges of lake.

16) Killdeer   5  on lawns; flying; calls.

17) Black-necked Stilt   1 (alt. plm.) foraging along E shore.

18) Spotted Sandpiper  20  (alt. plm.) foraging along shorelines throughout, especially E.

19) Least Sandpiper   2  (alt. plm)  foraging in wave splash zone on SE shore.

20) California Gull  10 (imm) resting on SE island.

21) Ring-billed Gull   24  (imm) resting on SE island; flying low around park.

22) Mourning Dove  2  cenral area; calls.

23) Eurasian Collared Dove  4   two pairs calling, central and N.

24) Cockatiel  1 flying around NE lake; calls. landed on chain-link fence in NE (photo), allowing close approach and contact before flying off  and calling, and landing on the roof of a nearby picnic shelter. This is the first record I know of for Cockatiel int Apollo Park.

25) Pacific-slope Flycatcher  1    mid-level in dry pines, SW; flighty and difficult to approach.

26) Western Kingbird   3  in pines and on Atriplex, N and S; calls.

27) Cassin's Vireo  1  singing in Mulberry tree, central shore.

28) Warbling Vireo    a pair foraging separately in Aleppo Pines, S; calls (photo).


                                                        Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  Apollo Park, May 5, 2010


                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke


29) Common Raven  8  pairs flying around park.

30) Swallow sp?    2 +  calls from  S central area (unseen).

31) Northern Mockingbird  1  singing in SW (unseen).

32) European Starling 18  (ad, imm) foraging on lawns.

33) Orange-crowned Warbler  2 foraging in Aleppo Pine, S.

34) Yellow Warbler  2  foraging in Aleppo pines, calls and song, N and E.

35) Townsend's Warbler  2 (m) foraging in top levels of Aleppo Pines (photo).

                       Townsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)  AP May 5, 2010


                                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke

36) Yellow-rumped Warbler   6   (1 myrtle; m,f)  foraging in Aleppo Pines, S; calls.

37) Wilson's Warbler  16 (m,f)  foraging in Aleppo pines throughout the park; calls and song.

38) White-crowned Sparrow   1  calls from Aleppo Pine, S-central.

39) Black-headed Grosbeak  8   (m,f) calls and song from Aleppo pines, S and E.

40) Brewer's Blackbird  20  (m,f) foraging on lawns throughout the park; fly, call.

41) Yellow-headed Blackbird  2  (m,f)  pair foraging on lawn, E border.

42) Great-tailed Grackle  16 (m,f)  scattered around the park; calls and song.

43) Brown-headed Cowbird   6  (m,f) foraging on lawns, E; calls.

44) Bullock's Oriole  2  (f) in Aleppo pines, E; calls.

45) Western Tanager  3  (m,f) in Aleppo pines, E; calls.

46) House Finch  8  in Aleppo pines and foraging on lawns, E and S; calls and song.

47) Lawrence's Goldfinch  2  calls and song in Aleppo Pine,  E (unseen).

48) House Sparrow  18  in and around buildings; nesting in tile roofs.












April 23, 2010  (38 Species)

Weather: Fair,  62 to 69F; winds 5-15 mph, W.

Time: 1437-1627 hrs;  1930-1941 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked slowly around the entire lake, surveying lawns, Aleppo pines, adjacent saltbrush scrub, shoreline, open water and aerial areas. Winds hampered observations of small passerines in the pines; About 100 people in the park during the survey, including many fishermen. Two unleashed dogs were running through the adjacent field on the E side. Fairly heavy air traffic at Fox Field. At dusk, I returned to observe about 15 Lesser Nighthawks flying around the SE island.


1) Canada Goose  35  small flocks scattered around the edges of the lake and on the islands.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (ad)  swimming with Grey-lag geese near the main, S shore (photo). This appeared to be the same, semi-tame individual here since at least October 7, 2009. Note the complete white frontal marking.

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) in AP

                                    © April 23, 2010  Callyn Yorke


Domestic Goose  10  swimming and on SE island; one pair on S shore were vocal and aggressive toward children and slower adults..

3) Grey-lag Goose  8  scattered around the S side of the park; also swimming.

4) Muscovy Duck  4  dark and white, mottled morphs (hybrids with domestic mallard?) shore, S.

5) Mallard ( m,f wild-type)  20  scattered around the islands and shorelines.

Mallard (domestic white and variants)  16  around the S shore and lake; accepting food on the main beach.

6) Bufflehead  10 (m,f)  open water, S and SE.

7) Ruddy Duck  8 (m,f  90% alt. plm.)  open water, central and SE.

8) Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, C and N lakes.

9) Eared Grebe  2 (alt. plm.)   open water, C and SE lakes.

10) Double-crested Cormorant  14  on islands and diving, SE and NE.

11) American Coot  50 scattered around the shore and lakes.

12) Killdeer  2  E shore and roadside flooded area near entrance.

13) Spotted Sandpiper (bsc. plm.)  1  shoreline, N-central island.

14) Least Sandpiper  6  flying low, N-central.

15) Ring-billed Gull  30 (ad, imm)   shoreline, main beach; flying.

16) California Gull  2 (imm) flying; S shore.

17) Eurasian Collared Dove  2  S shore (photo).

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in Apollo Park, April 23, 2010

                                                                                                                                            © 2010 Callyn Yorke

18) Mourning Dove 2  flying, E.

19) Cooper's Hawk  1  (imm)  flying through pines, N.

20) Lesser Nighthawk  15  a tight flock flying back and forth, 2-20 ft. over water, around SE island (1930-1940 hrs. 62F; winds 10-15 mph).

21) Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1  low perch in pine, NE corner; calls.

22) Western Kingbird  3   a pair around pines, fence line N; calls.

23) Common Raven  3  flying over lake; calls.

24) Tree Swallow  2  flying low over lake, N.

25) Barn Swallow   10 flying back and forth 2-50 ft. over lake, NE.

26) Cliff Swallow  20  flying back and forth  10-100 ft, over lake, NE.

27) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  in pines, SE and E; calls.

28) European Starling  2  flying, W.

29) Yellow Warbler 2 (m)  pines, SE and E.

30) Yellow-rumped Warbler 30 (m,f)   pines throughout; calls.

31) Wilson's Warbler 3  pines, E and SE; song.

32) Western Tanager  2 (m)  pines, S and SE.

33) Dark-eyed Junco  2  pines, N fence line; calls.

34) House Finch  6  pines, S and N; song and calls.

35) Brewer's Blackbird  25 (m,f)   scattered around park on lawns; song and calls.

36) Great-tailed Grackle  10 (m,f) mostly in S section; lawns and trees; song and calls.

37) Brown-headed Cowbird  2 (m) foraging on lawn, E; song and calls.

38) House Sparrow  12  around buildings, S and SW; calls and song.











MARCH 31, 2010  (37 Species)

  Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) Saltbush scrub on N side of Apollo Park, March 31, 2010                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                           © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Weather:  Overcast to partly cloudy with scattered showers. 50F to 60F; winds 15-25 mph.

Time:1440 -1548 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked a clockwise and diagonal routes through the park. Only a few people in the park during the survey. Birds were fairly easily found despite high winds.


1) Canada Goose   40  scattered around the park.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose   1  feeding on lawn with domestic Gray lag Goose.

3) Mallard (wild type)  8  edges of lakes.

Mallard (domestic & hybrids)  20  scattered around the lakes.

4) Muscovy Duck  4  S shore.

5) Chinese Goose  3  S and Central areas.

6) Gray Lag Goose (including white domestic)  8   scattered around the park.

7) Bufflehead  8 (m,f) diving in open water.

8) Ruddy Duck  5 (two in alt. plumage), open water.

9) Double-crested Cormorant  2  resting on SE island.

10) Ring-billed Gull  30 (ad and imm)   S shore and flying.

11) California Gull  10 (ad, imm) S shore and SE island.

12) Killdeer  1  centra area between  lakes.

13) American Coot  80 ubiquitous.

14) Rock Dove  3  SE lawn.

15) Mourning Dove  4  SE lawn and fence line.

16) Northern Flicker  1  calling, S.

17) Common Raven  8  flying; calls.

18) Horned Lark  2  calls, flying, S fields.

19) American Pipit   1  calls from N side.

20) Tree Swallow  80  flying back and forth, low over the lakes.

21) Violet Green Swallow  5  flying low over N and SW lakes.

22) Cliff Swallow 3  flying low over S lakes.

23) Rough-winged Swallow  2  flying low with other swallows, S lake.

24) Barn Swallow  6  flying low over lakes.

25) European Starling  3  E side.

26) Northern Mockingbird  1 singing,  S edge.

27) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  calls from pines, S.

28) Black Phoebe   1  S saltbush scrub; calls.

29) Western Kingbird  2  S saltbush scrub; flying, perched on saltbush (photo).

30) Yellow-rumped Warbler  30  (m,f) loose flocks foraging on lawns and in pines, S; calls

31) White-crowned Sparrow  4   calls from pines, N and NE.

32) Savannah Sparrow  1  calls from NE edge.

33) Dark-eyed Junco    10  in and around pines, N and SW.

34) Brewer's Blackbird  60 (m,f)  foraging on lawns; calls.

35) Great-tailed Grackle  20  (m,f) scattered in park; calls. Some males with exceptionally large tails.

36) House Finch  2  singing  SW.

37) House Sparrow  12  foraging on lawn, S.







MARCH 21, 2010  (25 Species)


Weather:  Hazy, 72F; no wind.

Time: 1359-1502 hrs.

Observers: Dan Byrne and I.

Area Covered:  From the crowded parking lot next to the main beach, we walked diagonally through the park, then counterclockwise along the N and W perimeter, surveying open water, shoreline, islands, pines, lawns and adjacent salt bush scrub. Although there was no special events (e.g. fishing derby) hundreds of people were in the park during our survey. Many waterbirds birds were either on the islands of in the middle of the lakes; some species probably escaped our attention.


1) Canada Goose   30  scattered around the park.

2) Chinese Goose  2  N island.

3) Grey lag Goose   4  N island.

Domestic (white Grey lag)  3  N island.

4) Mallard (wild type) 30  on islands and open water.

Mallard (domestic)  25  shorelines and open water.

5) Muscovy Duck  3  S island.

6) Bufflehead  10 (m,f) diving in SE lake.

7) Hooded Merganser   6: 5 ff, 1 m)  male displaying crest; ff chasing other ducks in area; lots of activity near SE island.

8) Ruddy Duck  50  resting, open water (about 10% in alternate plumage).

9) Lesser Scaup  1 (m)  main lake, S.

10) Pied-billed Grebe  3   diving, NE lake.

11) Double-crested Cormorant   10  on islands, SE. and NE.

12) American Coot  200 in all of the lakes.

13) California Gull  2 (ad, imm)   SE island.

14) Ring-billed Gull  30 (ad, imm)   SE island.

15) Mourning Dove  2  NW.

16) Common Raven  3  flying over.

17) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2   N pines.

18) Yellow-rumped Warbler  10   pines. N and NW.

19) Hermit Thrush   1  NWC  juniper understory.

20) White-crowned Sparrow  1  N edge.

21) Sage Sparrow  1  adjacent field, N; singing.

22) Dark-eyed Junco  3  N pines.

23) Great-tailed Grackle  3  S beach area.

24) Brewer's Blackbird   5  S beach.

25) House Sparrow  5  around buildings, S.






MARCH 10, 2010  (32 Species)

 Tree and Cliff Swallows in Apollo Park, March 10, 2010                                     ©  2010  Callyn Yorke

Weather:  Partly cloudy, WSW winds 15-25 mph; 41F.

Time:  0737 - 0850 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked the perimeter and interior of the park, surveying shorelines, open water, pines, lawns and adjacent saltbush scrub. A few fishermen and walkers were in the park during the survey. Strong winds made detection of bird vocalizations relatively difficult.


1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1  on lawn, S border of park with domestic geese.

2) Ross' Goose  1  resting on SE island.

3) Canada Goose   25  scattered throughout the park; foraging on the lawns.

4) Grey lag Goose   4  on islands and shore.

Domestic Grey lag goose   6 on islands and shore; two chased me along the S walkway.

5) Chinese Goose   2   pair on NE island.

6) Muscovy Duck  2  on SE island.

7) Mallard (wild-type)  25  on shore and islands; many more probably concealed on islands.

Mallard (domestic)  15  on shore and islands.

8) American Wigeon  2  (m,f) dabbling along n shore of SE isle.

9) Lesser Scaup  2  (m) diving , N side. Showed greenish head gloss; relatively rounded head and small bills.

10) Bufflehead  8 (m,f) diving  S lake.

11) Ruddy Duck  35  (2 m's in partial alternate plumage), resting near shore, S and N.

12) Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, N and S.

13) Great Blue Heron  2  shore of islands, NE and W.

14) Great Egret  1  on E shore of SE island.

15) American Coot  80  ubiquitous in and near lakes.

16) Killdeer   2   foraging on shore of shallow puddle adjacent to Rite Aid near Ave. G and 50th St. W.

17) Ring-billed Gull  3  (ad, imm) flying around SE lake; one ad. on SE island.

18) Mourning Dove   8  resting on ground, S-central; flushed from ground, E fence line.

19) Common Raven   10  flying over lakes; calls.

20) Tree Swallow  50   resting on shore, on corrugated metal roof and adjacent pines; some flying low over lake (photo).

21) Cliff Swallow   10  resting on shore in tight flocks alongside TSW (photo).

22) Barn Swallow 4  resting on shore with CSW and TSW (photo).


Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in Apollo Park, March 10, 2010            ©  2010 Callyn Yorke                                                                         



23) European Starling   3   foraging in E open field with Brewer's Blackbirds.'

24) Horned Lark   4   foraging in E saltbush scrub field; calls.

25) Yellow-rumped Warbler   50  ubiquitous: large, noisy flocks foraging on ground and in pines.

26) Savannah Sparrow  4  foraging in E field.

27) White-crowned Sparrow   10  brushy areas bordering the park; calls.

28) Dark-eyed Junco   20  foraging on ground beneath pines; calls

29) Western Meadowlark   1  singing in N saltbush field.

30) Brewer's Blackbird   25   foraging on lawns and E fields; calls and displays.

31) Great-tailed Grackle   4  flying and calling in S section of park.

32) House Sparrow   14   foraging on lawns near SW garden.








FEBRUARY 22 & 23, 2010  (35 Species)

Weather:  Fair, 48F; NNE 7-10 mph (2/22);  35F, no wind (2/23).

Time: 1445-1533 hrs. (2/22); 0805- 0915 hrs. (2/23).

Observers:  Biology 120 class (20; 17 students) and me.

Area Covered:  Walked slowly from the parking lot and main beach, diagonally through the park to the E and N fence line and back, using binoculars. Surveyed open water, shoreline, lawns, pines and adjacent saltbush scrub. SE section of the park was not surveyed. Discussed possible student research projects (e.g. foraging behavior of ducks and cormorants). A few fishermen and other recreationists in the park during the surveys.

BIRDS NOTED (maximum number of individuals for either survey)

1) Ross' Goose  1 on land near main beach.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose  1  swimming with gray lags, NE.

3) Canada Goose   50  on lawns, shore and swimming.

4) Gray lag Goose  5  (including domestic whites); one pair followed us (2/22) calling and hissing.

5) Chinese Goose 2  on shore.

6) Domestic Mallard (including hybrids) 20  mostly at main beach.

7) Muscovy Duck 4  main beach.

8) Mallard (wild-type) 50  scattered around the park.

9) American Wigeon (m,f)  3  swimming near SE island.

10) Common Merganser  2 (m,f) swimming and peering near main beach.

11) Lesser Scaup  1 (m)  swimming near main beach.

12) Bufflehead  10 (m,f)   swimming and diving throughout.

13) Ruddy Duck  20 (m,f) mostly resting on the lakes; one on E shore.

14) Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water; diving.

15) Double-crested Cormorant  22 (ad, imm.)    most resting on islands.

16) Great Blue Heron  1 on island.

17) Black-crowned Night Heron  2  NE islands.

18) American Coot  50   scattered around park; two dead in water, one on land, intact with fresh wound under wing..

19) Killdeer   3  on central-S shore.

20) Ring-billed Gull  20 (ad, imm.)    flying and on main beach.

21) Mourning Dove  2   on lawn, E and W.

22) Cooper's Hawk  1  flying into W side of park.

23) American Kestrel   1 on power line along 50th Street West near park entrance.

24) Common Raven  1 flying and on fence, NW.

25) Tree Swallow   15 (2/22) over lakes.

26) Ruby-crowned Kinglet   1   calling in pines, central.

27) American Pipit   1  calls, central.

28) European Starling   1  on power line, 50th Street West near park entrance.]

29) Yellow-rumped Warbler  25   active in pines and on lawns; calls.

30) White-crowned Sparrow   1  singing in N saltbush scrub.

31) Dard-eyed Junco  15  in pines and on lawns, N and NW.

32) Red-winged Blackbird   5  singing near main beach.

33) Brewer's Blackbird  25   on lawns and in pines; calls and song.

34) Great-tailed Grackle  6  (m,f) flying around main beach; landing on trash cans.

35) House Sparrow  20  around buildings with shrubs.





February 1, 2010 (31 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy. 36 to 43F; no wind.

Time:  0900 - 1100 hrs.

Area Covered:  After surveying the main S shore, I walked diagonal and peripheral transects in the park, surveying open water, shorelines, pines, lawns and adjacent saltbush scrub. A few fishermen, walkers with dogs and recreationists were using the park during the survey. Conditions were good for finding birds and hearing their vocalizations. I used a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera.


1) Ross' Goose  1 sleeping on main beach (photo) with domestics. Probably the same individual found here on previous surveys.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose   1  resting on main beach; probably the same individual found here on previous surveys but now has a fully-developed white mark around the base of the bill (photo).

3) Canada Goose  50 (est.) mostly on lawns, E and N side (photo).

4) Greylag Goose  5  on main beach (photo).

5) Chinese Goose  4  on main beach (photo).

6) Domestic Mallard (including hybrids) 20  mostly around main beach (photo).

7) Mallard (wild-type) 70  spread out around the park; many resting on islands and shorelines (photo).

8) American Wigeon 2  (m)  swimming near SE island.

9) Muscovy Duck (incoluding hybrids)   5  on shore E of main beach (photo).

10) Common Merganser  2 (m,f)  swimming in SE lake near island.

11) Bufflehead   5   flying from N to S lake.

12) Ruddy Duck  (m,f) 25  mostly resting in open water (photo).

13) Pied-billed Grebe 5  open water, central lake (photo).

14) Double-crested Cormorant  15 (ad, imm)   most resting on SE island (photo).

15) Great Blue Heron  1  on NE island (photo).

16) Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (ad) on NE island (photo).

17) American Coot  120  ubiquitous, in water (photo) and on land.

18) Killdeer 1  fly, call.

19) California Gull  5 (ad, imm)  on main beach (photo) and SE island.

20) Ring-billed Gull 20 (ad, imm) most on SE island and main beach (photo).

21) Common Raven 3  fly, call, perched (photo).

22) Tree Swallow 6  flying low (dipping) and high ( about 100 ft.) over N lake.

23) Mountain Chickadee   2   pines, central; calls (photo).

24) Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2  pines; calls.

25) Yellow-rumped Warbler   20   foraging busily in pines (photo).

26) White-crowned Sparrow   3   calls from E edge.

27) Savannah Sparrow   1  fly, call, NE.

28) Dark-eyed Junco  50   in and beneath pines throughout the park (photo).

29) Red-winged Blackbird  4 (m) singing from pines and power lines (photo).

30) Brewer's Blackbird  50 (m,f) in pines and on power lines.

31) Great-tailed Grackle  4  (m)  singing near main beach.

32) House Sparrow  20 (m,f) foraging in re-seeded area (photo).







January 7, 2010 (23 Species)

Weather:  Fair. 63 to 65F. no wind.

Time: 1255 -1400 hrs.

Area Covered: From the parking lot (S) walked diagonally through and around the entire park, surveying open water, shorelines, islands, pines and other exotic plantings, lawns and adjacent saltbush scrub. About 100 people using the park today for picnics, fishing, walking, recreation, etc. Conditions were poor for finding birds, particularly relatively shy species. Moderately heavy air traffic at Fox Field.


1) Canada Goose   30     walking among people on main beach and open water.

2) Greater White-fronted Goose   1 (imm) on shore with Greylags, S-central (looked like same individual that has been here since October, 2009).

3) Mallard (wild type)  150  ubiquitous on shorelines and in open water.

4) Domestic Mallard    25  scattered around the main beach and open water.

5) Greylag Goose   4   S-central shore.

6) Chinese Goose   4  S-central Shore.

7) Muscovy Duck   3   S-central.

8) Common Merganser  1 (m) resting on S island.

9) Bufflehead  (m,f) 3   diving, N-central.

10) Ruddy Duck  3 (m,f)  open water, SE.

11) Pied-billed Grebe 15  open water in loose flocks, N-central.

12) Black-crowned Night Heron   1 (juv) same shoreline location (SE) where photographed on previous survey of  Dec. 10, 2009 (see below).

13) Great Blue Heron  2 on N islands.

14) American Coot  100 (conserv. est.) ubiquitous.

15) California Gull  25 (90% ads.)   on main beach, islands, open water and flying around park.

16) Ring-billed Gull 15 (ad)   on and around the main beach.

17) Black Phoebe   1  on fence near park entrance.

18) Common Raven   4  flying over park.

19) Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 foraging in pines, N fence line.

20) Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)   10 (m,f)   in pines throughout park.

21) Dark-eyed Junco 30  beneath pines, W-central.

22) Brewer's Blackbird   5 (m,f)   main beach.

23) Red-winged Blackbird  10 (m,f)  in pines at main beach; calls and song.

24) House Sparrow   10  around buildings.



December 10, 2009 (25 Species)

Weather:  Fair to partly cloudy; 26 to 36F; winds 0-2 mph. NE. Patches of snow in surrounding foothills and mountains.

Time: 1045 -1145 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked diagonally through the central section of the park, then returned around the western end to the main parking lot. Surveyed open water, shoreline, islands, lawns, pines and adjacent salt bush scrub, using a 10x40 binocular. About 50 people in the park and three workers riding lawn mowers on the north side. Many waterfowl resting on SE island.

   Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) in Apollo Park.                     ©  2009  Callyn D. Yorke                                                     

                                         BIRDS NOTED

1) Greater White-fronted Goose   1 (imm)  with Grey Lag goose, resting on lawn near parking area, S. Probably same individual seen on previous surrveys this year (e.g. Oct. 7).

2) Ross' Goose  1  resting on S shore. Probably same bird found here on previous surveys this year (e.g. Oct. 7).

3) Canada Goose    75   mostly on N side; some foraging on lawh; others in water; tame.

4) Mallard (wild-type)   70 (est. m,f)    ubiquitous around lake and on islands.

5) Domestic Mallard     15 ( back-crosses with mallards and Muscovy, ranging from pure white to beige)    S and S-central shore and water.

6) Chinese Goose   4   S shore.

7) Grey-lag Goose   6   S shore.

8) Muscovy Duck   4 (m,f)   S shore and central.

9) American Wigeon  6 (m,f) SE lake near island.

10) Bufflehead   6 (m,f)   open water, central-SE.

11) Hooded Merganser  5 (4 f, 1 m) on and around SE island.

12) Common Merganser   3 (2 m, 1 f) resting on SE island.

13)  Pied-billed Grebe  10   resting, open water N-central.

14) Eared Grebe   4  resting, onpen water, N-central.

15) Double-crested Cormorant   3 (ad, imm) on shore of NE island. One ad. with wings outstretched.

16) Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (juv.) on central shore; allowed close approach (see above photo).

17) American Coot    150   ubiquitous.

18) Ring-billed Gull   6 (ad) shorelines, S and S-central.

19) California Gull    4 (ad)  open water, shore and flying.

20)  Common Raven   4  flying over adjacent fields.

21) House Finch    6    in pines, NW and SE.

22) White-crowned Sparrow   6   calls S.

23) Dark-eyed Junco   20   ubiquitous under pines and on lawns.

24) Brewer's Blackbird   10    around parking area.

25) House Sparrow   10  around buildings.



November 16, 2009 (29 Species)

Weather: Fair, 28-30F; wind 0-1mph WNW.

Time: 0730-0900 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked slowly through the center of the park first, then the entire perimeter, surveying lawns, pines, open water, shoreline and adjacent saltbush scrub, using a 10x40 binocular and a DSLR camera. A few fishermen, walkers and joggers. The NE section was closed due to sprinkler icing of the benches, covers and trees. Conditions during the survey were good for detecting bird vocalizations and activity in the trees.

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) in Apollo Park, Los Angeles County, CA              ©  2009 Callyn D. Yorke
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) in Apollo Park, Los Angeles County, CA © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (imm) foraging on lawn with Grey Lag Goose, N.

2) Ross' Goose  1 swimming with domestic geese, N.

3) Canada Goose   48  Three flocks, one foraging on central-N lawn; others in water and on lawn N.

4) Greylag Goose  10, swimming, and on lawn, N.

5) Chinese Goose  4, swimming, N.

6) Muscovy Duck  4, resting on shore, S.

7) Mallard   100 (est.) wild-type morph; ubiquitous around perimeter of lake; one m chasing small white domestic duck.

8) Domestic Mallard    30 (including hybrids), S shore and in water.

9) Lesser Scaup 2 (m) pair staying together, diving, SE lake.

10) Hooded Merganser  1 (m) S-central lake, open water swimming in circles then flying low NW (see above photo).

11) Ruddy Duck  3 (m,f)   resting,   S-central, open water.

12) Pied-billed Grebe   10, mostly N lakes; open water; one flock of 6 staying together.

13) Western Grebe 1  S-central, near shore.

14) American White Pelican  1 swimming, Central-east lake.

15) Double-crested Cormorant   8 (6 imm)  resting on SE island; swimming, diving.

16) Great Blue Heron  1  N shore, flew E and displaced an immature BCNH.

17) Black-crowned Night Heron   3 (imm) N and N-central;  a pair staying close together on shore; fly, call.

18) American Coot   80 ubiquitous in the lakes and on shore.

19) Ring-billed Gull  1 (1st yr.) N shore.

20) California Gull  1 (2nd Yr) flying low, N.

21) Loggerhead Shrike  1, flew low across roadway and into saltbush, across from Fox Field (Ave. G and 50th St. W).

22) Common Raven   2, flying over park.

23) Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2  in pines, N; calls.

24) Cedar Waxwing   4-6?, calls from pines, NW (unseen).

25) European Starling   2 foraging on ground with BB; 10 on lawn next to Fox Field.

26) Yellow-rumped Warbler  6  calls from pines.

27) White-crowned Sparrow   6  N fence line under pines; calls.

28) Sage Sparrow  1  perched on saltbush, N field.

29) Brewer's Blackbird    20  foraging on ground and lawns, S.

30) House Sparrow    10 around buildings, S.



November 1, 2009 (25 Species)

Weather: Fair, 79F; no wind.

Time: 1500-1700 hrs.

Area Covered: Walked clockwise around the perimeter of the park, surveying pines, lawns, open water and adjacent fields of saltbush scrub, using a 10x40 binocular. About 150 people in the park this afternoon; several were throwing food (seeds and bread) to birds along the shoreline. The park is scheduled to be closed tomorrow (November 2-7) for maintenance. See October survey notes below.

Common Loon (Gavia immer) in Apollo Park.  ©  2009 Callyn D. Yorke
Common Loon (Gavia immer) in Apollo Park. © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Birds Noted

1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (imm) S-central foraging on lawn with Gray Lag Geese; probably same individual found here last month.

2) Ross's Goose  1 (ad) S-central, swimming with domestic geese; probably same individual found here last month.

3) Canada Goose  40: on shore taking food from people; swimming.

4) Mallard  100 (est.) ubiquitous.

5) Domestic Mallard 25 (including hybrids): swimming, S-central; resting on NE island.

6) Greylag Goose  10: swimming, S-central.

7) Chinese Goose  4: on land and in water, S-central.

8) Muscovy Duck  4 (m) resting on island, SE.

9) Common Loon  1 Central, swimming (see above photo).

10) Pied-billed Grebe  6 (ad, imm) loose flock, preening and diving, open water N.

11) American White Pelican  1 resting on NE island.

12) Double-crested Cormorant  6 (ad, imm): resting (2 with outstretched wings) on shore of NE island; one swimming and diving.

13) Great Blue Heron 1 (ad) resting on NE island.

14) Snowy Egret  2 on shore, NE island.

15) Black-crowned Night Heron  5 (3 ad, 2 imm); N and S shore; two near ducks being fed, allowing close approach by people.

16) American Coot  100 (est.) ubiquitous in and close to water.

17) Say's Phoebe  1 calls from S-central area (unseen).

18) Common Raven  3 N lawns and pines; calls.

19) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 in pine, SE.

20) Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-12, in pines around park; calls.

21) White-crowned Sparrow  1 SE, calls and song (unseen).

22) Red-winged Blackbird  4 (m (imm), f) foraging on shore with BB, SE.

23) Brewer's Blackbird  50-60 (est.) (m,f) foraging on seeds thrown near shore; roosting in pines, SE.

24 ) Great-tailed Grackle  1 calls, S (unseen).

25) House Finch  1 on fence near parking lot, S.

26) House Sparrow  3 near restrooms, S.

October 21, 2009 (28 Species)

Weather: Fair, 75F; W wind 2-4mph.

Time: 1215- 1320 hrs.

Area Covered: From central part of parking lot, I walked diagonally throught the central section of the park to the north side, using a 10x40 binocular and DSLR camera. My primary goal was to find the bird seen last time as a possible Common Grackle, and make additional photographs. I was unsuccessful in this effort. During the search for this bird, I briefly surveyed the lawns, pines and open water of the park for birdlife. I made two circuits around the entire park. Many fishermen, walkers, runners and children were present, but conditions were good for finding birds. The majority of the bird species found in my most recent survey (October, 17: see notes below), was seen during this survey, in addition to three new species, Common Loon, Bufflehead and Tree Swallow. However, when compared with my survey of October 7, 2009, only about half of the total bird species was seen today (see notes below). Interestingly, although Great-tailed Grackles were abundant and conspicuous on October 7, none was found in the park today.

Birds Noted

1) Ross' Goose  1: resting on central-west shore; later swimming with domestic geese.

2) Canada Goose  35 (est.) first found on N lawn, foraging; some entered water; most allowing (with vocalizations) my close approach.

3) Mallard  20 (including hybrids and domestics); shoreline and open water.

4) Bufflehead  4 (1 m, 3 f), open water, central.

5) Greylag Goose  6: shore and open water.

6) Chinese Goose  3: near shore.

7) Muscovy Duck 2 (and several possible hybrids with domestic duck), S and SW, near shore.

8) Common Loon  1 SE lake, open water, preening, diving.

9) Pied-billed Grebe  2 (ad, juv) open water, W.

10) American White Pelican  1 N, island and swimming (probably same bird as found in earlier surveys this Fall).

11) Double-crested Cormorant  4 (ad,juv), island shore, NE; swim & dive.

12) Great Blue Heron  1, on island, NE.

13) American Coot  60 (est.), ubiquitous.

14) Killdeer  2, fly, call, central.

15) Common Raven   4, 2 pair, chasing each other very close and fast with noisy wing strokes, over E section.

16) Tree Swallow  2, one dipping in water, SE; other 100 ft. (est.) over lake.

17) Mountain Chickadee  1, N pines, calls.

18) House Wren  1, pines , N fence line; calls.

19) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5, very active in pines along E and N fence line; calls

20) Northern Mockingbird  1, S section of park.

21) Yellow-rumped Warbler  60, ubiquitous, foraging quickly at all levels, lawns to tree-tops; aerial hawking, calls.

22) Savannah Sparrow  2, saltbush-rabbitbrush scrub, E fence line, foraging on lawns, calls.

23) White-crowned Sparrow  30, ubiquitous in pines and on lawns; calls and song.

24) Dark-eyed Junco  20 (10:1 Oregon to Pink-sided); foraging beneath pines; calls.

25) Red-winged Blackbird  3, S, calls in pines.

26) Brewer's Blackbird   40 (m,f) , flocks at S shore where seeds were thrown by park visitors; N side.

27) House Finch  3, calls/fly, W.

28) House Sparrow   25, W around buildings

Apollo Park, Los Angeles County, CA

October 17, 2009 (35 Species)

Weather: Fair, 65 to 78F;  wnw winds 0-2 mph.

Time : 0832 - 1115 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered: Basically the same survey area, methods and materials described for my previous visit to Apollo Park (October 7, 2009: see below). About 50 people using the park today for fishing, walking, picnicking, etc. Eastern and northern fence lines with Aleppo pines had the greatest diversity of migrant landbirds. Most of the waterbirds noted on October 7, were present again this morning. Before leaving the park, I returned to the SE corner to photograph (using a Nikon D3X with an 80-400 mm lense)a group of Brewer's blackbirds that contained one individual resembling an adult female Common Grackle (see photos and notes below). Subsequently, I studied a series of photos taken from different angles and positions, enlarged on a computer screen, and was reasonably certain that the bird shown was not a non-breeding (i.e. short-tailed) or immature Great-tailed Grackle, or a fall-variant Brewer's Blackbird.

Grackle sp? (left side profile) on the lawn in the southeast corner of Apollo Park.   © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke
Possible Common Grackle (left side profile) on the lawn in the southeast corner of Apollo Park. © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Grackle sp? (same as above) showing variegated pattern on back.    ©  2009 Callyn D. Yorke  
Possible Common Grackle (same as above) showing variegated pattern on back. © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Grackle sp? ( left, same as above) with Brewer's Blackbird (right).    ©  2009  Callyn D. Yorke
Possible Common Grackle ( left, same as above) with Brewer's Blackbird (right). © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Male Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), October 26, 2009 at Apollo Park, CA.              ©  2009  Callyn D. Yorke
Male Great-tailed Grackle, October 26, 2009 at Apollo Park, CA. © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Birds Noted

1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (imm) open water with Grey Lag Geese; looks like same individual seen on Oct. 7, '09.

2) Ross' Goose  1: swimming with other domestic geese; probably same individual as seen on Oct. 7, '09.

3) Canada Goose  35 (partial count): first seen on the lawn, E side; then in water and on N island.

4) Mallard  25: open water, and shore; including some back-crossed hybrids with Domestic ducks. Taking seeds thrown on land.

5) Domestic Mallard   20: ubiquitous, esp. S shore.

6) Muscovy Duck  3: shoreline, S.

7) Common Merganser 1 (f) resting on N isle; probably same individual seen on Oct. 7, '09.

8) California Quail  4-10: N saltbush scrub near fence line and drainage puddle outside of park.

9) Pied-billed Grebe  1: open water N.

10) Eared Grebe  2: open water, central.

11) American White Pelican  1: standing on boulder, preening, N-central island; probably same individual seen on Oct. 7, '09.

12) Double-crested Cormorant  3 (imm) inactive on NE island.

13) Great Blue Heron  1: N shore.

14) Snowy Egret  1: N shore next to GBH.

15) Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (ad) in tree on SE island.

16) American Coot  100+ ubiquitous, open water, shore, land.

17) Northern Flicker  1: W climbing up Aleppo pine trunk; fly and call.

18) Black Phoebe  2: low perch, S and NW.

19) Common Raven  4: flying over; N, pair in Aleppo pines.

20) Horned Lark  5: flying over desert scrub, N; calls.

21) Mountain Chickadee  1: calls from Aleppo pines, N (unseen).

22) House Wren  3: salt bush scrub; Aleppo pines,N; calls.

23) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5: foraging low to mid-level in Aleppo pines N, NW; calls.

24) Thrush (Catharus sp). 1: Uniform brownish-gray above, lighter below; no distinct facial markings (no conspicuous eye ring); heavily spotted breast with buffy edges; tail same color as back; Seen clearly but briefly, at a distance of about 30 feet, the bird's front and side profile,while it moved quickly in the shade of a small juniper shrub along the N-central fence line; a small drainage puddle nearby. The bird was not refound after 20 minutes of extended observations in this area.

25) Townsend's Warbler 1 (m) foraging in lower- mid level branches of an Aleppo pine, W.

26) Yellow-rumped Warbler  30: ubiquitous, foraging on ground, gleaning foliage, aerial hawking.

27) Sage Sparrow  2: saltbush-rabbit brush scrub, NW.

28) Savannah Sparrow  1: E, call (unseen).

29) White-crowned Sparrow  50 (est.) ubiquitous, on ground, shrubs and trees; calls and song.

30) Dark-eyed Junco 10: in Aleppo pines and beneath them on ground; calls.

31) Red-winged Blackbird  5 (m,f) : Aleppo pines, S and SW; call, fly.

32) Brewer's Blackbird  30 (m,f) ubiquitous, esp on ground in S and SE, call, fly.

33) Grackle (Quiscalus sp. ?) 1:  foraging on lawn with Brewer's Blackbird; SE (photos). Appeared to be 20-30% larger than Brewer's Blackbird and smaller than a typical male Great-tailed Grackle (none found in the park today for comparison). Showed variegation (coppery banding) on back and glossy head and neck. Noted the bill was stouter than Brewer's Blackbird, yet shorter than a typical Great-tailed Grackle (see above photos). Somewhat problematic here is the fact that there were molting male Great-tailed Grackles found in the park on Oct. 7, 2009. Since none of those individuals was seen today, one must wonder if the bird in question is a recently molted, or partially molted, hybridized (BBx GTG), or otherwise aberrant male GTG.

34) House Finch   12: in Aleppo pines; fly, call, N.

35) Lesser Goldfinch  3-5: around pines N; calls/fly (unseen).

36) House Sparrow   20 (m,f) : around buildings and trees throughout the park; calls.

October 7, 2009 (55 Species)

Weather:  Fair, 58 to 72F; winds WNW 0-3 mph., gusting to 15 mph by 1130 hrs.

Time: 0800 - 1130 hrs.

Area Covered:  Drove into Apollo County Park on 50th Street West (turning E, north of intersection with Avenue G) and parked in the western portion of the lot. Walked slowly, using a 10 x 40 binocular (later returning for a 25x scope to view birds on an island in the southeastern section) counter-clockwise around the entire park, stopping several times for extended observations in the shade along the eastern and northern fence lines. Continued NE through the central section of the park, turning E and revisiting the row of Aleppo pines and wet grass along the eastern fence line. Only a few walkers, fishermen and children in the playground areas this morning. The park was generally quiet and the weather quite pleasant for birding. Gnats and other small flying insects became active and conspicuous as the air temperature increased throughout the morning. Most of the waterbirds were found in the southern portion of the park. Landbirds were concentrated in the Aleppo pines, mainly along the eastern and northern fence lines. The adjacent salt bush scrub (Atriplex spp.)was also surveyed along the fence lines and seemed to hold the greatest density of birds at the edge of the park. Most of the birds found today were migrants, both regional (including altitudinal) and long-distance.

Ross' Goose at Apollo Park.  © 2009 Callyn Yorke
Ross' Goose at Apollo Park. © 2009 Callyn Yorke

Greater White-fronted Goose (immature) at Apollo Park. © 2009  Callyn Yorke
Greater White-fronted Goose (immature) at Apollo Park. © 2009 Callyn Yorke


1) Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (imm); shy, entering lake when approached; N (photo).

2) Ross' Goose  1 (ad): open water with domestic grey lags and others, S (photo).

3) Canada Goose 49: foraging  on grass, N. flock staying together when entering lake.

4) Mallard  30: sleeping, swimming. one pair on island, m wild type, f white domestic type.

5) Domestic Mallard   25: mostly in the S, on land and on shore taking food. Most appear to be mallard back-crosses.

6) Common Merganser 1 (f); resting on s shore of island in SE lake; threatening passing mallards by lunging with open mouth.

7) Muscovy Duck  3-4 (including hybrid w domestic duck), S with other domestics being fed.

8) Chinese Goose   6: swimming in S lake; aggregating with other domestic waterfowl.

9) Greylag Goose  12 (including hybrids with domestic Mallard), S, with other domestics.

10) California Quail  10: rabbitbrush-saltbrush scrub along N fence line.

11) Pied-billed Grebe  8: open water, S, E; diving; one with small fish.

12) Eared Grebe  4: open water, S, N. Diving.

13) White Pelican  1: open water, S.

14) Double-crested Cormorant  10 (imm): swim/dive; shorelines and islands S, E, N.

15) Great blue Heron  2: shore, central, N, avoiding people.

16) Great Egret  4: 1 pair flying and calling; shorelines central and N, more tolerant of people than GBH.

17) Snowy egret 3: pair on N shore; one on boat dock with GE.

18) Black-crowned Night Heron  4: 2 ad, 2 imm S and central shoreline; ad camera shy.

19) Turkey Vulture  1: flying at about 100 ft. SE over park.

20) Cooper's Hawk 1 ad. flying W through trees.

21) American Coot  50: ubiquitous, open water and land.

22) Killdeer  2: on grass near shoreline, central, calls.

23) Mourning Dove 2, drinking near E fence line; calls, fly.

24) Northern Flicker 2: pair staying close; foraging on ground and climbing trunks of pines; calls.

25) Willow flycatcher 1: sally-fly from low pines and juniper, N fence line.

26) Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1: low perch in pine,  W-central.

27) Black Phoebe  1: low perch, fly, W-central.

28) Plumbeous Vireo 1: mid-level in pines, N fence line, calls; mixed species flock (MSF) with warblers and kinglets.

29) Cassin's Vireo  1: same area as PV, (much brighter greenish-yellow flanks than PV); MSF, mid to upper level in pines.

30) Warbling Vireo  2: top level to mid-level of pines in MSF

31) Common Raven  4: pair in pines along N fence line; calls, staying close. one on edge of tin roof of picnic shelter, E.

32) Horned Lark  1-2: flying over N field, calls (unseen).

33) Tree Swallow  1: seen briefly flying low over saltbush scrub, E.

34) Mountain chickadee  1: foraging in Aleppo pine, N, extracting seeds and pounding them on a branch; calls, MSF including an agitated house wren.

35) Bewick's Wren 2: saltbush scrub, N fence line and E fence line; calls.

36) House Wren 1: mid-level in pines; active and giving repeated slurred calls, MSF, N.

37) Ruby-crowned Kinglet   6: foraging in pines, low-mid level, also on chain-link fence and low shrubs; N and E. MSF with Wilson's and Yellow-rumped warblers.

38) Northern Mockingbird 1 SW cactus garden, on fence beneath flock of waxwings.

39) Cedar Waxwing  6: in canopy of Aleppo Pine, SW, calls from two adjacent trees.

40) Orange-crowned Warbler  4: MSF in pines with other warblers. Also in low shrubs with white-crowned sparrows, E fence line.

41) Yellow-rumped Warbler  10(m,f): foraging all levels, E and N. calls; MSF.

42) Black-throated Gray Warbler  12 (m,f): foraging all levels in pines; MSF, continuous calls, E and NE.

43) Wilson's Warbler  6 (m,f) : found only in small section of pines on E fence line; foraging on ground and lower branches with YRW; calls.

44) Chipping Sparrow  2: NE fence line, on ground and low in pines; calls.

45) Sage Sparrow    10: salt bush scrub, N and E; pair drinking beneath fountain in E picnic area; call and  brief song.

46) Savannah Sparrow  6: calls from dense scrub, E and N fence line; one on fence.

47) Song Sparrow  1: called from E fence line, dense scrub with soggy grass nearby (unseen).

48) Lincoln's Sparrow  6: E and N fence line; dense scrub; one foraging out on lawn; calls.

49) White-crowned Sparrow   20+ : active in saltbush scrub, bordering pines, on ground; calls and brief song.

50) Dark-eyed Junco (1 pink-sided)   2: active on ground and in low pines, N fence line. calls.

51) Red-winged Blackbird  1 (imm m): on ground with BB in small garden, SW.

52) Western Meadowlark  2: flying S over park.

53) House Finch  6: one foraging with House Sparrows on lawn; others in flight over park; calls.

54) Brewer's Blackbird  30: on ground and in pines; mostly S and SW. calls.

55) Great-tailed Grackle  15 (m,f). on ground and in pines; several moulting, males with short tails; brief calls and song.

56) House Sparrow  30 (m,f) : mostly in and around buildings in S; foraging on lawns and bare ground, calls.

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