© Callyn Yorke


                            Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) immature   Long Beach-Catalina Channel, Los Angeles County CA  17 October 2013


                                                                                                                                                                      © 2013 Callyn Yorke




Bird Surveys


April 28, 2018 Madrona Marsh

October 28, 2017 Descanso Gardens

October 21, 2017 Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA

October 12, 2017  El Dorado Park, Long Beach

October 5, 2017 Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge

April 29, 2017 Madrona Marsh, Torrance

December 3, 2016 Cabrillo Beach, Redondo Beach and Madrona Marsh

November 21, 2016  Playa del Rey, Los Angeles

October 29, 2016 Veterans Park, Sylmar

November 14, 2015 Legg Lake, South El Monte

October 17, 2015 Los Angeles River at Willow St.

September 26, 2015 Los Angeles River at Willow St.

May 9, 2015 Long Beach Harbor and Catalina Channel

April 11, 2015  Hansen Dam

January 19, 2015  Legg Lake, South El Monte

November 22, 2014 Del Rey Lagoon, Breakwater and Ballona Wetlands

May 8, 2014  Hansen Dam 

May 3, 2014  Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles

April 24, 2014  Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles

February 14, 2014  El Dorado Park, Long Beach

November 10, 2013  Veteran's Park, Sylmar

October 17, 2013 Long Beach Harbor and Catalina Channel.

December 20, 2012  Cabrillo Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Ken Malloy Regional Park

July 11, 2011  De Forest Park, North Long Beach

November 13 & 21, 2010  Los Alamitos Bay, Long Beach

November 12, 2010  Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro

May 29, 2010  Palos Verdes Peninsula

May 7, 2010  Ballona Wetlands

December 17, 2009 Placerita Canyon Park, Newhall

July 4, 2009  DeForest Park

May 9, 2009  Palos Verdes Peninsula

April 25, 2009  Hansen Dam



April 28, 2018  Mardrona Marsh, Torrance (49 Species)


Weather: Fair to partly cloudy; 54F to 64F; wind WSW 2  mph.

Time: 0730 - 1140 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Birds of Southern California class (5 students and I).

Area Covered (see also: April 29, 2017):

1) Nature Center (NC): YBH, MB and I, followed by others, prior to the beginning of the class (0730 hrs.) observed birds in plantings around the nature center, which features several small, Southern California native plant habitats (established in 2001), including Riparian Woodland (e.g. sycamore,alder, mulefat, gooseberry), remnants of Oak Woodland (coast live oak), Back Dune Scrub (e.g. dune lupine, bladderpod, beach primrose), Coastal Sage Scrub (e.g. California sage, black sage, coast goldenbush), Chaparral (e.g. ceanothus, chamise, sugarbush, buckwheat, white sage), Channel Island (e.g. Catalina snapdragon, red buckwheat, dudleya), and Desert (e.g. Indian mallow, chuparosa, fairy duster). Additionally, hanging bird feeders attracted finches to the area; fruiting sycamores in the parking area attracted hummingbirds, goldfinches and a flock of cedar waxwing. The relatively new Nature Center (established on April 28, 2001) includes natural history exhibits, printed materials, regular bird surveys and educational programs open to the public (Tues.-Sun. 10AM - 5 PM, and by appointment).


2) Madrona Marsh Preserve (MM): Mark, a MM volunteer birder, opened the main gate for us and initially led us into the preserve on Plaza del Amo. Established by the City of Torrance in 1971 (the site was formerly an oil field), the acreage is being restored, replanted and maintained by the City as a permanently protected ecological preserve. Pathways through the preserve sample sections of the above-mentioned native plant communities in addition to a series of wetlands, i.e. Freshwater Marsh (Schoenoplectus acutus, Typha sp., Cyperaceae spp.), and vernal ponds. Water, after seasonal rains fill the se catchment basin, is pumped into the marsh. About twenty volunteers were removing non-native vegetation from the northern section of the preserve during the latter half of our survey.


The entire preserve includes an area of about 44 acres, ranging in elevation from 72-76 ft. above sea level. Most of the acreage (depending on seasonal precipitation) includes inundated depressions, with water levels varying from ankle to waist deep. About half of the preserve appeared to be relatively wet during our visit, supporting a small assemblage of waterbirds. According to information published by the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve, evaporation, percolation and transpiration reduce the water depth by about one-fourth inch per day.


Walking slowly and stopping frequently on dry and moist pathways, we surveyed most of preserve visually using binoculars, except for the southwest corner, which includes inundated ponds, marsh and dense riparian-willow woodland. Our visit also included a restricted, fenced and gated area that is usually locked. This rather secluded area includes the deepest land depression within the preserve, located in the southeast corner. Vegetation consists of a mixture of marsh, coastal sage, ruderal slopes, and eucalyptus woodland (many lerp psyllid-infested). The latter habitat, located along the eastern border of the preserve, was productive for warblers. A small pond in this catchment basin had only one waterbird, a Pied-billed Grebe.





Canada Goose  15 (4 ad; 11 goslings) paired adults, occasionally showing courtship behavior, were leading goslings around the marsh, nw.

Mallard  10  (m,f) pairs scattered around the wetlands.

Cinnamon Teal  2  (m,f) a pair dabbling in marsh with mallards.

Pied-billed Grebe  1 (alt. plmg) stationary in middle of sump pond, sec.

Feral Rock Pigeon  4  NC (YBH).

Mourning Dove  16  vocal pairs in trees and on ground throughout.

Whte-throated Swift 4   gregarious (one individual (imm?). showing pale markings on throat and rump) circling 200-300 ft. agl over marsh.

Allen's Hummingbird  14 (m,f) males on conspicuous perches on tall shrubs and small trees throughout; One male showing U-shaped display flight over open area with scattered shrubs, n.

Selasphorus sp. 1-2 males showing mostly rufous back, tail and head; small patches of green on back.

Anna's Hummingbird 1-2  vocal; one male on conspicuous perch atop a tall shrub, central.

Virginia Rail  1  foraging quickly and warily at muddy edge of marsh in plain sight, w (photo).


          Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) Madrona Marsh Los Angeles County CA 28 April 2018


                                                                                                            © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Sora   2   individuals foraging separately in mud at edge of marsh, w  (photo).




        Sora (Porzana carolina) Madrona Marsh  Los Angeles County CA   28 April 2018


                                                                                                      © 2018 Callyn Yorke





Killdeer  8   (ad; 2 imm.)  vocal,; pairs;  two, half-grown immatures, about the same size as a semipalmated plover, following adults into dense marsh-riparian vegetation, w.

Least Sandpiper 1 (alt. plmg.) foraging on mud at edge of marsh, w.

Western Gull 1 (ad) flying over marsh, 100 ft. agl.

Snowy Egret  1  wading in marsh, w.

Red-shouldered Hawk   3    two in sec probably a mated pair; one perched in cottonwood; one molting secondaries on one wing; both birds later circling above, calling in swc; another flying over parking lot, ne.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  ad flying low over marsh-riparian, sw.

Black Phoebe  2- 3  vocal; conspicuous perches at edge of riparian and marsh, w.

Cassin's Kingbird  3   vocal;; one pair staying close, perched in same snag (photo), se; one aggressively pursuing a crow.


           Cassin's Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans)  Madrona Marsh  Los Angeles County CA 28 April 2018


                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Warbling Vireo  3   individuals very actively foraging in willows and sycamores, often with warblers, e.g. YRWA, OCWA, TOWA, s, nw.

American Crow   12   gregarious, vocal; ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2   vocal;  one soaring 200-300 ft. agl  over south section of preserve.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2   flying low, back and forth over marsh with CLSW, nw.

Cliff Swallow  6  flying 20 - 100 ft. agl over marsh, nw.

Bushtit  6   individuals and small, vocal flocks in shrubs throughout.

Wrentit  1  repeated song (unseen) central.

Western Bluebird  2  (m,f) a pair sallying from low limbs of alders at edge of riparian-marsh, s.

Northern Mockingbird  2  vocal; edge of fields; adjacent developed areas; in trees and tall shrubs.

European Starling  6  gregarious, vocal; perched on a large snag, se.

Cedar Waxwing  8 -12    vocal, gregarious in small, highly mobile flocks alighting in sycamores around the preserve (photo).


             Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Madrona Marsh  Los Angeles County CA  28 April 2018


                                                                                                                                                                      © 2018 Callyn Yorke






Scaly-breasted Munia  12 (m,f; imm)    gregarious; at edge of marsh and in brushy area; one stripping fibers from base of cattails; also dipping bill into water, s (photo).



               Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) male   Madrona Marsh   Los Angeles County CA  28 April 2018


                                                                                                            © 2018 Callyn Yorke




House Sparrow   6  (m,f)  active in NC garden.

House Finch  12   (m,f)  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  8  vocal; often paired; flying between deciduous trees around preserve.

American Goldfinch  2 (f) gregarious in low branches at edge of riparian, sw.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  active in eucalyptus grove with YRWA, se.

Common Yellowthroat  4  (m,f) vocal;   one fem. carrying long, thin stem; edge of riparian, sw.

Yellow Warbler   2  vocal (unseen)  willow-riparian, sw.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   7  (m,f; alt. plmg.) very actively  gleaning foliage in eucalyptus, sycamore and other trees throughout; often in msf with WAVI, and other warblers, e.g. OCWA, TOWA.

Townsend's Warbler  2  (m,f)  individuals very actively foraging in sycamores around parking lot, NC.

Wilson's Warbler   1-2 repeated song (unseen) dense riparian woodland, sw.

California Towhee  3  vocal; on ground and in low shrubs and limbs of trees throughout.

Savannah Sparrow 1  flushed from trailside, grassland with scattered shrubs; staying low, partially concealed from view, se.

Song Sparrow  1   staying low at edge of riparian-marsh, nw,

White-crowned Sparrow  2 (ad) calls;   in shrubs and low limbs in trees, sump hillside, se.

Lazuli Bunting  2-3   one male photographed in garden, NC (YBH); two males (one in alt. plmg.) together in shrubby area, n-central.

Red-winged Blackbird  8 (m,f) vocal; largely confined to marsh and adjacent riparian; fem. foraging in muddy edges, nw.

Great-tailed Grackle   6 (m,f  alt. plmg.) males vocal and displaying together in shrubs and trees around marsh, nw.

Hooded Oriole  1-2  vocal; one m flying east out of preserve, e-central.

























October 28, 2017 Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge (37 Species)


Weather: Fair; 50F to 83F; winds calm.

Time: 0710- 1300 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Autumn Birds of Southern California class (6 students and I).

Area Covered: The main parking lot (early AM), gardens, hillside chaparral, water features and oak woodland. We visually surveyed about 20 acres, walking slowly on pathways (0800- 1130 hrs.). The main pond shoreline had numerous lights set up for evening shows; relatively few waterbirds were found there this morning.




Domestic (albinistic) Gray-lag Goose  1 on shore of the main pond with mallards.

Mallard  12  (m,f)  swimming and approaching us from the shoreline, apparently seeking food handouts.

Mourning Dove  10  gregarious; in trees and on shoreline.

Anna's Hummingbird   8 (m,f)   vocal; ubiquitous; often hovering around outer foliage of trees and shrubs (photo).


                       Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) Descanso Gardens LACO CA 28 Oct. 2017


                                                                                                 © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Allen's Hummingbird 20 (m,f) vocal; territorial interactions around flowering shrubs and trees throughout.

Great Blue Heron  1 wading in shallows at edge of marsh in main pond (photo).



 Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Descanso Gardens LACO CA  28 Oct 2017

                                                                                            © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Black-crowned Night Heron  1  flying to concealed perch at edge of main pond, (YBH).

Green Heron  1 standing on edge of tules about 2 ft. above the water of the main pond (photo).



Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Descanso Gardens, LACO CA  28 October 2017


                                                                                         © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Turkey Vulture  1 over the parking area, late morning, (YBH).

Red-tailed Hawk 2  over the parking area, late morning (YBH).

Acorn Woodpecker  1  flying over park near entrance, early morning.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  (m) foraging on 5 in. diameter limb in oak subcanopy.

Northern Flicker  calls (unseen).

Red-crowned Parrot  (an established exotic in L.A. region; native and endangered sp. of ne Mexico) 40-50   vocal, gregarious; perched in tall trees in and around the parking area; foraging on fruits of a purplish flowering tree in the parking area (photo); flying nw in small, noisy flocks, early AM.



               Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis) Descanso Gardens, LACO CA  28 October 2017


                                                                                                      © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Black Phoebe  2   sallying from low perches near the pond and in chaparral.

California Scrub-Jay   4  vocal; inidividuals flying around park; perched in tall trees; one with unidentified white object in beak.

American Crow  6   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; most flying over park; pairs perched in tall trees.

Oak Titmouse  3  vocal; in subcanopy of oaks throughout.

Bushtit   6 vocal, gregarious; moving quickly through a variety of shrubs and trees.

House Wren 1  vocal (unseen) shady oak woodland near trail to Boddy house.

Bewick's Wren  4  vocal; active in garden and in a variety of shrubs and trees; often in msf with YRWA, WCSP and others.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5  vocal; active primarily in subcanopy of oaks; often with YRWA.

Wrentit  4  vocal (song) individuals singing from widely separated locations (e.g. 100 yards) a pair in close contact moving through sapling oaks at edge of main pond and into subcanopy of adjacent mature oaks (photo).



                            Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) Descanso Gardens, LACO CA  28 October 2017


                                                                                                     © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Hermit Thrush  6  vocal (calls), gregarious (pairs) in shady areas throughout; foraging in leaf litter, sometimes with other species, e.g. ORJU and BEWR, (photo).



Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) Descanso Gardens, LACO CA 28 October 2017

                                                                                            © 2017 Callyn Yorke



California Thrasher  1  vocal (calls and song fragments); hillside chaparral above the main pond; fairly secretive; seen briefly, flying low toward hillside.

Northern Mockingbird  2 vocal (calls); hillside chapparal and edge of oak woodland.

Phainopepla  1 (m) flying nw over park, early AM.

House Finch 6  (m,f)  vocal, gregarious, in oaks and shrubs; foraging on ground with WCSP.

Lesser Goldfinch 2 (m,f) vocal (calls) in shrubs and trees at edge of garden house.

Spotted Towhee  4  vocal (calls); foraging on ground with WCSP.

California Towhee   6 vocal (calls) foraging in pairs on ground in gardens with WCSP and DEJU (photo).



California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) Descanso Gardens, LACO CA 28 October 2017

                                                                                            © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Song Sparrow  2  foraging on ground in well watered garden with WCSP.

White-crowned Sparrow  12  (ad., imm)  vocal (calls and song), gregarious; foraging on ground throughout.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  2  (ad, imm) a pair foraging in moist, weedy margin of garden.

Dark-eyed Junco  6  vocal (calls) gregarious; foraging on ground with WCSP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  vocal (calls) foraging in oaks and herbaceous plants in gardens.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  60  vocal (calls), gregarious, ubiquitous; foraging at all height levels on a variety of substrates; occasionally seen aerial hawking and snatch-gleaning; small flocks of YRWA attracting other insectivorous birds, e.g. BEWR, RCKI and OCWA.






















October 21, 2017  Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA (12 Species)


Weather: Fair; 65F to 72F; wind NW 2 mph.

Time: 0830-0845 hrs; 1230 - 1330 hrs.

Observers: T. Palos, J. Klein and I.

Area Covered: Outside main entrance (0830-0845 hrs. - gates closed until after 0900 hrs.); near the waterfall and stream, we made stationary observations for about 30 minutes, surrounded by mostly ornamental trees and shrubs. Subsequently, we briefly walked pathways through the garden. A few visitors were in the garden, which was otherwise quiet and undisturbed by human activities (1230- 1330 hrs.).





Anna's Hummingbird  2 vocal, active around inflorescences of shrubs and trees; one fem. drinking from water moving over rocks in the waterfall.

Allen's Hummingbird  4  (m,f)  vocal, territorial around inflorescences of shrubs and trees next to the waterfall and stream.

Aratinga sp.  vocal (unseen) above the canopy in the garden.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  vocal (unseen) near the entrance.

Warbling Vireo  1  foraging in a variety of shrubs and trees; visited stream once.

Bushtit  1  in bamboo near entrance.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  vocal; active in trees with YRWA.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2 calls; bathing, drinking; foraging in trees and shrubs near stream (photo).



Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA  Los Angeles County CA  21 October 2017


                                                                                                                                                       © 2017 Teresa Palos



Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  6 (m,f)   vocal (calls) gregarious; foraging in a wide variety of shrubs and trees; bathing in stream.

Black-throated Gray Warbler  2  (m,f) vocal (calls) in shrubs and trees around stream (photo).



Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA  Los Angeles County CA  21 October 2017


                                                                                                                                                               © 2017 Teresa Palos







   Townsend's Warbler 1 (m)  vocal (calls) in shrubs and trees around stream; drinking and bathing in stream (photo)



     Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA  Los Angeles County CA  21 October 2017


                                                                                                                                                          © 2017 Teresa Palos





Common Yellowthroat  1 (m)  downstream in bordering plants (photo).



     Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA  Los Angeles County CA 21 October 2017











October 12, 2017  El Dorado Regional Park, Long Beach(27 Species)



Weather: Fair; 75F; wind NNW 2 - 5 mph.

Time: 1150- 1250 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a clockwise route from Horseshoe Lake, through parkland (oak-pine-eucalyptus;  mowed lawns) and around water features (stagnant and relatively clean ponds, lakes and connecting channel), including small patches of marsh at the edges. About 50 people were in the park area surveyed; many with dogs (most leashed). I surveyed about 25 acres visually (using a10x40 binocular) and aurally.




Domestic Gray-lag Goose  9  a vocal flock following someone with bird food, main lake.

Swan Goose  1  at edge of main lake.

Mallard   80  (m,f) edges of ponds and lakes; flocking to edge where someone was providing bird food.

American Wigeon  2  (m,f)  together and wary; connecting channel.

Ring-necked Duck  1 (m)  wary; with AMWI in connecting channel.

Ruddy Duck  1  diving in main lake.

Mourning Dove  8  foraging on ground in fenced burned area around utility standards.

American Coot  20   ubiquitous in and around water.

Great Blue Heron  1  in marsh at edge of connecting channel.

Great Egret  1  foraging in shallows of Horseshoe Lake (photo).


      Great Egret (Ardea alba) El Dorado Park, Los Angeles County CA 12 October 2017


                                                                                                                     © 2017 Callyn Yorke



Red-shouldered Hawk  1  vocal; flying low through park.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  vocal; on top of utility standard.

Belted Kingfisher  1  vocal; flying over main pond.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  3  vocal; foraging in oaks and eucalyptus.

Northern (YS) Flicker  1  initially on ground beneath an oak; flew to adjacent oak, showing yellow shafted primaries.

Black Phoebe  6  vocal, solitary. Sallying to lawns from low tree limbs.

American Crow  2  vocal; flying through park.

Bushtit  8  vocal, gregarious; foraging in oaks with nearby OCWA.

House Wren  1 vocal in subcanopy of coast live oak with bunches of dead twigs.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 vocal; foraging in oaks, in msf with OCWA, YRWA and TOWA.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  foraging in oaks with other warblers.

Nashville Warbler  1  (imm) foraging with OCWA in oaks.

Townsend's Warbler  3 (ad, imm)  foraging in outer foliage of oaks and mesquite trees (photo).


             Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) El Dorado Park, Los Angeles County CA 12 October 2017


                                                                                                                   © 2017 Callyn Yorke




Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  1 calls; in oak with other warblers.

Common Yellowthroat  1 (m) calls; in marsh of connecting channel.

House Finch  4  vocal, gregarious in ornamental flowering tree.

Great-tailed Grackle  4 (m,f) following GRLG on lawns.







October 5, 2017  Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge (27 Species)



Weather: Fair; 72F to 85F; winds calm.

Time: 1008- 1230 hrs.

Area Covered: Beginning at the main entrance, I walked paved and unpaved pathways through the interior, perimeter and in the southern chaparral area, visually and aurally surveying about 25 acres. Habitats included, mature coast live oak woodland (closed and open canopies of trees > 125 years old), riparian (mature sycamore and willow), hillside chaparral (sugarbush), with a hillside cluster of mature Coulter and Torrey pine;  artificial ponds, lake, streams and marginal freshwater marsh, flower gardens with mixtures of exotic and native ornamentals. Many visitors, including elementary school children, were present during the survey; most of the birdlife was found in the less frequented margins of the property. Ground-dwelling birds (e.g. quail, dove, sparrows, blackbirds) were almost entirely absent.




Mallard  17 (m,f)  including one domestic type; resting and dabbling at edge of the upper lake.

Snowy Egret 1 (ad) foraging on edge of the upper lake.

Cooper's Hawk  2 (m,f)  a pair circling together about 150 ft. agl; occasionally colliding and interacting in flight.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m) vocal; hovering around trees at edge of upper lake.

Allen's Hummingbird  6  (m,f) vocal; occasional territorial disputes; foraging on flowering herbs and shrubs throughout.

Acorn Woodpecker  2  vocal; in oaks in a section closed to the public, ne.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 3  (m,f) vocal; individuals foraging in oaks, ne.

Northern Flicker  calls (unseen) ne.

Black Phoebe  2  vocal; near pond and also in dry open woodland, s.

California Scrub-Jay  6  vocal; active in oak canopies throughout.

American Crow  2  vocal; in sycamores, central.

Oak Titmouse  2  vocal; oak subcanopies, se.

Bushtit  6 vocal, gregarious; foraging in garden herbs and shrubs, n.

Bewick's Wren  2  vocal; edge of chaparral and interior oak woodland, s, ne.

House Wren  1  vocal; edge of marsh-riparian, upper lake.

Wrentit 1  vocal (unseen) hillside chaparral, s.

Western Bluebird  2  vocal; open canopy oak woodland, s.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, edge of parking lot, n.

California Thrasher 3  vocal; hillside chaparral, s.

Orange-crowned Warbler 2  vocal; foraging in subcanopy of oaks, ne.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  50 (m,f) vocal (calls), gregarious, ubiquitous.

Townsend's Warbler 1 (m) foraging in subcanopy of oaks, ne.

Song Sparrow  1 vocal; edge of marsh-riparian, upper lake.

Dark-eyed Junco  2  vocal   in lower branches of closed canopy of oaks.

White-crowned Sparrow  1  vocal; edge of chaparral, s.

House Finch  2   (f) edge of upper lake.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  vocal; foraging with bushtits in garden shrubs and flowers, central.








April 29, 2017  Madrona Marsh Preserve, Torrance (73 species)



                                               Common Yellowthroat           watercolor                    ©  2017  Dinuk Magammana                                     



Weather: Fair; 65F to 75F; wind WNW 2 mph.

Time:  0700 - 1040 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Spring Birds of Southern California class (8 students), Dinuk Magammana (DM) and I.

Area Covered:  1) Nature Center (NC): YBH and I, followed by DM and others, prior to the beginning of the class (0730 hrs.) observed birds in plantings around the nature center, which features several small, Southern California native plant habitats (established in 2001), including Riparian Woodland (e.g. sycamore, mulefat, gooseberry), Back Dune Scrub (e.g. dune lupine, bladderpod, beach primrose), Coastal Sage Scrub (e.g. California sage, black sage, coast goldenbush), Chaparral (e.g. ceanothus, chamise, white sage), Channel Island (e.g. Catalina snapdragon, red buckwheat, dudleya), and Desert (e.g. Indian mallow, chuparosa, fairy duster). Additionally, hanging bird feeders attracted finches to the area; fruiting sycamores in the parking area attracted hummingbirds, goldfinches and a flock of cedar waxwing. The relatively new Nature Center (established on April 28, 2001) includes natural history exhibits, printed materials, regular bird surveys and educational programs open to the public (Tues.-Sun. 10AM - 5 PM, and by appointment).


2) Madrona Marsh Preserve (MM): Dinuk Magammana (DM) an artist-naturalist (see above painting), employed by the Madrona Marsh Nature Center, led us into the fenced and gated preserve on Plaza del Amo, established by the City of Torrance in 1971 (the site was formerly an oil field), to be restored and replanted as a permanently protected ecological preserve. Pathways through the preserve sample sections of the above-mentioned native plant communities in addition to a series of wetlands, i.e. Freshwater Marsh, and vernal ponds. The entire preserve includes an area of about 44 acres, ranging in elevation from 72-76 ft. above sea level. Most of the acreage (depending on seasonal precipitation) includes inundated depressions, with water levels varying from ankle to waist deep. About half of the preserve appeared to be relatively dry during our visit. According to information published by the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve, evaporation, percolation and transpiration reduce the water depth by about one-fourth inch per day.


Walking slowly and stopping frequently on dry pathways, we surveyed most of preserve visually using binoculars, except for the southwest corner, which includes ponds, marsh and riparian woodland. Our visit also included a restricted area that is usually fenced in and locked. This rather secluded area includes the deepest land depression within the preserve, located in the southeast corner. Vegetation consists of a mixture of marsh, coastal sage, ruderal slopes, and eucalyptus woodland (many lerp psyllid-infested). The latter habitat, located along the eastern border of the preserve, was highly productive for vireos, warblers, finches and other recently arrived spring migrants.





Canada Goose  10  (ad; imm) a family group foraging on low wetland herbs, sw (photo); one failed nest with eggs in marsh, w MM.


Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Madrona Marsh Torrance, Los Angeles County CA  29 April 2017

                                                                                                                       © 2017 Callyn Yorke                                         





Anas sp.   1 (m) Relatively slender neck and rounded head; greenish gloss on side of crown; bill greenish black; black rump with slightly upturned white tail feathers, suggesting a pintail x mallard or mallard x gadwall hybrid. Swimming alone, nw, MM.



Anas sp.  Madrona Marsh, Torrance Los Angeles County CA  29 April 2017

                                                                                                              © 2017 Callyn Yorke






American Wigeon  2  (m,f)  individuals separated by 30 yards or so, resting on shore of marsh, nw MM.

Mallard  10  (m,f) pairs flying in and out of the preserve; swimming in and resting on borders of marshy areas throughout MM.

Eared Grebe   1 in marsh, nw (DM) MM.

Double-crested Cormorant   1   flying over preserve (DM)

Great Egret  1 flying over preserve (DM) .

Snowy Egret  4  foraging in shallows and on mudflats at edge of marsh, w MM.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1  (ad) flew into a dense patch of tules on west side of marsh, w MM.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) flying east over preserve, flushing small birds below its flight path; alighting in crown of sycamore, e (photo); subsequently observed circling high (200 ft. agl) over adjacent suburbs, e MM.




Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) Madrona Marsh, Torrance LACO CA  29 April 2017

                                                                                                  © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Red-tailed Hawk  1 (imm)  perched conspicuously on lower branch of sycamore in an open field, central; reportedly preying on ducks within the preserve, MM.

American Kestrel  1 hunting near sheds, (DM).

American Coot  10 gregarious; swimming and resting around marsh, nw, w, MM.

Killdeer  2-3 (ad; imm?)   vocal; running in open fields and at edge of marsh, nw, w-central,
MM .

Spotted Sandpiper  1 (alt. plmg.) on shore of marsh; flew a short distance to the west side of the marsh, nw, MM.

Wilson's Snipe  1 near drain #1 (DM).

California Gull  2  in flight over the preserve (DM).

Western Gull 6   in flight over the preserve (DM).

Eurasian Collared Dove  4 vocal, pairs,  in and around sycamores NC, MM.

Mourning Dove  10  pairs and individuals throughout, NC, MM.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  1 (f)  hovering around foliage in upper middle level of a mature sycamore, NC.

Anna's Hummingbird  2 (f)  in and around garden and sycamores; one fem. evidently constructing a nest on a low, horizontal branch of a sycamore on the eastern border of the preserve, e. NC, MM.

Allen's Hummingbird  2-3 (m) perched on conspicuous snag, central, MM; display flights, NC.

Selasphorus sp. 1 (m) in and around garden near rear entrance of NC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  vocal (unseen) distinctive call heard once; in or around garden and parking area, NC.

Downy Woodpecker 1 vocal (DM).

Western Wood Pewee 1  sallying from low, exterior dead branch of mature eucalyptus, e.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1 (asymmetrical eye ring; medium sized bill;, flesh-colored lower mandible)  perched quietly about 6 ft. agl., between two large shrubs, partly shaded, n.

Hammond's Flycatcher  1 (DM)

Black Phoebe  1  on roof of storage shed, w-central.

Say's Phoebe  1 near sump, se (DM).

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  perched conspicuously on outer branch of elderberry, e-central (photo) MM.




Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) Madrona Marsh Torrance, LACO CA 29 April 2017

                                                                                             © 2017 Callyn Yorke







Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal; a pair interacting in eucalyptus canopy; perched on low post at edge of field, w-central (photo) MM.



Cassin's Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans) Madrona Marsh Torrance, LACO CA 29 April 2017

                                                                                                                                                      © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Warbling Vireo  3  moving quickly within dense foliage, in a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, including lerp-infested eucalyptus trees; often in msf with WIWA, OCWA, e, MM.



Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) Madrona Marsh Torrance, Los Angeles County CA 29 April 2017

                                                                                                     © 2017 Callyn Yorke








American Crow  6  vocal, gregarious; flying over preserve, NC, MM.

Common Raven  6  vocal, gregarious; soaring over reserve 60 - 100 ft. agl. MM

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3  flying low, back and forth over the marsh and adjacent fields, nw MM.

Tree Swallow  1  seen briefly over marsh, nw MM.

Bushtit  6  vocal, individuals and pairs in shrubs and trees, NC, MM.

House Wren  1 shrubs and eucalyptus, w MM.

Western Bluebird  4  (m,f)  perched in eucalyptus and other trees at edge of open areas throughout, MM.




Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) Madrona Marsh Torrance, Los Angeles County CA  29 April 2017


                                                                              © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Swainson's Thrush   1 (M. Rubke).

European Starling  6  vocal, gregarious; flying over, NC.

Cedar Waxwing  10  vocal, gregarious; in crown of fruiting sycamore, NC.



Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Medrona Marsh Nature Center Torrance LACO CA 29 April 2017

                                                                                                © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Orange-crowned Warbler    4 calls; foraging in msf with other warblers, e.g. WIWA, YEWA, BTGW, NAWA, in a variety of shrubs and trees, including lerp psyllid-infested eucalyptus, e (photo) MM.





Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) Madrona Marsh Torrance , LACO CA 29 April 2017

                                                                                             © 2017 Callyn Yorke







Nashville Warbler  1 foraging with other warblers (YEWA, OCWA, BTGW) in lerp-infested foliage of eucalyptus, e MM.

Yellow Warbler  2  (m)  foraging with other warblers and WAVI in lerp-infested eucalyptus foliage, e, MM.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  1 (f)  foraging in eucalyptus and other trees, e MM.

Black-throated Gray Warbler 1 (f) foraging with other warblers (YEWA, OCWA) in lerp-infested eucalyptus, e, MM.

Townsend's Warbler 1 (m) foraging in tall shrubs (e.g. coyote bush), mostly in the outer foliage, ne MM.

Common Yellowthroat  6  repeated song; well concealed in marsh and edge of riparian throughout MM.

Wilson's Warbler  4  (m,f) pairs and individuals foraging in a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs; msf with YEWA, OCWA in lerp-infested eucalyptus, MM.

Yellow-breasted Chat  1  moving around in low branches of an elderberry; keeping fairly well hidden from view, e-central MM.

Western Tanager  6  (m,f) moving from tree to tree in eucalyptus woodland, e MM.

California Towhee  5  vocal; singing from exposed perch 15 ft. agl;  e, MM, NC.

Chipping Sparrow  2  in lower branches of eucalyptus at edge of field, se.

Song Sparrow  1 heard near sheds, (DM).

White-crowned Sparrow  1 (ad)   lower branch of eucalyptus, e MM.

Black-headed Grosbeak  3 (m,f) calls; partial song; canopies of a variety of trees, se MM.

Blue Grosbeak  1 (ad) in tall grass field; evidently foraging on seeds of tall grasses and herbs, e-central MM.

Lazuli Bunting  6  vocal (calls)  active in shrubs and trees, but difficult to see, e MM.

Red-winged Blackbird  10 (m,f) vocal,  pairs and individuals in and around marsh; commuting to suburbs over NC, MM.

Tricolored Blackbird  1 (DM).

Brewer's Blackbird  1 (m) vocal; flying east over MM and NC.

Yellow-headed Blackbird  1  vocal; w

Great-tailed Grackle  5  vocal, gregarious; mostly in and around marsh, MM.

Icterus sp.   Bullock's -type chatter calls (unseen) in and around a large eucalyptus, e MM..

Hooded Oriole  1 (DM) MM.

House Finch  25  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, including feeder, NC..

Lesser Goldfinch  20  vocal, gregarious (mostly in pairs), ubiquitous, including feeder, NC.



Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) Madrona Marsh Torrance, Los Angeles County CA  29 April 2017


                                                                                                   © 2017 Callyn Yorke







American Goldfinch  3  (m,f) vocal, gregarious; in canopy of fruiting sycamore, NC (photo).




American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) Madrona Marsh Nature Center Torrance, LACO CA  29 April 2017

                                                                                                      © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Scaly-breasted Munia (exotic)  20  gregarious; foraging on grass and herb seeds throughout, MM (photo).



Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) Madrona Marsh Torrance, Los Angeles County CA  29 April 2017


                                                                                                    © 2017 Callyn Yorke





































































December 3, 2016  Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro; Redondo Beach and Madrona Marsh, Torrance (63 Species)



Weather: Fair; 45F to 63F; wind WNW 2 - 5 mph. High tide; surf 2-3 ft; seas calm.

Time: 0742 - 1552 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Cabrillo Beach and adjacent tidepool (CB): I walked on the boardwalk above the tidepool (mostly inundated by high tide), then on adjacent shorelines on both sides of the breakwater. I also inspected mature deciduous (fruiting figs) and evergreen trees around the main parking lot and picnic area. Met and talked briefly with three other birders (Mark Scheel, et. al.). A local group of school children was picking up trash on the shore, which flushed waterbirds in birds in my direction(0742-0910 hrs).  2) Veteran's Park, Redondo Beach and vicinity (RB): I walked through Veteran's Park (all of the mature trees severely pruned with no understory habitat for birds, except mowed lawns and pavement), and down to the sandy shore (a few surfers in the water and others on the beach), between the life guard tower and waterfront. Continuing on the boardwalks of the waterfront commercial area, I surveyed the adjacent breakwaters and harbor (1005-1110 hrs.).  3) Madrona Marsh (MM): I met Tracy Drake and other folks working at the 44-acre Madrona Marsh ecological preserve, which is an ongoing habitat restoration project on what was formerly an oil field. Most of the land is presently dry, covered by patches of coastal sage scrub, ruderal fields and scattered deciduous trees. A small area in the southwest corner had a shallow pond and marsh bordered by a nearly closed canopy stand of black willow;  adjacent were patches of black sycamore, mulefat, bullrush (periodically trimmed as required by L.A. County Vector Control) , and other phreatophytic vegetation. Rainwater refills the marsh during winter months; a sump in the southeast corner contains runoff water which is filtered and pumped to the marsh to maintain the wetland. I birded MM twice, first alone, then in the late afternoon with Tracy Drake, director and principal naturalist of MM.  A few visitors were on the trails during the surveys.  I included a brief survey of the native plant garden and parking area around the nature center, across the street from MM on Plaza del Amo Drive. Arrangements were made to bring the UCLA Extension Spring Birds of Southern California class here for a field trip next year (1310 -1552 hrs.).




American Wigeon  12 (m,f) vocal; swimming in marsh; appeared habituated to human presence, MM.

Mallard  1 (m) swimming in sump, MM.

Surf Scoter 6 (m,f) swimming together, outer harbor, CB.

Common Loon  1  diving near shore, RB.

Eared Grebe  1  diving near tidepools, CB.

Western Grebe   30   in loose rafts well offshore, CB;  5 offshore, RB.

Brandt's Cormorant  3  flying low offshore, CB;  30 together on inner breakwater of waterfront, RB.

Double-crested Cormorant  10  on rocks and concrete wall near shore, CB;  5  flying near shore, RB.

Pelagic Cormorant  2  on breakwater with BRCO, RB.

Brown Pelican    20  flying offshore, CB;   40  on breakwater and flying offshore, RB.

Great Blue Heron  1  on breakwater with BRCO, RB.

Snowy Egret  1  on breakwater; flying over harbor, RB.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) flying low over harbor, RB.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (imm) flew to isolated sycamore in field, MM.

American Coot  2  swimming in sump, MM.

Snowy Plover  8  in a loose flock on upper section of s beach (photo).



Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro LACO CA  3 December 2016


                                                                                                © 2016 Callyn Yorke





Semipalmated Plover  10  on main beach; running together, ahead of trash clean-up crew, CB (photo).



Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro LACO CA  3 December 2016


                                                                                                     © 2016 Callyn Yorke





Killdeer  1 vocal; on main beach, CB.

Wandering Tattler  1  flushed to tidepool rocks and beach by trash clean-up crew, CB (photo).



Wandering Tattler (Tringa incanus) Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro LACO CA  3 December 2016

                                                                                         © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Willet  4   individuals foraging amongst kelp piles on beach, CB; 2 on outer shore at tide line, RB.

Whimbrel    1  foraging amongst kelp piles on beach, CB;  1 on shore at edge of breakwater, RB.

Marbled Godwit  6  foraging together on shore amongst kelp piles, CB.

Sanderling  2  on inner beach shoreline, CB;  20  on main beach near breakwater, RB.

Black Turnstone  2  foraging together on harbor breakwater, RB.

Least Sandpiper  1  foraging on shore with WATA; flushed by trash clean-up crew, CB.

Heermann's Gull  5 ( all adults ) on side of main beach next to BLSK,  CB;  10 (all adults) on main beach with CAGU, RB.

Ring-billed Gull  8  on inner side of main beach with BLSK, CB;  2  on main beach, RB.

Western Gull  30 on beach and offshore, CB;  80  on beach, breakwater and offshore, RB.

California Gull  10 (ad, imm) on main beach, RB;  2  flying over, MM.

Black Skimmer  18 (ad;  5 imm. - photo), resting together on inner shore of main beach; flushed by trash clean-up crew, CB.



Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) immatures  Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro  LACO CA  3 December 2016


                                                                                                    © 2016 Callyn Yorke



Feral Rock Pigeon  30  C; 1 MM.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  CB.

Mourning Dove  2 MM.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  CB.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  CB.

Black Phoebe  1 CB;  1 RB;   1 MM.

Say's Phoebe  1  MM.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  calls (unseen); reported by others earlier today, s MM.

California Scrub-Jay   1  vocal, CB.

American Crow  4  CB;  2 RB;  2 MM.

Common Raven  2  MM.

House Wren  1  voca; active in saltbush and clumps of cacti at base of bluff, CB.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  calls, willows, MM.

Northern Mockingbird  1  CB.

European Starling  calls, CB;  4 MM.

Cedar Waxwing  10  foraging on fruiting fig tree (photo), CB;  8  in fruiting fig tree, VP, RB.




Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Cabrillo Beach San Pedro LACO CA 3 Dec. 2016

                                                                                        © 2016 Callyn Yorke





Orange-crowned Warbler  2  in fig trees and other deciduous trees, CB.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler  12  CB;  5 RB;  5 MM.

Common Yellowthroat  2  vocal, active in tule patches, MM.

California Towhee  1 MM.

Spotted Towhee  1 calls (unseen) MM.

Lark Sparrow  1  MM (photo).



Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) Madrona Marsh LACO CA  3 Dec. 2016

                                                                            © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Savannah Sparrow  calls (unseen) saltbush at base of bluff, CB.

Fox Sparrow  1  understory of willows, MM.

Song Sparrow  1  calls (unseen) willow-marsh edge, MM.

Lincoln's Sparrow 2 edge of tules, MM (photo).


Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) Madrona Marsh LACO CA  3 December 2016

                                                                                    © 2016 Callyn Yorke






White-crowned Sparrow  3  CB;  20 MM.

Western Meadowlark  12   a cohesive flock in a large, open field, central, MM.

House Finch   2  (m,f) CB; 2  RB;  4  MM.

American Goldfinch 2  vocal, sycamores around visitor center, MM.

House Sparrow  5  CB;  calls, apartments adjacent to visitor center, MM.

Red Bishop 2  (f)   edge of tule patch, sw MM (photo).



Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) female  Madrona Marsh LACO CA  3 December 2016


                                                                                     © 2016 Callyn Yorke



Scaly-breasted Munia  2 (m, imm)  edge of tules, sw MM (photo).



Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) immature   Madrona Marsh LACO CA 3 Dec. 2016


                                                                                © 2016 Callyn Yorke
































November 21, 2016  Playa del Rey Lagoon,  outer shore, Ballona Creek and adjacent salt marsh, Los Angeles (52 Species)


Weather: partly cloudy; clearing following overnight rains;  62F; visibility 25 miles; wind WSW 2 -10 mph. Outgoing tide; surf 2-3 ft; seas with moderate chop.

Time: 0630 - 1430 hrs.

Observers: WH and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Playa del Rey Lagoon (L): we walked the western shore of the lagoon, surveying the tidal mudflats, open water, adjacent parkland and suburban gardens. An afternoon survey of the same area was included . 2) Ballona Creek (BC): We walked the southern breakwater levee from Pacific St. to about 0.25 miles eastward and back, surveying open water, breakwater and the adjacent salt marsh on the south side (SM). Continuing along the south levee, we walked to the outer shore immediately adjacent to the mouth of Ballona Creek, surveying sandy shore and nearshore waters (OS). All areas surveyed this morning were relatively quiet and, aside from passing jetliners, undisturbed by human activities. One exception was a woman feeding pigeons in the early afternoon at the southern shore of Playa del Rey Lagoon, which attracted a peregrine falcon, as well as our attention for about 45 minutes.






American Wigeon  4  (two pair): swimming in lagoon with other ducks nearby, L.

Mallard   20  (m,f) on shore and in open water, L.

Northern Pintail  1 (m) with mallards near and onshore, L.

Bufflehead  8 (m,f) diving in loose flocks, open water, L.

Pacific Loon  1  flying se, low, near shore OS.

Horned Grebe  1  swimming upstream, BC.

Eared Grebe  1  swimming, diving near shore, L.

Western Grebe  12  swimming offshore in scattered, loose flocks, OS.

Brandt's Cormorant  120  on outer breakwater, OS.

Double-crested Cormorant  5  diving in channel and flying downstream, BC.

Brown Pelican   50  on outer breakwater and adjacent waters, OS.

Great Blue Heron   8   on edge of breakwater and in adjacent salt marsh, BC, SM.

Great Egret  1  inlet channel of saltmarsh, BC/SM.

Snowy Egret  2  edge of breakwater, BC.

Osprey  1  perched on a pole, flexing toes, inlet salt marsh, BC/SM.

American Kestrel ?  1 flying low over saltmarsh, SM.


Peregrine Falcon  1 (ad - photo) (1310-1400 hrs.) made about a dozen attempts to capture feral rock pigeons within a flock being fed by a woman at the soutwestern corner of the lagoon. Only once did the peregrine manage to strike a pigeon, resulting in a puff of feathers being released mid-air. The struck pigeon evidently escaped without further injury; no pursuit of this individual by the peregrine was observed. Every 5- 10 minutes, the peregrine would come in low and fast from the south, flushing the pigeons, and pursuing individuals within about 5-10 feet above the ground, as opposed to those individuals flying much higher in the sky, e.g. 50-200 ft. We observed about 10 - 12 individual assaults by the peregrine on this pigeon flock, both in sequence and following periods of several minutes, when the peregrine disappeared into the adjacent suburbs to the south. No successful captures were observed, suggesting, rather anthropomorphically, that the peregrine may have been simply exercising its authority over a familiar flock of resident pigeons; both predator and prey being quite familiar with one another's moves.



                              Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Del rey Lagoon, LACO CA  21 Nov. 2016


                                                                                             © 2016  William Hurt





American Coot  25  individuals and loose flocks swimming in open water; on and near shore, L.

Black-bellied Plover 80 cohesive flocks on edge of breakwater, BC and in salt marsh (SM); also flying over channel, BC.

Greater Yellowlegs  calls (unseen), BC/SM.

Willet   20  vocal; flighty;  individuals foraging at edge of breakwater, BC and outer shore, OS; one apparently associating with a whimbrel, BC.

Whimbrel  1  foraging on edge of breakwater with a nearby Willet following, BC.

Marbled Godwit  30 two cohesive flocks, mostly sleeping at edge of n breakwater, BC.

Ruddy Turnstone  1  foraging at upper edge of  n breakwater amongst BBPL, BC.

Sanderling  5  on outer shore, OS.

Least Sandpiper  30  individuals and loose flocks foraging at edge of n breakwater, BC.

Heermann's Gull  12 (ad) a cohesive flock on the outer beach, OS.

Ring-billed Gull   20  (80% ad)  ubiquitous in flight and on shore.

Western Gull  20 ( mostly ad and C1; very few C2, C3's)  mainly on outer shore.

California Gull  45  (C1, C2, ad)ubiquitous.

Royal Tern 20  (ad; 1 juv.)  a cohesive, vocal flock on outer beach; relatively tame, OS.

Elegant Tern  2 (ad)  initially with ROTE but flew off and not observed returning to this area, OS.

Feral Rock Pigeon  200   several flocks in and around the park and suburbs (see peregrine account above).

Eurasian Collared Dove 4  in trees and on utility lines near park, L.

Mourning Dove  1  on ground with WCSP, BC.

Allen's Hummingbird 2  vocal, active  in eucalyptus and other exotic flowering plants along Pacific St., L.

Belted Kingfisher  1  calls; flying upstream, BC.

Black Phoebe  3  edge of lagoon and breakwater, L, BC.

Say's Phoebe  1  e end of salt marsh, SM.

American Crow  20  vocal, ubiqutious, esp. around park and suburbs.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  calls; ornamental trees along Pacific St., L.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, ornamental shrubs and trees, L.

European Starling  20  ubiquitous in and around the park, L.

American Pipit  1  flight calls (unseen) BC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  6  ornamnental shrubs and trees, L; edge of salt marsh, SM.

Orange-crowned Warbler 2 calls; in small grove of Ficus trees, L.

Townsend's Warbler ?  1 calls (unseen) ornamental trees, L.

Belding's Savannah Sparrow  1 foraging at the edge of the saltmarsh bordering a small channel adjacent to the breakwater, SM.

Song Sparrow  3  vocal; edge of salt marsh and ruderal fields, BC/SM.

White-crowned Sparrow   20 (ad, imm)  vocal flocks foraging on ground near cover of shrubs at edge of breakwater and in park, BC, L.

House Finch  15  (m,f) in ornamental trees and shrubs, L, BC.

House Sparrow 10 (m,f) vocal in and around suburban gardens; edge of ruderal fields with HOFI, BC.



















October 29, Veterans Memorial Park, Sylmar (36 Species)



Weather: Partly and mostly cloudy; intermittent showers over the past 24 hrs. 50F to 72F; wind WSW 1 - 2 mph.

Time: 0652- 1202 hrs. (Class time: 0800-1100 hrs.).

Observers: UCLA Extension Autumn Birds of Southern California class (12 students) and I.

Area Covered: We walked the perimeter and through portions of the central section of the 97-acre, hillside park, surveying birds in parkland (well-watered lawns with mature ornamental trees (e.g. pine, cedar, oak, olive, sycamore); the fence line with at the edge of a hillside native chaparral formation (e.g. Toyon, Buckwheat, Sugarbush), and a eucalyptus grove in the southwest corner. Increasing numbers of visitors with dogs began arriving in the park after 9 AM. We met Jon Fisher (LA Audubon Yahoo Groups, weekly bird reporter), who was independently birding the park.


Birds of seasonal and or distributional interest found today included,  Merlin (1) and Williamson's Sapsucker (1).






Red-shouldered Hawk  1 calls (unseen) 0715 hrs, s-central.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) perched atop a mature pine, central

Merlin  1  (ad) perched atop a snag in a mature pine, n-central (photo).



Merlin (Falco columbarius) Veterans Memorial Park, Sylmar  LACO CA  29 Oct. 2016

                                                                                                            © 2016 Callyn Yorke




American Kestrel 1 ?  not seen clearly; flying in same general area of Merlin, n-central.

Band-tailed Pigeon  1   in mature pine, 0710 hrs., central.

Mourning Dove  1   on utility line, edge of chaparral, n.

Anna's Hummingbird  5  (m,f) vocal; active in and around a variety of trees and shrubs, including flowering tree tobacco; edges of the park.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  hovering around an ornamental tree, 1150 hrs.,central.

Acorn Woodpecker   2   a pair visiting a mature royal palm; one bird apparently storing an acorn near the top of the trunk.


Williamson's Sapsucker  1 (m) Initially found by its audible tapping in a mature pine (Monterey Pine?) south of the main grove of Jeffrey-Ponderosa pines and row of olive trees; previously discovered by Jon Fisher, who directed us to its general location in the northwest-central section of the park.  The bird remained active as our class observed it at close range, pecking and probing into the sapwood, mainly on the east side of the main trunk, about 10 ft. agl, where many holes had been drilled previously, causing a visible darkening of the bark from a leakage of sap (photos).



Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) male (same individual in both images) Veterans Memorial Park, Sylmar, LACO CA  29 Oct. 2016


                                                                                  © 2016 Callyn Yorke





Red-breasted Sapsucker  2  (individuals with differing amounts of red on the head and breast),  active and moving rapidly between trees; in oaks and ornamental trees, central (photo).



Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) VMP, Sylmar, LACO CA  29 Oct. 2016


                                                                                                    © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Nuttall's Woodpecker  5  (m,f) vocal, active in a variety of trees and tall shrubs around the park.

Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker   6 (m,f) vocal, active in mature trees throughout the park.

Black Phoebe   8  vocal; sallying from low perches in trees and shrubs throughout the park.

Cassin's Kingbird   3  vocal; perched atop tall snags in deciduous and conifer trees, n.

Coastal  Scrub-Jay   2  vocal;  a pair flying between mature conifers and other trees, ne corner.

American Crow  25  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; foraing on ground around trash can with CORA nearby, se.

Common Raven   12  vocal; individuals and pairs one early morning flock of 8 perched in the leafless canopy of a mature tree, central; flying over park.

Oak Titmouse  2  vocal;  in pines and eucalyptus, n-central, ne corner.

Bushtit  6  a small, vocal flock moving through low branches in oaks, sw corner.

White-breasted Nuthatch  10  vocal,  individuals active on ground covered by olives; in a variety of trees; often  in msf with RCKI, YRWA, RBSA, NUWO, WEBL and HOFI.

Bewick's Wren  3 vocal; active at edge of chaparral and in ornamental trees, central, ne.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   10  vocal; individuals and pairs; often in msf with YRWA and HOFI; affecting a variety of conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs.

Wrentit  1  repeated song from hillside chaparral (unseen) ne.

Western Bluebird  8  (m,f) vocal;  individuals and pairs active in and around olive trees; foraging on olives on ground with WCSP, DEJU, HOFI, n-central.

Hermit Thrush  2  vocal; active early AM in and around fruiting olive trees with YRWA, WEBL, central; one calling from concealed location beneath toyon on fence line, ne; (photo).


Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) VMP, Sylmar, LACO CA  29 Oct. 2016


                                                                              © 2016 Callyn Yorke




American Robin   5  calls;  often perched atop tall conifers, central.

Northern Mockingbird  3  vocal; active at edge of chaparral and in fruiting Toyon, ne.

European Starling  8  vocal, gregarious;  perched atop tall snags; flying over park, central, n.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  60  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; foraging (gleaning, snatch-gleaning, hovering, flycatching) at all foliage height levels - ground to canopy; often in msf with several other species, HOFI, RCKI, WEBL, WCSP, DEJU.

Spotted Towhee  3   a pair active on ground beneath a fruiting Toyon, ne corner fence line.

California Towhee  4 (calls); pairs active on ground at edge of hillside chaparral, n, ne.

White-crowned Sparrow   20  (ad, imm) vocal; small flocks active on ground at edge of chaparral and beneath olive trees, throughout.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco  10  (m,f) calls;   pairs and small flocks in pines; foraging on fallen olives and other seeds in ruderal patches; also on lawns beneath conifers throughout; often with WCSP and HOFI.

House Finch  30  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; often in msf with YRWA, WCSP, DEJU.

Purple Finch  2 ?  calls from olive trees (unseen); one photo of a male finch atop a conifer, possibly assigned to this species.

Lesser Goldfinch  6  (m,f) vocal; pairs foraging in fruiting ornamental trees, central, n.



































November 14, 2015  Legg Lake, South El Monte (54 Species)



Weather: Fair; 53F to 73F; no wind.

Time: 0735-1210 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Autumn Birds of Southern California class (7 students) and I.

Area Covered: We walked a counter-clockwise route to and from the main parking lot off Santa Anita Rd., around the central lake (the smallest of three lakes), staying mostly on paved pathways. We surveyed parkland (mature deciduous and evergreen trees and lawns) patches of marsh-riparian on shore and islands; shorelines (mostly mud and grass) and ruderal edges. Many visitors (joggers, pedestrians, leashed dogs) were present in the park during our survey. Someone was operating a remote-controlled model speedboat on the south lake. We visually surveyed an area of about 120 acres using our binoculars.




Greater White-fronted Goose 1 (ad)   relatively tame and approachable to within several feet; on shore with domestic GLGO and SWGO, e (photo).



Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) Legg Lake LACO CA  14 November 2015

                                                                                                                         © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Canada Goose  100  flocks scattered around the park; most on shore and lawns.

Swan Goose (domestic)    5   pairs on shore with GLGO, e.

Gray-Lag Goose (domestic; mostly albinos and hybrids)  150  scattered flocks around the park, esp. e.

Muscovy Duck  6  (m,f  with a single half-grown young), central, n.

American Wigeon  12   (m,f) two flocks swimming; one near an island marsh; the other in open water, w.

Mallard  100 (conserv. est.) m,f  wild type, scattered around the lake and shore.

Mallard  70  m,f, domestic and hybrids,  mostly e.

Northern Shoveler  2  (m,f) swimming toward an island, nw.

Ruddy Duck  30   (m,f) most resting in open water; some diving.

Pied-billed Grebe  2   swimming & diving, open water.

Western Grebe  2   preening; open water, s.

Double-crested Cormorant  20   swimming, diving, flying, perched in trees, ubiquitous.

Great Blue Heron  8  on shore and islands, ubiquitous.

Great Egret  6  on shore and islands, ubiquitous.

Snowy Egret  8  foraging in shallows, perched in trees on islands, ubiquitous.

Green Heron  1 (ad) in tree overhanging water, central.

Black-crowned Night Heron  40  (ad, imm)  many individuals in trees overhanging water on islands, e.

Turkey Vulture  1  soaring above the park, e.

Osprey  2  vocal; flying; perched on tall snags, central.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (imm)  flew to tall snag, central (photo).



Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Legg Lake, LACO CA 14 Nov. 2015

                                                                                     © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Common Moorhen  1 (ad) swimming near island marsh, e.

American Coot  2,000 (conserv. est.)  gregarious, ubiquitous.

Spotted Sandpiper  3   foraging on shore; flying low over lakes (photo).



Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) Legg Lake LACO CA 14 November 2015

                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Ring-billed Gull  2  (C2)  flying low around lake and shoreline, e.

California Gull  1 (C2)  on shore, central.

Feral Rock Pigeon  6  on shore and flying around park and adjacent open areas, e.

Parrot/ Parakeet sp. (unseen) a vocal flock circling the eastern section around the parking lot.

Belted Kingfisher  2  (m,f) vocal; flying low over lake; perched on objects in lake, e, central.

Red-breasted Sapsucker  1-2  foraging on upper branches of  mature deciduous trees, central.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2 (m)  vocal; a male flexibly probing into holes and crevices on a dead branch e (photos).


Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) same individual in both images; Legg Lake LACO CA  14 November 2015


                                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker  2  (m,f) vocal; individuals foraging in a variety of tall trees, central.

Black Phoebe  15   vocal, ubiquitous; individuals sallying from low perches.

Cassin's Kingbird  1 aerial hawking from chain-link  fence around electrical utility tower, e.

Hutton's Vireo  1-2   foraging on low, outer foliage of elms and other trees, central.

Common Raven   2  vocal; on shore and lawns, e.

Bushtit    10   vocal, gregarious; a cohesive flock moving through shrubs and trees, w.

Marsh Wren  1? (unseen)   abbreviated scold-type vocalizations from a dense patch of tules, central.

Red-whiskered Bulbul   10  vocal, gregarious;  a flock flying from dense vegetation on island to the canopies of mainland trees, central.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  60  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; foraging in a variety of vegetation, mostly below 20 ft.

Hermit Thrush  1  grassy edge of tules with SOSP and SBMU, central.

American Robin  2  (m,f)  vocal; in subcanopy of elms and other trees, central.

Northern Mockingbird  5   vocal; borders of densely vegetated areas, w.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  foraging in subcanopy of an oak, e.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler  60  (m,f)  vocal (calls), gregarious, ubiquitous.

Townsend's Warbler  1 (f)  foraging in a tree overhanging a shoreline patch of marsh, central.

Common Yellowthroat  1   moving through tules near shore, central.

Lark Sparrow   1  foraging on lawn with SOSP near marsh, central.

Song Sparrow  12  individuals and small flocks foraging at edge of marshes and on lawns, w, central.

Red-winged Blackbird  3  (f) on ground with a flock of BRBL, e.

Brewer's Blackbird  20  (m,f) a cohesive, vocal flock foraging on shore, e.

Great-tailed Grackle  40 (mostly males)  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous (photo).



Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) Legg Lake LACO CA 14 Nov. 2015


                                                                           © 2015 Callyn Yorke






House Finch  10  (m,f) vocal, gregarious; foraging with LEGO on seed pods of a Sawleaf Zelkova tree (Zelkova serrata), w.

Lesser Goldfinch  6 (m,f)  vocal, gregarious, foraging with HOFI on seed pods of Sawleaf Zelkova, w.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)   5   gregarious; foraging in tules near grassy shore, central; flying across lake to adjacent patch of tules.

































October 17, 2015  Los Angeles River at Willow Street (59 Species)




                                Vegetation removal in the Los Angeles River at Willow Street, Los Angeles County CA  17 October 2015


                                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Overcast; 75F; wind WNW 2 mph.

Time: 0810-1155 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Birds of Southern California class (9/13 students) and I.

Area Covered: We walked about 0.1 mile on the east levee, paved bike path, beginning on Deforest Ave. near 26th Way,, surveying suburban yards with ornamental trees (e.g. pepper tree, silk floss, palms), adjacent to the main channel of the Los Angeles River. The channel is mostly concrete with small sandbars and sheet flow north (upstream) of Willow St., transitioning to soft-bottomed with pools and backwater marsh-riparian habitat southward (downstream). A crew was mowing grasses and removing exotic, invasive vegetation (e.g. Arundo donax) from the south stream bed, using a dump truck and heavy machinery. Others present in the riverbed included a fisherman and an individual with two unleashed dogs. Birds were fairly densely distributed along both the concrete and soft-bottomed sections and appeared little disturbed by the presence of workers, helicopter fly-overs, cyclists and others in and near the main channel. Fish (e.g. carp) were surfacing downstream, attracting piscivorous birds, e.g.  Western Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, Green Heron and Osprey.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Blue-winged Teal (4), Osprey (1), Lesser Yellowlegs (1), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Myiarchus sp. (1), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3), Rock Wren (1), Orange Bishop (3) and Scaly-breasted Munia (8).


Perhaps most remarkably, we observed fifty-three native species of bird during a three-hour survey; our feet (as well as those of many birds) having never lost touch with concrete. I am unaware of any other location in North America where such an extraordinary diversity of birds may be found within a relatively small urban area.






Gadwall  6  (m,f) swimming downstream; resting on peninsula with other ducks upstream.

American Wigeon  7 (m,f) swimming downstream; resting on islets and peninsulas upstream.

Mallard   18  (m,f) ubiquitous; often in pairs.

Blue-winged Teal   4 (m,f) resting on peninsula upstream.

Cinnamon Teal  60 (m,f) gregarious, ubiquitous; dabbling and resting on islets and mudflats.

Northern Shoveler  25 (m,f) ubiquitous; dabbling in shallows; resting on islets and mudflats.

Green-winged Teal  2 (m,f) resting on mudflat peninsula upstream with other ducks.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  diving in relatively deep water downstream.

Eared Grebe   2  diving near shore downstream.

Western Grebe  2  diving near shore and a riparian island downstream.

Double-crested Cormorant  30 (50% imm.) resting in the main channel; swimming downstream; flying upstream.

Great Blue Heron  2  at edge of marsh downstream.

Great Egret  1  at edge of marsh downstream with SNEG and WEGR chasing fish near shore.

Snowy Egret  8 individuals and pairs scattered downstream at the edge of the main channel and marsh; foraging in shallows; a brief interaction with a diving WEGR near shore.

Green Heron  1  remaining motionless at edge of main channel in marsh downstream.

Black-crowned Night Heron  5 (ad, imm) perched in willows and shore on island in main channel downstream.

Turkey Vulture  1  soaring about 100 ft. above the main channel.

Osprey  1 (ad) making two unsuccessful attempts to catch fish in flight above the main channel downstream; flying around over the downstream area for several minutes (photo).


Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Los Angeles River at Willow St. LACO CA 17 October 2015

                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Red-shouldered Hawk  1 repeated calls (unseen) from west side of river.

Buteo sp.  1 (possibly RTHA) soaring 300 ft. + over the main channel.

American Coot  200  swimming in main channel, esp. abundant facing upstream at edge of turbulent water flowing over slight drop of the concrete channel.

Black-bellied Plover 1 (bsc. plmg.) foraging on small patch of mud and trash at edge of main channel downstream (photo).



Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) upper right and Dowitcher (Limnodromus sp.) lower left, LAR at Willow St. LACO CA 17 Oct. 2015


                                                                                                                                          © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Semipalmated Plover 1  foraging at water's edge of concrete islands upstream.

Killdeer  14  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Black-necked Stilt    50  resting and foraging upstream.

American Avocet  20 (bsc. plmg.)  most resting in a cohesive flock upstream near BNST.

Spotted Sandpiper  3   foraging individually at edge of concrete channel, mudflats and rocky shore, upstream and downstream.

Lesser Yellowlegs 1  ID by bill shape and size comparison with nearby species; foraging quickly in shallows and shore upstream (photo).


Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) left and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) right, LAR at Willow St. LACO CA 17 Oct. 2015

                                                                                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Western Sandpiper  25  gregarious; foraging in shallows and edge of concrete channel upstream.

Least Sandpiper  15  gregarious; foraging in shallows, mudflats and edge of concrete channel upstream.

Dowitcher sp.  35 mostly gregarious while probing shallows upstream and shoreline downstream.

Ring-billed Gull  12 (ad, imm) flying; resting on sandbars and edge of concrete channel upstream.

Western Gull   20  (90% ad; remainder C1-C2) gregarious; resting together in main channel upstream.

California Gull   60 (80% ad; remainder C1-C3) gregarious; resting together in main channel upstream.

Feral Rock Pigeon  80 gregarious, ubiquitous.

Eurasian Collared Dove   16  gregarious, ubiquitous; most on utility poles and lines over adjacent suburbs.

Mourning Dove  1   flying w over main channel.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  (m,f) vocal; displays from atop trees in suburban yards.

Selasphorus sp.  2  fly, call; around pepper trees on DeForest Ave.

Black Phoebe  3   vocal, solitary; low perches at edge of marsh-riparian; suburban garden.

Say's Phoebe  1 perched on railing along bikeway downstream; moved to vegetation at edge of channel.


Myiarchus sp. 1 (cf. Ash-throated Flycatcher M. cinerascens and Dusky-capped Flycatcher M. tuberculifer) sallying from low branches and fence top in a suburban yard with ornamental trees at 2640 DeForest Ave. Noted compact head and body; bold white edgings coverts and flight feathers; little rufous in secondaries tail as viewed from above; in flight, underside of central tail feathers showed bright cinnamon-rufous ( the underside of the outer tail feathers was not seen clearly); bill of moderate depth and length. One reviewer could not entirely rule out that this could be a Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer), a vagrant from the Sonoran Desert, occasionally found in coastal Southern California during late Fall and early Winter. Most, if not all summer resident Ash-throated Flycatchers, a much more likely candidate in this case, have migrated south of our region by the end of September (photos).



                        Myiarchus sp. same individual in all images. Deforest Ave., Long Beach, LACO CA 17 October 2015

                                                                    © 2015 Callyn Yorke







American Crow  8 a flock flying over the suburbs and main channel.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3  flying low, back and forth over main channel, downstream.

Bushtit   5-10   repeated calls (initially unseen) from a flock in a patch of saltbush and pepper trees next to the bike way.

Rock Wren  1 (cont.?) moving quickly among rocks on slope of east levee downstream ( photo - same area where found during previous survey of Sept. 26, 2015).



       Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) LAR at Willow St. LACO CA 17 Oct. 2015


                                                                                    © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Northern Mockingbird  2 vocal; adjacent suburban yards.

European Starling  10  vocal, gregarious; on utility poles and lines, adjacent suburbs.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1 vocal in pepper trees, DeForest Ave.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler 8 vocal, gregarious; suburban trees and shrubs.

Wilson's Warbler 1  vocal in pepper trees, DeForest Ave.

White-crowned Sparrow  5  foraging on ground between black sage along path and ornamental trees, DeForest Ave.

Red-winged Blackbird  16 (m,f) vocal, gregarious in marsh at edge of main channel downstream.

Great-tailed Grackle  5  (m,f) in marsh at edge of main channel downstream; flying together upstream.

House Finch  20 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch 2  vocal, gregarious; suburban trees at edge of bike path, downstream.

House Sparrow 10  in and around suburban gardens, DeForest Ave.

Orange Bishop  3  (2 m, 1 f - possibly more) staying low and usually concealed in tall grass on west bank of main channel downstream (photo).; same area with flock of RWBL and SBMU.


Orange Bishop (Euplectes domesticus) male, LAR at Willow St. LACO CA 17 Oct. 2015


                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke




Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)  8  vocal, gregarious; initially observed with RWBL and ORBI in tall grass on west bank; subsequently found in saltbush-sage plantings along bike path, downstream.



























September 26, 2015  Los Angeles River at Willow Street (49 Species)




Los Angeles River at Willow Street, viewing sw (downstream) from the east bank,  26 September 2015

                                                                                                                                                                 © 2015 Callyn Yorke










Weather: Fair; 71F to 82F; no wind.

Time: 0720 - 0915 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez, Charles Hood and I.

Area Covered: Beginning at the south end of De Forest Ave. near 26th Way, we birded a small section of suburban habitat with ornamental trees (e.g. pepper trees) and shrubs adjacent to the bikeway on the east bank of the Los Angeles River channel. We walked under the Willow Street Bridge about 0.2 mi. and back the same route, stopping frequently to observe birds in moving water, on sandbars, mudflats, rocky embankments and patches of marsh-riparian vegetation. Waterbirds were most abundant and diversified in the shallows and on sandbars immediately adjacent to De Forest Ave., where, near the end of our survey we met Mark Scheel (Pasadena Audubon Society), who shared his spotting scope with us. We also met a photographer who showed us an image he obtained recently (date unspecified) at this location of an adult Peregrine Falcon in flight with what appeared to be a Horned Grebe in basic plumage.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Blue-winged Teal (8), Osprey (3), Royal Tern (2), Rock Wren (1) and Scaly-breasted Munia (8).






American Wigeon  1 (m) swimming in main channel near other ducks, e.g. CITE.

Mallard   20 (m,f)  pairs and singles dabbling in backwater areas; one bird reaching high for seeds in tall grass near the embankment.

Blue-winged Teal (m - trans. plmg.; f) 8-10; resting on sandbar in middle of channel with other ducks.

Cinnamon Teal  12  (m,f) dabbling in main channel and backwater areas; resting on sanbars.

Ruddy Duck  1 (m) swimming in main channel, s.

Pied-billed Grebe  4  swimming in main channel, s.

Western Grebe  1  vocal; swimming in main channel, s.

Double-crested Cormorant  30  (ad, imm) small flocks swimming and diving together in main channel; on utility lines, s.

Great Blue Heron  1  on walkway over the main channel, perched near an Osprey.

Great Egret  2   marshy edge of the channel, n, s.

Snowy Egret  10  in loose flocks in shallows and marsh at the edge of the channel on both sides.

Green Heron  1 flew from marshy area at edge of main channel, s.

Black-crowned Night Heron  12  (ad, imm) perched in willow patch of main channel; marsh edge of channel, s.

Osprey  3  flying low over main channel; perched on walkway over main channel; no interaction observed among individuals. Probably attracted to the occasional surfacing of numerous small to medium-sized fish in the channel, e.g. carp.

American Coot  60  in loose, scattered flocks, wading in shallows of main channel; swimming in backwater areas.

Killdeer   15  vocal; edge and shallows of main channel.

Black-necked Stilt  50  loose flocks foraging in shallows, n.

American Avocet   5 (bsc. plmg.)  with BNST in shallows, n.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  foraging in and around shoals of main channel, s.

Western Sandpiper  80 foraging in sheet flow- shallows of main channel, n.

Least Sandpiper  80-100  foraging in shallows of main channel and on sandbars.

Long-billed Dowitcher  12  ID based on juvenile plumage and calls; a cohesive flock near central, east bank.

Dowitcher sp.   30  (some with relatively short bills), flocks foraging in shallows of main channel, n.

Ring-billed Gull  8 (ad) in shallows of main channel.

Western Gull  (ad, C1-C3) in loose flocks; shallows of main channel.

California Gull (ad, C1)  with WEGU and RBGU in shallows of main channel.

Royal Tern  2  a pair flying upstream over the main channel.

Elegant Tern 1  flying upstream over the main channel.

Feral Rock Pigeon  10  flying over main channel.

Yellow-chevroned  Parakeet  (unseen)   vocal in adjacent suburbs with mature trees, e (ID by MS).

Anna's Hummingbird  calls (unseen) pepper trees of adjacent suburbs, e.

Belted Kingfisher  1  fly, call; marsh-riparian area, s.

Black Phoebe  3  edge of marsh and embankment.

Say's Phoebe  1 on railing of walkway over main channel, s.

Western Scrub-Jay  calls (unseen) adjacent suburbs, e.

American Crow  2  flying over main channel.

Rock Wren  1  actively changing locations on rocky embankment, se (photo).


Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) Los Angeles River at Willow St. LACO CA  26 September 2015

                                                                                                © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Northern Mockingbird  vocal (unseen) adjacent suburbs, e.

European Starling  10 vocal, gregarious; on utility lines in adjacent suburbs, e.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2 calls; active in pepper trees, subuurbs, e.

Wilson's Warbler  1  calls; in pepper trees, suburbs, e.

California Towhee  2  on ground at base of shrubs, suburbs, e.

Lincoln's Sparrow? 1  calls (unseen) with CATO but well concealed in shrubs, suburbs, e.

Western Tanager 1 repeated calls (unseen) pepper trees, suburbs, e.

Red-winged Blackbird   10 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; marsh, w.

Brown-headed Cowbird 1 (imm; trans. plmg.)  showing an unusual amount of yellow feathering on underparts; slight streaking on scapulars; worn, spiny tail feathers.


Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) same individual in both images, Los Angeles River at Willow St. 26 September 2015


                                                                                           © 2015 Callyn Yorke




House Finch    20 vocal, gregarious, suburbs, e.

House Sparrow  8  vocal, gregarious, suburbs, e.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)  8  a cohesive flock in tall marsh vegetation at edge of main channel, s.



























May 9, 2015  Long Beach Harbor and the Santa Catalina Channel (26 Species)



Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) adult and calf  Santa Catalina Channel at Long Beach harbor, Los Angeles County CA  9 May 2015


                                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke



Weather: Overcast with light rain about 1 hr. prior to our survey; 57F; wind ESE 1 - 3 mph. Seas calm; low tide @ 0800 hrs.

Time: 0720-1200 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension, Birds of Southern California class (15 students) and I. About 60 other passengers were aboard our ship.

Areas Covered:  1) Inner harbor (IH), including lawns & gardens adjacent to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The harbor area, with breakwaters, shoreline (minmal at low tide) and boating channels, was surveyed casually (0730-0900 hrs.) then more thoroughly as we exited and re-entered the harbor aboard the 50 ft. catamaran-hull, Triumphant, operated by Harbor Breezes Cruises, Inc. of Long Beach, CA.  2) Catalina Channel (CC): Our boat, chartered primarily for commercial whale-watching, left the outer harbor, initially stopping just outside the harbor entrance to observe a pod of six Gray Whales (adults and young - photo). An on-board naturalist and photographer provided an informative natural history narrative throughout the journey. Shortly after leaving the harbor I obtained permission from the ship's captain (Kevin) for a few minutes of popcorn-chumming while underway through the channel.However, our chumming efforts were entirely unproductive for attracting seabirds. Subsequently, we proceeded in an ESE direction at an average speed of about 5 knots, slowing to observe a small pod of Common Dolphin near the harbor and a pair of Humpback Whales much further offshore, near two oil platforms. The latter location, at or near a major submarine drop-off about 20 miles from the mainland, supported the greatest variety of seabirds, e.g. Pink-footed, Black-vented and especially Sooty Shearwater. Many of the seabirds were resting on the surface in flocks ranging from a few individuals to fifty or more. The oil platform's lower decks and railings supported an uncounted number of California Sea Lion and dozens of Brown Pelican, Brandt's Cormorant and a few Heermann's Gulls. We circled one of the platforms, approaching to within about 50 yards, obtaining good views of the animal occupants. Our return to the harbor was at a brisk speed of about 25 knots; observations of birds at that speed were considerably more difficult than during our relatively leisurely outgoing trip. Overall, we had a fairly good representation of waterbirds and pelagics, though missing some species altogether (e.g. Scripp's Murrelet, Black Storm Petrel, Ashy Storm Petrel, Sabine's Gull, Pomarine Jaeger); very low wind speed (i.e. 2-5 mph) probably accounts for the few fairly common pelagic species we failed to find (0910-1150 hrs.).





Mallard  3  (m,f) flying over the inner harbor.

Surf Scoter  10  (m,f; imm) swimming near the breakwaters in the harbor.

Pacific Loon  2  flying low, se over the ocean, CC.

Western Grebe  120   a large flock resting in the outer harbor; one diving repeatedly, IH.

Sooty Shearwater  50   many resting in small flocks (2 - 30); a few flying low over the surface; most in the vicinity of the oil platforms, CC (photo).



Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) Santa Catalina Channel, CA  9 May 2015

                                                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Black-vented Shearwater   10  resting and flying with SOSH near oil platforms, CC (photo).



Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinis opisthomelas) above and Sooty Shearwater (P. griseus) below, Catalina Channel CA  9 May 2015


                                                                                                                       © 2015 Callyn Yorke









Pink-footed Shearwater   3   flying with SOSH  near oil platforms, CC.

Brandt's Cormorant 65   flying low over channel; resting on oil platforms, CC.

Double-crested Cormorant   12  resting on tidal barriers; flying around inner harbor, IH.

Brown Pelican   150   flying over harbor, IH;  flying over channel; many resting on oil platforms, CC.

Great Blue Heron    2  at edge of breakwater; flying around harbor, IH.

Snowy Egret   2  flying over harbor; one foraging in shallows beneath breakwater, IH.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2  (ad) flying over harbor, IH.

Red-necked Phalarope  16   a cohesive flock fluttering and flying short distances near oil platforms, CC.

Heermann's Gull  25  (85% imm)  flying over and landing on boats in harbor; resting on oil platforms; flying low over channel, CC.

Western Gull  150 (ad, imm) ubiquitous;  a large flock (50 +) circling and swimming around a small fishing boat in channel (photo).



Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) in Santa Catalina Channel, CA  9 may 2015

                                                                                                                                © 2015 Callyn Yorke




California Gull  2   (C1) flying over harbor; one flying beyond harbor entrance, CC.

California Least Tern  1  (ad) flying over inner harbor (0745 hrs.), IH.

Caspian Tern  4 (ad) vocal;  two pair; one flying around the harbor, IH; one pair flying near the outer harbor entrance, CC.

Forster's Tern  15  diving repeatedly, occasionally catching small fish in harbor, IH.

Elegant Tern  80  (ad) vocal, ubiquitous, gregarious; many diving in outer channel with other seabirds.

Common Murre  2  swimming in channel at two locations; one near oil platforms (photo).



Common Murre (Uria aalge) Catalina Channel  CA   9 May 2015

                                                                                            © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Feral Rock Pigeon  10  flying around inner harbor, IH.

American Crow  5  flying around inner harbor; foraging at base of breakwater, IH.

European Starling   4   landing on mast of docked ship, IH.

House Sparrow  5   vocal, gregarious, IH.










April 11, 2015 Hansen Dam (53 Species)



Weather: Fair; 47F to 70F; wind WSW 0-2 mph.

Time: 0712 - 1120 hrs.

Observers: UCLA Extension Birds of Southern California class (14 students) and I.

Area Covered: Beginning and finishing at the lower parking area at the Dronfield St. entrance to the Hansen Dam Recreation Area, we walked a clockwise route, mostly around the western half of Hansen Dam drainage basin. Habitats surveyed included parkland (lawns with scattered mature deciduous and conifer trees), ruderal fields and edges of pathways, coastal sage, mulefat-willow-cottonwood riparian, open water of the main lake (largely devoid of birdlife), the rocky embankment of the north side of the dam, and small patches of the aforementioned vegetation communities throughout. We walked about 2.5  miles, surveying (visually and aurally) an area of approximately 200 acres. Many native trees and larger shrubs away from the perimeter of the lake were dead or drought-stressed. There were joggers, hikers and dog owners (several pit-bulls, including three unleashed) in the area during our survey. Kimball Garrett, Ornithology collections manager of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, met our class briefly at about  0840 hrs.(see the following note).


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest included, Ash-throated Flycatcher (2), Least Bell's Vireo (8), Nashville Warbler (1), Yellow Warbler (1), Black-throated Gray Warbler (3), Townsend's Warbler (1), Hermit Warbler (1), and Yellow-breasted Chat (1).  Additionally, Kimball Garrett reported finding a vagrant Broad-winged Hawk in the eastern part of the HD basin this morning.*  Unfortunately, we unable to verify this interesting report.


*On 4/13/2015, I received an update from Kimball Garrett regarding his Broad-winged Hawk sighting on Saturday morning (4/11/2015) at Hansen Dam. Apparently the bird in question was a Swainson's Hawk following a review of his photos. Swainson's Hawk is an uncommon though regular migrant in the Southern California region (it nests in the Antelope Valley) , however we did not find it during our survey of the Hansen Dam basin.





Canada Goose  2  flying around the lake.

Mallard  2  (m,f) swimming near the edge of the lake.

Double-crested Cormorant  1 (seen by several students), flying near the lake.

Green Heron  1  flushed from shady lake shore; flew to adjacent shoreline, then out over the lake.

Turkey Vulture  1  soaring on thermals about 150 ft. agl over ruderal-coastal sage and parkland.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) soaring on thermals over an open area near the lake; compare ventral flight profiles of immature and adult Broad-winged Hawk (photos).



              Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) immature  Hansen Dam Los Angeles County CA 11 April 2015


                                                                                                                                                        © 2015 Callyn Yorke





                                                 Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) immature (left) and adult (right)






American Coot  1  swimming near the nw edge of the lake.

Feral Rock Pigeon  5  flying around the Dronfield park entrance.

Mourning Dove  5  flying over coastal sage and riparian patches.

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet  5  ID:  long tail and uniform green plumage with conspicuous yellow patch in the wings; the only established exotic parakeet in our region showing these marks; a vocal, fast-flying flock, nw.

Anna's Hummingbird  8 (m,f) vocal; males setting up territories on tall shrubs and outer canopies of trees throughout.

Allen's Hummingbird  4 (m,f) ID: males showing predominantly green coloration on dorsum. vocal; diving U- shape aerial display flights above shrubs.


Selasphorus sp. 1  (Rufous/Allen's type) ID: male showing predominantly reddish feathering on dorsum with about 40% green restricted to anterior mantle; perched on tall shrub in ruderal - coastal sage scrub (photo); one making U-shape, diving display filghts after flying vertically to about 50 ft agl.




Selasphorus sp. c.f. male S. sasin and S. rufus    Hansen Dam Los Angeles County CA  11 April 2015


                                                                                                                                © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Black Phoebe  1  flying low over open ruderal field.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  2   perched together in shrub; flying off together to an adjacent tree on a ruderal-coastal sage slope near the Dronfield park entrance.



Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) Hansen Dam LACO CA  11 Apr 2015


                                                                                             © 2015 Callyn Yorke





Cassin's Kingbird  calls (unseen) around tall trees near the Dronfield park entrance.

Least Bell's Vireo  8   highly vocal; males establishing (or established on) territories throughout riparian areas.

Western Scrub-Jay  2  flying between tall shrubs in ruderal-coastal sage- riparian mosaic.

Common Raven  8  gregarious, vocal, ubiquitous; individuals and pairs soaring high (200 ft. agl).

American Crow  (?) reported by two students.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2  perched together on snag; flying low, back and forth over coastal sage-riparian edge.

Bushtit  20 2-3 flocks of several birds; vocal, gregarious in shrubs and trees, coastal sage and riparian edge.

Bewick's Wren   8  vocal; brushy areas throughout; also edge of riparian woodland.

House Wren 1 repeated song from edge of drought-stressed riparian woodland; BEWR singing simultaneously in same area.

Wrentit  1  repeated song (unseen) coastal sage-riparian edge.

Hermit Thrush  1  flushed from trail with overgrown riparian vegetation near the lake.

Northern Mockingbird  1  repeated song, parkland at the Dronfield entrance.

California Thrasher   2  repeated song from tops of tall shrubs, coastal sage-ruderal slope.

European Starling  5  on lawn near park entrance.

Orange-crowned Warbler  20  vocal, ubiquitous, gregarious; affecting a variety of vegetation and foliage-height profiles.

Nashville Warbler  1 (m) foraging in low shrubs and mature eucalyptus near the Dronfield park entrance.

Yellow Warbler  1  repeated song (unseen) dense riparian woodland, w.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's ) Warbler  5  gregarious; foraging in a variety of vegetation types near the Dronfield park entrance.

Black-throated Gray Warbler   3 (m,f) individuals and pairs foraging in mature deciduous and conifer trees, w, central.



Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) male  Hansen Dam LACO CA 11 April 2015


                                                                                                                © 2015 Callyn Yorke






Townsend's Warbler  1  foraging in exotic flowering trees, shrubs and conifers near  Dronfield park entrance.

Hermit Warbler  1 (f) foraging high in outer eucalyptus canopy with YRWA and OCWA, near Dronfield park entrance.

Common Yellowthroat  5  repeated song from riparian and coastal sage-riparian areas throughout.

Wilson's Warbler  20  highly vocal in riparian areas throughout.

Yellow-breasted Chat  2 (unseen)  highly  vocal yet unresponsive to a series of our playback recordings; in dense mulefat-willow riparian edge;  e-central.

Spotted Towhee  3  vocal; coastal sage-riparian edge.

California Towhee  12  vocal, ubiquitous; often in pairs on ground.

Song Sparrow  18 vocal; active in moist and dry vegetation, coastal sage-riparian edge.

White-crowned Sparrow  10  vocal, gregarious; often on ground at edge of riparian-coastal sage  areas throughout.

Black-headed Grosbeak  10 singing constantly from concealed perches in deciduous trees throughout riparian areas.

Red-winged Blackbird   3  (m) flying over parkland-riparian edge near Dronfield entrance.

Great-tailed Grackle  4  vocal; active in trees and on ground near Dronfield entrance.

Brown-headed Cowbird   10 (m,f)  vocal; several caught in cowbird trap at edge of riparian woodland; a flock of 5 flying over same area, ne

Bullock's Oriole   5 (m,f) vocal; active in parkland and riparian areas throughout.

House Finch   60 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   80 (m,f) vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; foraging on seed pods of weeds near ground-level.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  3 (m,f) vocal, gregarious; at mid-level and subcanopy at edge of riparian woodland, w.

American Goldfinch   2  foraging on seed pods of sunflowers and other weedy annuals;  several LEGO foraging nearby (photo).



American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) Hansen Dam LACO CA 11 April 2015


                                                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke





House Sparrow  1 (m) edge of mulefat riparian field, w.




























January 19, 2015  Legg Lake, South El Monte (61 Species)

Weather: Fair; 55F to 68F; no wind.

Time: 0810 - 1150 hrs.

Observers: Southwest Bird Study Club (SWBSC), 22 observers and I; Jim Abernathy and Jim Hardesty, leaders.

Area Covered: The fragmented group walked about 2 miles, slowly around the east and south lakes, stopping frequently to observe birds with binoculars and spotting scopes. Two-way radios were used for contacting separated groups. Habitats surveyed were mature parkland, riparian, freshwater marsh and ruderal edges. Numerous visitors, including many with dogs (all leashed) were present during our survey. Park maintenance workers were trimming trees in the central section. Conditions were fair for identifiying bird vocalizations. Birds found and identified by solely by SWBSC or myself (CY) are indicated below.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Greater White-fronted Goose (1), Cackling Goose (1), Common Gallinule (1), Tropical Kingbird (1), Hutton's Vireo (2), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2), Black & White Warbler (1 ), and Swamp Sparrow (1).


Greater White-fronted Goose  1 (ad)   with domestic GLGO, lakeside.

Canada Goose 50 flocks on lawns and edge of lake.

Cackling Goose  1  ID  cf CAGO, very small size; small bill; dark breast. Foraging on lawn with flock of CAGO near parking area (CY).

Gadwall   2  (m,f) swimming with other ducks.

Mallard  40  (m,f) ubiquitous in and around lakes.

Northern Shoveler    8  (m,f) open water near s island.

Ring-necked Duck  18 (conserv, est.)  (m,f) swimming together around s island.

Bufflehead  2 (m,f)  diving  near shore and in open water.

Ruddy Duck  40 flocks resting in open water throughout the park.

Pied-billed Grebe   8   vocal;  open water; near shore and marsh throughout the park.

Western Grebe   4   resting, open water, main lake.

Double-crested Cormorant    40  flying around; swimming and diving in open water.

American White Pelican  4  swimming near shore near parking area.

Great Blue Heron  12  edge of marsh throughout park;  a pair on nest engaged in courtship in tall rookery tree.

Great Egret  3  (SWBSC).

Snowy Egret  4   edge of lake and marsh.

Black-crowned Night Heron  20  (ad, imm) spaced 10-30 ft. apart at the edge of the marsh.

Osprey   2   one vocalizing and eating a trout in the crown of a leafless tree (photo).

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Legg Lake LACO CA  19 Jan 2015


                                              © 2015 Callyn Yorke

Cooper's Hawk  1 (SWBSC).

Red-tailed Hawk   3

Common Moorhen   1

American Coot   500

Spotted Sandpiper   1

Ring-billed Gull   65

California Gull   15

Feral Rock Pigeon  80

Mourning Dove   5

Anna's Hummingbird  2

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (SWBSC).

Belted Kingfisher  1

Nuttall's Woodpecker  3

Downy Woodpecker  1 (SWBSC).

Yellow-chevroned Parkakeet  7

Black Phoebe  6

Tropical Kingbird  1   ID:  cf nearby CAKI; distant but distinctive profile; relatively long bill, extensive yellow breast, notched tail; s island tree tops with CAKI.

                           Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) Legg Lake LACO CA  19 Jan 2015


Cassin's Kingbird   2  chasing each other over tree tops, s island.

Hutton's Vireo  2   subcanopy of oaks.

American Crow  2  (SWBSC).

Common Raven  2 (SWBSC).

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2

Tree Swallow   6

Bushtit   15

Ruby-crowned KInglet   12

American Robin   3

Northern Mockingbird  1

Cedar Waxwing   30

Black and White Warbler  1 (probably a continuing bird,  moving quickly on trunk and main branches of an oak (photo).

Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) Legg Lake LACO CA  19 January 2015

                                                                                    © 2015 Callyn Yorke


Orange-crowned Warbler  2

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler   15

Townsend's x Hermit Warbler ? 1 ID: extensive yellow in face. Other features similar to female TOWA.

Savannah Sparrow  1

Song Sparrow   6

Swamp Sparrow  1 (probably a continuing bird); active in uncut grass and bordering marsh (photo); chased by SOSP, central.

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) Legg Lake LACO CA  19 Jan 2015

                                                                      © 2015 Callyn Yorke


Red-winged Blackbird   6  (m,f)

Tricolored Blackbird  1 (SWBSC).

Brewer's Blackbird   15  (SWBSC).

Great-tailed Grackle  20  (m,f).

House Finch   15

Lesser Goldfinch  6 (m,f)

American Goldfinch  4 (f).

House Sparrow  2  (SWBSC).













November 22, 2014  Ballona Wetlands, Del Rey Lagoon and Breakwater (49 Species)

Weather: Fair;  59F to 70F; wind WNW 2-5 mph. High tide; surf 2 - 3 ft.

Time: 0805-1210  hrs.

Observers: UCLA Birds of Southern California class and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Del Rey Lagoon (DRL), channel, outer harbor and breakwater (CB): Before class (0810--0900 hrs.), JH and I walked along the west shore on Pacfic St., surveying birds in the lagoon and adjacent urban gardens. This survey route was subsequently repeated with the class with an additional walking survey about half way out on the middle breakwater on the west side of the channel bridge (0900- 1110 hrs.). High tide resulted in very little exposed shoreline at the lagoon; water visibility was 3-5 ft. in the channel. Increasing numbers of people (cyclists, walkers, joggers, dog owners and recreational boaters) by 1000 hrs. probably chased some birds out of the area.   2) Ballona Freshwater Marsh (BFM): We walked along the fenced pathway overlooking the marsh adjacent to West Jefferson Blvd. Habitats surveyed included, freshwater marsh, willow riparian, patches of coastal sage, and an adjacent saltwater marsh (1117-1210 hrs).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, White-winged Scoter (1).


Gray-lag Goose   11  together on shore, DRL.

American Wigeon    18 (m,f) edge of the lagoon, DRL.

Mallard    60  ubiquitous, DRL;  8 (m,f) BFM.

Northern Shoveler   3 (1 m, 2 f) swimming and dabbling together BFM.

Lesser Scaup  8  (m,f)  swimming and resting together, DRL (photo).

Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) males  Del Rey Lagoon, Los Angeles County CA  22 November 2014

                                                                                                     © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Bufflehead  5   (m,f) diving, DRL;  1 (f) CB.

Red-breasted Merganser  2  (f) diving and peering, main channel, CB.

Ruddy Duck    3   resting near the edge of the marsh, BFM.

Surf Scoter     40 (m,f)  swimming and diving singly and in small flocks (4-7), CB (photo).

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) male  Del Rey Channel LACO CA 22 November 2014

                                                                                                            © 2014 Callyn Yorke



White-winged Scoter  1  (f imm)  swimming with SUSC in main channel near the bridge, CB  (0830 hrs. - photo).


White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) fem imm   Del Rey Breakwater-Channel  Los Angeles County CA  22 Nov 2014


                                                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Pied-billed Grebe    4  swimming and diving singly and together, BFM.

Eared Grebe     1  diving, DRL;  3  diving in main channel, CB.

Western Grebe  1  swimming in main channel, CB.

Brandt's Cormorant   2  diving near the rocks in the main channel by the bridge; one appearing oiled, CB.

Double-crested Cormorant  30  flying over; on outer breakwater, CB.

Brown Pelican    10 (not all counted)   flying over; outer breakwater.

Great Blue Heron  1  BFM (BK, JK, JH).

Great Egret    1  edge of lagoon, DRL.

Snowy Egret  1  edge of lagoon, DRL.  1 on breakwater, CB; 1  edge of marsh, BFM.

Northern Harrier 1 (f) flying low, back and forth over marsh, BFM.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) circling above adjacent fields, BFM.

American Kestrel  1 (f) hovering 50-60 ft. above saltwater marsh, BFM.

American Coot   20  DRL;  5  BFM.

Willet    2  flying across channel, CB.

Sanderling   2-3  flying across channel; foraging on algae-covered rocks and sandy substrate between rocks, CB (photo).


Sanderling (Calidris alba) Del Rey Breakwater LACO CA 22 November 2014

                                                                              © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Least Sandpiper   6  foraging singly and together on algae-covered rocks, CB (photo).

Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  Del Rey Breakwater LACO CA  22 November 2014

                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Heermann's Gull  20 (90% ad)  DRL;  4 flying over channel, CB.

Ring-billed Gull  30 (90% ad)  DRL.

California Gull   5  (ad, imm) DRL.

Herring x Western Gull hybrid ?  1  showing relatively pale mantle; dark iris; intermediate size bill.

Western Gull   4  (ad) DRL;    5  (ad, C1/C2) on breakwater, CB.

Elegant Tern  1  flying over main channel, CB.

Thalasseus sp.  3  on adjacent beach but too distant for pos. ID, CB.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  2  flying over main channel, CB.

Anna's Hummingbird  3   repeated calls; ornamental trees and shrubs, DRL/CB.

Allen's Hummingbird    2  (m)  repeated calls; ornamental trees and shrubs, DRL.

Belted Kingfisher  1  flying over main channel near bridge, CB.

Black Phoebe   4  DRL/CB; 1 BFM.

Say's Phoebe  1  sallying out and back from emergent shrubs in saltwater marsh, BFM.

American Crow  10  DRL/CB.

Common Raven  3  circling high above the marsh and adjacent apartment buildings.

Bushtit  8   vocal, gregarious; foraging in flowering Tree Tobacco with YRWA and OCWA, DRL/CB.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  calls; flying from marsh across roadway, BFM.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  calls; foraging in ornamental shrubs and trees with YRWA and ALHU, DRL.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  10 (m,f) foraging in and around gardens and on lawns, DRL;  2  calls; in willows, BFM.

Song Sparrow  2  vocal; willow riparian and adjacent coastal sage, BFM.

White-crowned Sparrow  2  calls; in gardens, DRL;  8  willow riparian, BFM.

Western Meadowlark  1  on breakwater near bridge, CB;  1  edge of saltmarsh and coastal sage, BFM.

House Finch  2  calls, flying, riparian, BFM.

House Sparrow  10   vocal, gregarious, in gardens, DRL.








May 8, 2014  Hansen Dam (53 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 58F to 65F; wind W 5 mph.

Time: 0901 - 1210 hrs.

Observers: Chris Dean and I.

Area Covered: From the parking area next to the recreation center, we walked a counter-clockwise route on pathways around the lake on the north side of the dam. Habitats surveyed included parkland (lawns with mature deciduous and coniferous trees), ruderal fields dominated by mustard (Brassica nigra), scattered native shrubs (e.g. mulefat, elderberry) and exotic trees(e.g. eucalyptus, pepper tree, pine, tree tobacco, salt cedar), coastal sage scrub,  willow-cottonwood riparian, freshwater marsh and open water. Birds were rather uniformly distributed throughout the area except for the lake, which inexplicably had very few waterbirds. Insects were abundant and active as the air temperature increased; swarms of aerial dipterans occurred throughout the area surveyed. Several people were walking the trails; some on horseback with unleashed dogs.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Olive-sided Flycatcher (1), Gray Flycatcher (1), Least Bell's Vireo (8),  Hermit Warbler (1), Yellow-breasted Chat (1), Lazuli Bunting (1), Brown-headed Cowbird (10 - caught in traps), American Goldfinch (2) and Lawrence's Goldfinch (5). 


Canada Goose 3  swimming in open water.

Mallard  10  pairs in and around the lake.

California Quail  2  on pathway beneath dam.

Turkey Vulture  2  soaring on thermals.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) soaring above the riparian and open field areas (photo).

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi) Hansen Dam LACO CA  8 May 2014

                                                                                                                             © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Red-shouldered Hawk  2 (calls) unseen in dense riparian woodland, e.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  2  flying over adjacent suburbs, n.

Mourning Dove   10  individuals on the ground and in riparian woodland.

Vaux's Swift  2  flying low over open fields, e.

White-throated Swift  2  flying together over open fields and riparian edge, w.

Anna's Hummingbird  8  males displaying gorget; also display flights from exposed perches throughout.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m) edge of parkland and mulefat area, n.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  calls; flying into willows, nw, e.

Olive-sided Flycatcher  1  sallying from exposed perch on dead branch, nw (photo).

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) Hansen Dam LACO CA 8 May 2014


                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Wood Pewee    4  calls; sallying from low to medium height branches throughout (photo).


Western Wood Pewee (Contopus sordidulus) Hansen Dam LACO CA 8 May 2014


                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Gray Flycatcher  1   ID based on overall gray coloration; gray sides, whitish belly; short primary projection; conspicuous white edges of tertials; relatively large bill, indistinct white eyering.sallying from low pine branch near parking area, n.

Gray Flycatcher (Empidonax wrightii) Hansen Dam LACO CA 8 May 2014

                                                                                                                                   © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Black Phoebe  1  sallying from low branches in picnic area, n.

Western Kingbird  2  calls; one sallying to short grass next to a grove of sycamores, s.

Warbling Vireo  2  foraging quickly in the canopy of deciduous trees.

Least Bell's Vireo   8   well-concealed individuals singing repeatedly in dense willow-riparian areas adjacent to the lake.

American Crow  2  in adjacent suburbs by I-210, n.

Common Raven  12    a cohesive flock foraging beneath trees in picnic area; soaring on thermals.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow     6  pairs perched on exposed snags; flying low over ruderal fields and parkland.

Cliff Swallow 4  two pair flying 50-100 ft. agl over open areas.

Bushtit    20  small, vocal flocks affecting a variety of vegetation throughout.

Bewick's Wren  5  vocal; active in shrubby fields throughout.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4  vocal;  2 pair active in mulefat and other shrubs along the pathways, w, e.

Thrush (Catharus sp.) seen briefly in flight; flew low into dense riparian woodland, w.

Western Bluebird  1 (m) flew to large sycamore, s.

Wrentit   2 (unseen)   repeated song in brushy fields and edge of riparian woodland, nw, w.

California Thrasher  1  repeated song atop a willow, nw.

European Starling   10 vocal; a flock feeding on ground in picnic area with CORA.

Cedar Waxwing    4  two pair in pepper tree and willow, nw, w  (photo).


Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Hansen Dam  LACO CA  8 May 2014

                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Phainopepla    5  (m,f)  calls; ubiquitous at the edges of riparian and open fields with isolated trees; three males flying together, nw.

Orange-crowned Warbler    3  foraging quickly in a variety of trees and shrubs, nw, w.

Yellow Warbler  4  repeated song and calls; mainly willows in dense riparian woodland.

Hermit Warbler  1  foraging quickly in exotic pine near restrooms, n.

Wilson's Warbler  25  (m,f) calls (relatively infrequent song) ubiquitous in a variety of vegetation types.

Yellow-breasted Chat  1 (unseen) repeated calls from well-concealed perch in dense mulefat-riparian edge; became silent as we approached, se.

Spotted Towhee  8  repeated song and calls; singing from exposed perches atop isolated trees at the edge of fields and riparian patches.

California Towhee   10  calls; ubiquitous in brushy areas; two individuals caught in a cowbird trap; one caught in another.

Song Sparrow  14  vocal; ubiquitous.

Black-headed Grosbeak   5  repeated song from concealed perch in riparian and edge of parkland.

Lazuli Bunting  1 (m) intially seen by Chris; flew from shrub along fence line, w.

Brewer's Blackbird  1 (m) flying over parkland, n.

Great-tailed Grackle    6 (m,f)  vocal; flying over lake and open areas.

Brown-headed Cowbird  10 (m,f)   7/10 females; five each in two cage traps, w, e (photo).

 Chris Dean next to Brown Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) trap at Hansen Dam Los Angeles County CA  8 May 2014


                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Bullock's Oriole    4  repeated calls; dense riparian woods and edge throughout.

House Finch  60 (m,f)  vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch   40 (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous; foraging on fruiting exotic herbs in ruderal fields.

American Goldfinch  2 (m, alt. plmg.)  foraging on fruits of exotic herbs in ruderal fields, often with nearby LEGO (photo).


American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) male  Hansen Dam  Los Angeles County CA  8 May 2014

                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Lawrence's Goldfinch  5  (m,f) foraging in weedy fields with LEGO and AMGO, w (photo).


Lawrence's Goldfinch (Spinus lawrencei) male  Hansen Dam LACO CA 8 May 2014


                                                                   © 2014 Callyn Yorke



House Sparrow  1 (m) weedy field at edge of riparian, sw.


















May 3, 2014  Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve  6100 Woodley Avenue, Los Angeles (52 Species)

Weather: Fair; 76F to 91F; wind WSW 2-5 mph.

Time: 0809-1205 hrs.

Observers: The UCLA Birds of Southern California class and I.

Area Covered: We walked from the parking area adjacent to the Wildlife Preserve, in a clockwise direction on pathways around the lake. Habitats surveyed included parkland (scattered riparian trees and lawns), ruderal (weedy) fields, riparian (cottonwood, sycamore and willow), freshwater marsh and open water. Numerous visitors were in the area during our survey, though most were on pathways other than the ones we used. Aerial insects (diptera) were abundant throughout, especially in the riparian area next to the lake. Conditions for finding and identifying birds were generally good, except for  occasional noise from low-flying aircraft. We surveyed an area of about 120 acres.


Canada Goose 18 including at least two pair with goslings walking and swimming; several resting on shore, possibly on nests.

Mallard  (wild type)  14 (m,f) pairs on shore and swimming; one domestic albino-type.

Ruddy Duck  2  swimming in open water.

Pied-billed Grebe  4  diving, open water.

Double-crested Cormorant   20 (ad, imm); including about 12 on nests in small cottonwoods at the s edge of the lake. Most birds on their nests were fully exposed to the sun and thermoregulating by fluttering their gular pouch.

American White Pelican  2 (imm) resting on shore and swimming.

Great Blue Heron  1 (ad)  walking on lawn with gopher and ground squirrel burrows next to parking area.

Snowy Egret  1 (ad) on shore.

Green Heron  2 (alt. plmg.)   a pair flying to a cottonwood overhanging the lake; calls; one flying low over the lake and landing on the concrete boat launch.

Black-crowned Night Heron 1 (ad) flying over the riparian area toward the lake.

Turkey Vulture  1 soaring on thermals 300-400 ft. agl above the park.

Sharp-shinned Hawk  1 ID by comparatively small size and low, rapid flight through a riparian woodland.

Cooper's Hawk  2 (ad) a pair staying together but in different trees; one eating a small piece of red meat; the other flying with nest material; seen later soaring 200 ft. agl over the same area.

Red-tailed Hawk  2 (ad, imm) flying over the riparian woodland; one soaring on thermals 500 ft. agl.

American Kestrel  1  flying east over parkland habitat.

American Coot   3  swimming near shore.

Spotted Sandpiper  1  flying low over the lake; walking and bobbing on dead branches on shore.

Western Gull    2 (ad) resting in open water; flying low around the lake.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  1  flying low over the lake.

Mourning Dove  6  pairs in riparian and parkland habitat.

Black-chinned Hummingbird   8 (m,f); female on and around nest in a cottonwood; another female hawking aerial diptera around a cottonwood.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls; parkland and adjacent edge of riparian.

Allen's Hummingbird  10  (ID based on extensive green back on males) vocal, ubiquitous, esp. riparian edge.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  (m,f) vocal; in riparian areas near shore.

Black Phoebe  1 calls (unseen) edge of riparian woodland.

Western Kingbird  4:  one pair highly vocal, staying close in a mature, parkland sycamore; one gathering plastic strands of nest material.

Least Bell's Vireo  3-4: repeated song; moving frequently but staying well-concealed in the same patch of willows where at least four individuals of this species were found on April 24, 2014 (see previous field note entry) until a playback recording of BEVI song (from a brief internet connection on BK's cell phone) brought it close to us in plain view, following several seconds of continuous playback, which was promptly discontinued. The bird soon disappeared again into the willow thicket. Note: Playback of bird song is strongly discouraged unless used for scientific and/or educational purposes. This technique should always be applied sparingly due to the potential for reducing reproductive success, particularly of a species in decline such as Least Bell's Vireo.

American Crow  2  flying over the park.

Tree Swallow  2  a pair repeatedly flying low over the lake and landing in a cottonwood overhanging the shore.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow   6  pairs and trios flying low over the lake, riparian and adjacent ruderal fields.

Cliff Swallow  2  flying 50 ft. agl. over the lake and adjacent ruderal fields.

Barn Swallow  1  flying low over the lake and adjacent riparian vegetation.

Bushtit    20  three vocal, active flocks foraging together in a variety of vegetation types and heights.

Northern Mockingbird  repeated song, parkland.

California Thrasher  2  one singing repeatedly atop an elderberry; another approaching it from beneath in riparian-chaparral vegetation.

European Starling  3  on lawns and in trees, parkland.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1 flying between shrubs at the edge of the lake.

Yellow Warbler  5  (m) repeated song from cottonwoods near the shore and at the edge of the riparian patches.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler 1 (m - alt. plmg.) foraging in a cottonwood at the edge of a ruderal field.

Common Yellowthroat  10  (m,f) repeated song; in a variety of vegetation types and heights; often near water.

Wilson's Warbler  6 (m,f) repeated song; foraging quickly in cottonwoods around the lake.

Spotted Towhee  5  highly vocal;  low branches in cottonwoods and dense riparian vegetation around the lake.

California Towhee  5  on the ground at the edge of riparian patches and ruderal fields.

Savannah Sparrow  1  on the ground beneath a cottonwood at the edge of ruderal field.

Song Sparrow  13  highly vocal; ubiquitous in riparian patches around the lake.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1 (m) repeated song from a concealed perch in an elderberry.

Red-winged Blackbird  20 (m,f) ubiquitous; relatively tame near shore.

Great-tailed Grackle  12  (m,f) vocal; ubiquitous; probably nesting in cottonwoods around the lake.

Bullock's Oriole  8  (m,f)   ubiquitous, vocal; pairs flying between perches in cottonwoods and sycamores.

Brown-headed Cowbird  1  calls; flew from cottonwood with a vocal YEWA.

House Finch  8 (m,f) vocal, riparian patches and parkland.

Lesser Goldfinch  20  (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous in mature trees.










April 24 2014  Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve 6100 Woodley Avenue, Los Angeles (44 Species)


Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014

                                                                                                       © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair; 65F to 75F; wind W 2-5 mph.

Time: 0915-1149 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered: We entered the area off Woodley Avenue at a large sign announcing the various recreational facilities and their collective address, 6100 Woodley Avenue. An unnamed road (shown on Google Earth maps) passes the Japanese Garden, Cricket Fields and Archery Range before terminating at the Wildlife Preserve. A motion picture film crew with numerous trucks was set up on the south side of the road.

From the parking area of the Wildlife Preserve, we walked the pathways around parkland (lawns with scattered native and ornamental trees) and through riparian (largely native shrubs and trees, e.g. cottonwood, sycamore and willow) habitats, including the margin of a small lake surrounded by freshwater marsh. We continued on the outside perimeter path along a small creek with dense riparian understory bordering a weedy field (e.g. exotic Brassica spp.) with scattered elements of chaparral vegetation (e.g. native Baccharis sp.); this path led back to the main road and parking area. About fifty people were in the area during our survey (most in the picnic area near the restrooms), including several with unleashed dogs defecating and running freely through the picnic areas and invading wildlife areas posted No Entry. Most of the large trees in the open areas were surrounded by trash (e.g. plastic fragments from many broken pinatas).  Several tiny individual restrooms have seatless, stainless-steel toilets; graffiti and related urban decorations are everywhere. Noise from freeway traffic a nearby airport reduced detectability of bird vocalizations, except around the lake, which is shielded by tall trees. The latter area supported an unexpected abundance and diversity of birdlife.


Canada Goose  12  vocal; on shore and on pathways around the lake.

Mallard  25 (wild-type and a few domestic hybrids) in and around the lake.

Ruddy Duck  6  resting in open water.

Pied-billed Grebe  4  diving in open water.

Double-crested Cormorant   16: about 12 on stick nests in 10-20 ft. tall cottonwood snags on the southeast side of the lake; several diving nearshore.

American White Pelican  1 (with unreadable blue band on right tarsus)   swimming; flying around the lake (photo).

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014


                                                                                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Great Egret  1  on lawn in picnic area (photo).


Great Egret (Ardea alba) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014

                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Snowy Egret  1 (alt. plmg.)    standing on shore (photo).


Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014


                                                                                                         © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Green Heron  1  stalking small fish on shore; one captured and quickly swallowed (photo).


Green Heron (Butorides virescens) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014


                                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke



American Coot  5  swimming near shore.

Domestic Rock Pigeon  4  flying over freeway.

Mourning Dove  calls, riparian area along creek.

Anna's Hummingbird  5 (m, f) vocal; edge of riparian areas and open fields.

Allen's Hummingbird  8 (m) vocal; hovering over flowering shrubs; riparian edge and open fields.

Black Phoebe  1 vocal; edge of marsh.

Cassin's Kingbird  3  vocal in ruderal fields; pair staying together at edge of field-riparian; perched on tall, leafless tree.

Western Kingbird  1  sallying from low perch in sycamore to open field.

Bell's Vireo  4  repeated song; apparently males patrolling their territories in willows in dense riparian patches next to the stream.

Warbling Vireo  1  vocal; foraging in canopy of willows and sycamores (photo).

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014


                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke

American Crow  3  flying over adjacent freeway.

Tree Swallow  4  flying low over lake and marsh.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  8  pairs flying low over riparian and open fields.

Cliff Swallow  1  flying over open field and marsh.

Barn Swallow  2  flying over riparian, marsh and adjacent open fields.

Bushtit   10  vocal in small flocks; riparian.

House Wren  repeated song, riparian creekside.

Western Bluebird  2  calls; sallying between sycamores in picnic area.

Northern Mockingbird  repeated song, adjacent archery range.

European Starling  5  flying over open areas.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  calls; foraging in willows and other riparian vegetation.

Yellow Warbler  2 (m) vocal; foraging in willows and sycamores.

Common Yellowthroat  1  repeated song; edge of riparian.

Wilson's Warbler  12  (m,f) vocal; foraging in a riparian vegetation throughout.

Spotted Towhee   4  repeated song; exposed perches atop shubs and small trees; marsh-riparian edge.

California Towhee  6  ubiquitous; riparian and edge; on pathways.

Song Sparrow  16 vocal, ubiquitous in wet areas.

Black-headed Grosbeak  calls (unseen) trees at edge of adjacent cricket field.

Red-winged Blackbird  30  vocal, ubiquitous in the marsh and riparian areas.

Brewer's Blackbird  3 (m,f) on lawn at the edge of adjacent cricket field.

Great-tailed Grackle  10 vocal, ubiquitous, esp. in marsh-riparian around the lake.

Brown-headed Cowbird  4 (m,f) vocal; conspicuous perch on snag above riparian-marsh.

Bullock's Oriole   5 (m,f)  vocal; ubiquitous in deciduous trees (photo).


Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii) male  Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve, Los Angeles County CA  24 April 2014


                                                                                               © 2014 Callyn Yorke



House Finch  20 (m,f) ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  12 (m,f)   vocal, ubiquitous.













February 14 2014  El Dorado Park, Long Beach (39 Species)

Weather: Fair; 50F to 58F; wind calm.

Time: 0800 - 0930 hrs.

Observers: Merissa and I.

Area Covered: El Dorado Park, Long Beach, central section (Area II), bordered on the south by E Spring St. and in the north by Wardlow; east by the 605 FWY and west by the San Gabriel River. We walked through about 15 acres of parkland habitat, surveying birds in and around a small lake (connected to another small lake (Horseshoe Lake) in the south that we didn't survey), a small patch of freshwater-riparian marsh, mature plantings of eucalytptus, pines, sycamores and pepper trees. A shrub understory was absent throughout the area we surveyed. The artificial lake (presumably originating from soil removal during the construction of the 605 FWY) is periodically stocked with several species of fish. Lawns were wet with dew on sandy soils throughout. Trees here have attained impressive size (many sycamores are more than 50 ft. tall); nearly all of El Dorado Park is within the San Gabriel River flood zone, which historically supported an extensive riparian woodland.

Human disturbances were relatively minimal during our survey, except for park maintenance workers using noisy machinery in the southwestern section. Traffic noise on the adjacent 605 FWY was loud enough to obscure distant bird vocalizations. About eighty Canada Geese were on the ground and flying across the archery range between the targets, a large TV film crew and one archer. We paid an entry fee of $6 at the kiosk on Spring St. and El Dorado Park Drive.


Canada Goose  120   flocks foraging on lawns throughout the area.

Domestic Gray-lag Goose  10  around the lake and elsewhere on lawns.

Muscovy Duck (domestic hybrid) 1 edge of the lake with other ducks.

American Wigeon  4 (m,f) standing on the concrete walkway at the edge of the lake.

Mallard (wild-type) 50  in and around the lake;  about 10 domestic hybrids with them.

Northern Shoveler  18 (m,f) many molting; dabbling in the lake.

Ruddy Duck  15  in the lake.

Pied-billed Grebe    2  swimming together in a small riparian stream connecting to Horseshoe Lake.

Double-crested Cormorant  5  resting at the edge of the lake.

Great Egret  1  at the edge of the lake.

Red-tailed Hawk  2  (ad, imm) flying low; one perched in a tall tree and on a nearby utility tower.

American Kestrel  2  calls; a pair engaged in courtship and copulation on a utility wire; the male perched next to the female, attempting to attract her attention using a series of leaning postures before mounting her briefly; these behaviors were repeated a few times in a period of about ten minutes of observation (photos).

American Kestrel (adult male left; female right) courtship behavior, El Dorado Park, LACO CA  14 Feb 2014


                                                  © 2014 Callyn Yorke


American Coot  90  in and around the lake.

California Gull   2 (ad) flying over the park.

Mourning Dove  8  in and around mature trees.

Anna's Hummingbird  3  calls; hovering around pines and sycamores.

Allen's Hummingbird 1 (m) display flight around a mixed grove of trees.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  calls; active in sycamores.

Northern Flicker  2  calls; active in a variety of mature trees.

Black Phoebe  3  calls; sallying from low perches in mature trees.

Kingbird (Tyrannus sp.) calls (unseen) sounded like Cassin's Kingbird but a Tropical Kingbird has been wintering in the park since October, 2013.

Western Scrub-jay  3  fly, call; mature trees; landed on picnic table.

American Crow  6  fly, call.

Common Raven  1 calls, w.

Bushtit  6  a small, cohesive flock in oaks and pines.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3  vocal; foraging in oaks.

Western Bluebird  20  (m,f) ubiquitous in an assortment of mature trees; also on lawns.

Northern Mockingbird  1  song, sw.

European Starling  15  a cohesive, vocal flock on utility wires and in sycamores.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  25  calls; ubiquitous.

Townsend's Warbler 1 foraging in an oak amongst YRWA.

Common Yellowthroat  1 calls (unseen) patch of marsh along small stream.

Chipping Sparrow  5 (ad, imm) foraging on lawn beneath pines and oaks.

Song Sparrow  1 song (unseen) patch of marsh along small stream.

Red-winged Blackbird  3 (m) foraging on lawn, n.

Great-tailed Grackle  10 (m,f) foraging on lawns in a loose, vocal flock, n.

House Finch  5 fly, call, w.

Lesser Goldfinch   2  calls; low perch in a sycamore.

House Sparrow  5  calls, w.







November 10, 2013  Veteran's Park, Sylmar (35 Species)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) left; Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) right; Veteran's Park LACO CA 10 Nov 2013

                                                                     © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair to partly cloudy; 47F to 72F; wind WNW 1-2  mph.

Time: 0716 - 1320 hrs.

Observers: Debra Anderson and I;  about 12 unidentified birders.

Area Covered: We walked throughout the hillside park (elevation about 1,800 ft.), to and from the southeast parking area. Not unexpectedly on the Sunday of the three-day Veteran's Day weekend, increasing numbers of visitors arrived at the park during our survey. Many folks brought dogs, leashed and unleashed. Additionally, the LA County Poop and Scoop law is evidently not enforced in the park. We had to constantly deal with marauding canines and avoid stepping on their fecal land mines. We spoke briefly with several birders; one group, including Bhaskar Krishnamachari, gave us directions for finding a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the southwest corner of the park. Most of the birders appeared to be exclusively focused on finding four species of sapsucker reported here by John Oliver on Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1), Williamson's Sapsucker (1), Phainopepla (1), Mountain Chickadee (1) and Golden-crowned Kinglet (2). Additionally, a partially melanistic Ruby-crowned Kinglet was observed and photographed.


Cooper's Hawk  1 flying n toward mts. @ 150 ft agl n.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 landed atop a pine, n.

Mourning Dove  1 flying n through the park.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls; active around shrubs and pines.

Red-breasted Sapsucker  1 (m) in large pine, n.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 (imm) foraging on eucalyptus sap, sw (photo).

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) immature  sw Veteran's Park Los Angeles County, CA  10 November 2013


                                                                                                                © 2013 Callyn Yorke



Williamson's Sapsucker 1 (f)  foraging on trunks of hardwoods and conifers, n (photos).

Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) female (same individual in both images) Veteran's Park, LACO CA 10 Nov 2013


                                                                                  © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Nuttall's Woodpecker  2 (m,f) calls; active in sycamores and olive trees (photo).

Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) male  Veteran's Park LACO CA 10 Nov 2013

                                                                                © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Northern (RS) Flicker  8 (m,f)  ubiquitous; foraging on lawns (photo).

Northern Red-shafted Flicker (Colaptes auratus) male Veteran's Park, LACO CA 10 Nov 2013

                                                                                                © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Black Phoebe  2  calls; low sallies over lawn.

Hutton's Vireo 1 foraging in outer canopy of oaks and deciduous trees, n (photo).

Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni) Veteran's Park, Los Angeles County CA  10 November 2013

                                                                                         © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Western Scrub-jay  calls, w.

American Crow  5   vocal; foraging on lawn, n.

Common Raven  10  vocal; flying around the park.

Mountain Chickadee  calls (unseen) conifers, ne.

Oak Titmouse  1  calls; brushy island, n.

Bushtit  2-5  calls; brushy island, n.

White-breasted Nuthatch  4  foraging in and around conifers and olive trees; picking up olives on the ground, n.

Bewick's Wren  2  calls, brushy edge, fence line, n.

Golden-crowned Kinglet  2 (m,f)   calls; foraging on outer foliage of a mature cedar, se (photo).

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) Veteran's Park LACO CA  10 Nov 2013


                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Ruby-crowned Kinglet   6  vocal; active in a variety of conifers and deciduous trees throughout. One partially melanistic individual was observed foraging with a typical RCKI in a mature deciduous tree, n (photos).

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) partially melanistic variant (same individual)  Veteran's Park, LACO CA 10 November 2013


                                                                        © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Hermit Thrush  1  foraging at the base of a row of mature eucalyptus, se.

American Robin   4  active on ground and in trees near fruiting pyracantha and other fruiting shrubs.

Northern Mockingbird  2  calls; shrubs and trees, centra, e.

California Thrasher  2  foraging together in and around ground squirrel burrows at edge of chaparral fence line, e.

European Starling  5  vocal; tops of trees throughout.

Phainopepla  calls (unseen) n.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  50  (mostly adult females and HY),  calls; ubiquitous; foraging at all levels (esp. on bare ground and lawns) in a variety of shrubs and trees.

Spotted Towhee  2   calls; foraging on ground at the edge of brushy island, n.

California Towhee  2   calls; foraging on ground at edge of brushy island, n.

White-crowned Sparrow   5 foraging at edge of shrubs and lawn.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  7 (ad, imm) foraging on ground at edge of chaparral-fence line with WCSP and CATH, ne.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco   12 foraging on ground beneath olive trees, n.

House Finch  12  calls; ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  calls (unseen) tops of mature conifers, n.











October 17, 2013.  Long Beach Harbor and Catalina Channel on 2 hr. Harbor Breeze Cruise (17 Species)

Weather: Fair; 65F to 70F; wind WNW 5-10 mph. Seas relatively calm. Low tide @ 1300 hrs.

Time: 1515-1730 hrs.

Observers:  Merissa Mendez and I; four other birders, including Todd McGrath (TM) and Monte Taylor.

Area Covered: From the harbor breakwater, we went in an ESE direction, passing a solar-powered beacon buoy about one mile from the harbor in the Santa Catalina Island Channel, where two Masked Boobies, an adult and immature, were found (the immature on the outgoing voyage; an adult with an immature on the return trip). The captain manuevered the boat to within several feet of the buoy, allowing excellent views of the two vagrant boobies. Within about a mile of the buoys and about two miles offshore, we encountered a pod of about 150 Common Dolphin, California Sea Lion and scattered flocks of Black-vented Shearwater. Further southeast in the channel and at least 0.5 mile north of a line of offshore oil platforms, there was very little to be seen. We did not encounter any whales. Although a biologist from the Long Beach Aquarium was onboard and, using the loudspeaker, explained a few general facts about the local marine ecology, except for a passing comment about the Masked Booby, said absolutely nothing about various other seabirds found within sight of our boat. Fortunately, several alert and experienced birders on board provided relevant information regarding bird sightings made during our voyage (the discounted price for the two-hour cruise was $25 per person, using the Groupons website)..

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found on the cruise included, Manx Shearwater (1 - TM), Masked Booby (2), Parasitic Jeager (2),  and Craveri's Murrelet (1 - TM).


Clark's Grebe  diving near the shoreline breakwater inside the harbor.

Northern Fulmar  2   well offshore; on water with other seabirds.

Manx Shearwater  1 (TM) flying from the surface, nw.

Black-vented Shearwater  150 (conserv. est.) in loose flocks on and near surface with other seabirds and common dolphins (photo).


Black-vented Shearwater (Puffinus opisthomelas)  Long Beach-Catalina Channel,, Los Angeles County CA  17 Oct 2013


                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke

Double-crested Cormorant  3  swimming in the harbor.

Brandt's Cormorant  35  resting on the buoy; flying low offshore.

Blue-footed Booby ? 1 seen at  300 yards from shore - an immature flying west to breakwater near the Queen Mary.

Masked Booby  2 (one immature; one adult). Initially, only an immature MABO was found on the beacon buoy about 1 mile ESE of the Long Beach Harbor (photo). This bird was perched on the top tier of the ca. 12-foot tall buoy, above the solar panels. Several California Sea Lions were on the bottom level; a few Brandt's cormorants were on the middle levels. The captain manuvered the boat close enough so that the booby could be seen clearly without a binocular. Returning to the harbor, at around 1700 hrs, we stopped again at the same buoy and observed an additional MABO (adult) interacting with the immature bird (photos). These birds were likely the same individuals initially found by Darren Dowell on September 2, 2013 (reported by David Bell), and more recently by other observers on two separate tours (Kurt Radamaker about two weeks ago and Jon Feenstra on October 13, 2013).

Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) adult (foreground) and immature (partially concealed) Long Beach-Catalina Channel, LACO, CA 17 October 2013

                                                                                                                                             © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) immature (left) and adult (right) Long Beach-Catalina Channel, LACO CA 17 October 2013                                                                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke


                Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) immature (left) and adult (right) Long Beach-Catalina Channel, Los Angeles County CA  17 October 2013


                                                                                                                                                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Brown Pelican   25 in and around harbor; flying offshore.

Snowy Egret  3  foraging on shoreline breakwater.

Western Gull   35 (ad, imm)   in and around the harbor and offshore.

Heermann's Gull 10  (imm) offshore with other seabirds; two in harbor trying to steal a fish from a BRPE.

Elegant Tern  2  flying over the breakwater.

Forster's Tern  1  flying over the harbor.

Parasitic Jaeger  2   offshore; one took off from water with HEGU and BVSE.

Craveri's Murrelet  1 (TM) on surface, taking flight to nw.

Rock Pigeon  10  around harbor and on the boat.









December 20, 2012  Cabrillo Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Ken Malloy Regional Park (75 Species)

Weather: Fair; 56F; wind NNW 2 - 5 mph. Tide: medium low at  1030  hrs., surf  1-3 ft.

Time: 1015 - 1600 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered:  1) Cabrillo Beach, tidepools, harbor and breakwater (CB). We walked the length of the south end of Cabrillo Beach, surveying birds using the tidepools, shoreline, cliff, pines and other exotic trees. We climbed over the breakwater rocks and surveyed the harbor from the pier, then continued along the inner shoreline. A vagrant White Wagtail, reported here by Bernado Alps earlier this month, subsequently seen and photographed by many other birders, was not found today(1015 - 1200 hrs.).  2) Point Fermin (PF). We walked along the edge of the park overlooking the rocky shoreline and nearshore waters. We also surveyed birds using several large fig trees in the park (1217-1308 hrs.).  3) George F. Canyon Nature Preserve (GFC), located at the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive North and East. We surveyed birds along the nature trail, including a bird feeder, coastal sage scrub and a lush willow riparian drainage (1347 -1450 hrs.).  4) Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park (KM). I walked along the shoreline of Machado Lake bordering Vermont St., surveying open water, freshwater marsh, riparian and parkland habitat (1500-1600  hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included,  Pelagic Cormorant (1), Snowy Plover (5 - one banded), Elegant Tern (2), Black Skimmer (14), and an unidentified Booby (possibly an immature Sula leucogaster) off Pt. Fermin.


Gray-lag Goose (domestic and hybrid)   12  shoreline, KM.

Swan Goose   14  shoreline, KM.

Canada Goose  12  shoreline, KM.

Gadwall  1 (f) swimming near south shore, KM.

American Wigeon   8 (m,f)  pairs foraging in floating vegetation near shore, KM.

Mallard (wild type)   12 (m,f) near shore, KM.

Mallard (domestic and hybrid)  20  near shore, KM.

Cinnamon Teal  1 (m) resting in floating vegetation near NOSH, KM.

Northern Shoveler   85 (m,f) foraging near shore; resting in floating vegetation, KM.

Surf Scoter   6  (m,f)  flying, swimming in harbor, CB.

Bufflehead   3 (m,f) in harbor, CB.

Red-throated Loon  2  one offshore, one in the harbor, CB.

Pied-billed Grebe  3  swimming in lake, KM.

Horned Grebe  1  in harbor, CB;  2  KM.

Eared Grebe  1  in harbor, CB.

Western Grebe    100 +  ubiquitous offshore, harbor, lake.

Brown Booby 1 (imm)  ?  A distant, blurry image of what appeared to be Sula sp., resting on an offshore buoy was obtained from Pt. Fermin (photo). A Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) was reported by several observers in these waters over the past week.

    An offshore buoy with several Harbor Seals, a Western Gull and a possible Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) - top right , Point Fermin, Los Angeles County, CA  20 Dec. 2012.


                                                                                                                                                                  ©  2012 Callyn Yorke   

Brown Pelican   10  diving offshore; swimming, flying over the harbor, CB, PF.

Brandt's Cormorant   2  flying low offshore, CB;  10 resting on rocks near shore, PF.

Pelagic Cormorant  1  resting on edge of rock with BRCO, PF.

Double-crested Cormorant   10  flying low across the harbor, CB; flying along the shoreline, PF.

Great Blue Heron  2  edge of lake in marsh, KM.

Great Egret   2  edge of marsh, KM.

Snowy Egret  65   at least  45 individuals foraging in the marsh in a tight flock, s, KM.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 flying over the park, KM.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  circling high with two CORA, GF.; one perched in tall tree in the middle of the park, KM.

American Kestrel  1 (f) on sign, fenced field next to the park, PF.

Sora  1  calls, marsh in swc, KM.

American Coot   80  foraging near shore around the lake, KM.

Snowy Plover   5   on sandy shoreline above the tide line; one immature banded at VAFB,SBCO CA this year;  nws/no (photo), CB; band information correspondent, Frances Bidstrup.

Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) immature HY; banded at Vandenberg AFB, CA  nws/no;  Cabrillo Beach, LACO, CA  20 Dec. 2012


                                                                                                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Black Oystercatcher   2  fly, call, shoreline rocks, PF.

Willet   3  on shore, CB;  1 on rocks, PF.

Marbled Godwit   1 foraging on shore, CB.

Black Turnstone  2  on rocks below cliff, PF.

Heermann's Gull   15 ( 80% ad; 20 % imm) on shore, CB (photos).

Heermann's Gull (Larus hermanni) Left:  imm. C2; Center: Adult basic plmg.; Right: Adult alternate plmg.  Cabrillo Beach, LACO CA  20 Dec. 2012


                                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Mew Gull   23 (90% ad; 10% imm)  on shore, CB (photo).

Mew Gull (Larus canus) adults; Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles County, CA  20 December, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Ring-billed Gull   40 (90% ad; 10% imm) on shore, CB.

Western Gull   20  (75% ad; 25 % imm) on shore; offshore, CB;  10  resting on lake, KM.

California Gull   40  (80 % ad; 20% imm) on shore, CB;   80   on lake, KM.

Caspian Tern   2  on shore, CB.

Royal Tern   2  on shore, CB (photo).

Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) Cabrillo Beach, LACO CA 20 Dec. 2012

                                                                                                                © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Elegant Tern  2  on shore, CB (photo).

Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) Cabrillo Beach, LACO CA 20 December, 2012

                                                                                                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Black Skimmer  14  resting together on the beach, CB.

Rock Pigeon  5  on and around the fishing pier, CB.

Allen's Hummingbird   1  calls, active in shrubs at the base of the cliff, CB.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls, riparian and sage scrub, GFC.

Northern Flicker  2  call, fly  GFC.

Black Phoebe   12  ubiquitous near water and riparian edge.

Say's Phoebe  1  low perch on shore, CB.  1  edge of marsh, KM.

Western Scrub-jay  2 fly, call, GFC.

American Crow   50   vocal, ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2   calls, circling with RTHA, GFC

Oak Titmouse  1  calls, GFC.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  1  calls, active on and beneath pines, CB.

Marsh Wren  1  song, briefly in marsh, swc, KM.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2  in conifers, PF;  2 calls, riparian GFC.

Blue-gray-Gnatcatcher  3  calls, active in coastal sage scrub, Encelia sp., GFC (photo);  1 in silk oak, KM.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) George F. Canyon NP, Palos Verdes, LACO CA  20 Dec. 2012

                                                                                                                           © 2012 Callyn Yorke


California Gnatcatcher  1vocalized once using distinctive high, thin "mew" call; retreated into dense coastal sage; BGGN nearby; GFC..

Hermit Thrush  2  calls in dense riparian, GFC.

Northern Mockingbird  1   base of cliff in saltbush, CB;  1 edge of coastal sage-riparian, GFC.

European Starling  4  fly, call, CB;  3  PF.

American Pipit  1  fly, call, parkland at edge of parking lot, KM.

Orange-crowned Warbler   1   calls, active in shrubs atop cliff, PF.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   35  (m,f)  calls; ubiquitous, foraging at all levels of vegetation.

Yellow-rumped (M) Warbler  1 (f) foraging on tree trunk and ground, KM.

Townsend's Warbler  1 calls, dense riparian, GFC.

Common Yellowthroat  1  calls,  sw edge of marsh, KM.

Spotted Towhee   1  calls, dense riparian, GFC.

California Towhee    1 edge of shrubs next to cliff, PF; 2  active in undergrowth and edge of riparian-sage, GFC.

Song Sparrow  2  calls, marsh-riparian edge, KM.

White-crowned Sparrow   40   vocal; ubiquitous in brushy areas.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  1  song (briefly) near feeder, GFC.

Spotted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)   2 (f) ?  at feeder, GFC.

Great-tailed Grackle   4  fly, call KM.

House Finch   40  ubiquitous in gardens, second-growth, riparian.

House Sparrow  6  yards next to cliffs, CB.











July 11, 2011 DeForest Park, North Long Beach (27 Species)

Weather: Overcast; 60F, winds WSW 2-5 mph.

Time: 0823 - 1045 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered:  DeForest Park, DeForest Ave., N. Long Beach: We first entered the park on the south end near the terminus of the nature trail. Pathways there are littered with trash and human excrement. Very little birdlife was evident. We reversed our direction and headed north on the nature trail to the stairs leading to the west side of the LA river. We walked along the bike-pedestrian path to the Long Beach Blvd. overpass, then north about 1 mile upriver, returning to the stairway park entrance to complete our survey of DeForest Park. The park is located in an older suburb of N Long Beach and features tall, mature riparian (Sycamore, Alder), mixed exotic conifers (Pinus) and assorted tall exotic trees (Eucalyptus) and understory shrubs, lawns, playing fields and recreation facilities (see map and  habitat description from the July 4, 2009 survey). Few people were in the park during our survey; the LA river bikeway was fairly busy. Water in the river was moving swiftly only in the center of the concrete channel. Shallow mud islands supported small flocks of waterbirds in the channel.


Mallard   8 (ad)   dabbling in the river channel; flying over channel.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  call, fly, north end of park.

Killdeer   4 (ad, imm)   in river channel.

Black-necked Stilt   40 (ad, imm)   highly vocal flocks in channel.

Least Sandpiper   60  on mudflats in river channel.

Western Gull   50  (ad, imm)  most staying together on mudflat in n river channel.

Rock Pigeon  60  roosting near overpasses, n & s river channel.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  flying down river.

Mourning Dove  4    call, ly, suburbs and park.

Anna's Hummingbird   3  call, fly Eucalyptus groves in park.

Allen's Hummingbird  2  fly, call, Eucalyptus groves, n, in park.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, n section of park.

Black Phoebe   6   flycatching from low perches in open areas of park.

Cassin's Kingbird ? 1  calls, suburbs next to park (unseen).

Western Scrub-jay  2  calls, suburbs next to park.

American Crow   4  calls, central park.

Common Raven  3   active, vocal in Eucalyptus, central section of park.

Tree Swallow   6  flying back and forth over park and river.

Cliff Swallow   25  flying high over tree tops and low over river.

Barn Swallow    6  flying low over river channel.

Bushtit   20   2 or 3 vocal flocks in heavily wooded areas throughout the park.

Northern Mockingbird  2   song, adjacent suburbs.

European Starling  3  fly, call, suburbs and park.

California Towhee  3  active, vocal in park undergrowth.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1   continuous song, in tall sycamores, n section of park.

House Finch   10   fly, call, park and suburbs.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  calls, song, canopy of tall trees, nature trail area.

House Sparrow   30  on lawns and in shrubs at edge of park.






November 13, 2010   Los Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA (26 Species)

Weather:  Fair, 65F to 70F; no wind; tide medium high.

Time: 0835-0955 hrs.

Area Covered:  From the street-side parking on Bay Shore Dr. in Los Alamitos Bay, I walked along the road and shoreline, surveying the harbor, searching specifically for a Black-tailed Gull (third record for CA) first found and photographed here earlier this week by Robb Hamilton, followed by many other birders. No sign of this bird was found in the harbor or on the outer beach and nearshore waters. My survey this morning included a close look at two flocks of gulls and terns on the outer beach, located about 0.5 miles nw of Bayshore Drive, in addition to nearshore waters of the bay (several large freighters awaiting entry into Long Beach harbor) and adjacent suburban gardens.

November 21, 2010 Addendum: An adult Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) was refound by Robb Hamilton on November 20, 2010 at the original location described above. This morning (1040 -1100 hrs), under partly cloudy skies, Merissa Mendez and I saw this bird flying (black tail band very conspicuous) and swimming near shore in the harbor adjacent to Bayshore Drive and Westminster (photo). Noted the relatively dark gray mantle, red anterior and posterior border of black spot on bill; light iris, dusky nape, low profile and smaller, more slender build compared with nearby California Gulls.

                                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke



BIRDS NOTED (November 13, 2010)

Redhead   6 (m,f) swimming together offshore.

Eared Grebe  5  scattered offshore.

Horned Grebe   1  diving near shore in the bay.

Western Grebe  200  (est.) resting off shore; calls.

Double-crested Cormorant   6  on buoys and flying offshore.

Brandt's Cormorant   1  swimming offshore.

Brown Pelican    6  flying offshore

Royal Tern  4  resting on outer beach.

Elegant Tern  3  resting on outer beach near ROTE.

Forster's Tern   2  flying over harbor.

California Gull   80  (80%ad)  one large flock near bike path along outer beach.

Heermann's Gull  30 (ad, imm)   on shore and flying offshore.

Ring-billed Gull   20 (ad, imm) on shore of harbor and outer beach.

Western Gull    20 (ad, imm)   in harbor and outer beach.

Marbled Godwit  2  on shore of harbor.

Willet  2  on shore of harbor and on outer beach.

Sanderling  12  on outer beach.

Osprey  1  flying with 6" fish in talons; chased by two WEGU.

Rock Dove  15  in and around suburbs.

Say's Phoebe  2  chasing in fenced parking lot of outer beach.

European Starling   4-6  calls in suburban area.

American Crow   4  fly, call around harbor and suburbs.

American Pipit   1  fly/calls  over harbor.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   6  surburban gardens; calls.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  tall shrubs at edge of beach.

House Sparrow   10  in suburbs.







November 12, 2010  Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, Los Angeles County, CA (32 Species)

Weather: Fair, 69F. Winds WNW 2-5 mph; tide medium high; surf 1-2 ft.

Time: 1050 - 1230 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: From the Cabrillo Beach parking lot next to the breakwater, we walked along the shore facing the harbor and onto the fishing pier.We surveyed the sandy shoreline, harbor, outer bay and tidepools below Point Fermin, Cabrillo Beach and park. There were about 30 people in the survey area, fishing, playing on the beach and windsurfing in the harbor. A pod of seven adult and immature Common Dolphins were swimming and splashing in the outer bay for more than an hour during our survey. We used binoculars and a DSLR camera for the survey.


Brant  3    on sandy shore next to harbor; one bird with a USFWS metal leg band (photo). The three birds allowed close approach from the breakwater before moving away , foraging on an algae-covered piece on concrete, then swimming out into the harbor .

                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Surf Scoter  5  (m,f) swimming in the outer harbor.

Black Scoter  2  (f, imm) in the middle of the harbor.

Red-throated Loon  1  diving in the harbor near shore.

Horned Grebe   3  diving in the harbor near shore and the pier.

Eared Grebe  5  diving near shore in the harbor and outer bay.

Western Grebe   50   resting in the harbor and off shore.

Brandt's Cormorant  10  flying low over the outer bay.

Double -crested Cormorant   20  resting on bouys in the harbor; swimming, diving in the harbor and outer bay.

Brown Pelican  20 (ad, imm)   flying over outer bay and resting in the harbor.

Willet  5  on the shorelines of the harbor and outer bay.

Wandering Tattler  1  foraging amongst rocks at the edge of the tidepools (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Black Oystercatcher    5   on outer breakwater.

California Gull   3 (ad)   on shore of harbor.

Ring-billed Gull    10 (ad, imm)   on shore of harbor.

Western Gull    20 (ad, imm)   on shore of harbor and outer bay.

Heermann's Gull    30  (ad, imm)  on shore of harbor and outer bay (photo).

                                                                                                                            © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Royal Tern    1  on bouy in harbor.

Forster's Tern    6  on bouys in harbor; flying.

Elegant Tern    3  flying over harbor and outer bay.

Rock Dove   16  adjacent suburbs of San Pedro.

Eurasian Collared Dove    25  on utility lines and in palms in adjacent suburbs.

Black Phoebe    1  in Cabrillo park.

American Crow   10 in park and around fishing pier.

European Starling    3  adjacent suburbs.

Northern Mockingbird   1  in Cabrillo park and adjacent suburbs.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  8 (m,f)   in Cabrillo park; calls.

Tennessee Warbler  1 (imm ) silently foraging in fruiting exotic tree in Cabrillo park (photo). Note: white under tail coverts, gray flanks, faint wing bars and eyeline;   contrasting gray head with greenish back and faint reddish streaks on breast.

                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke

White-crowned Sparrow    5  in Cabrillo park and brushy cliffside.

Song Sparrow    1  calls from brushy cliffside.

House Finch   2  calls from trees in park.

House Sparrow   10  in Cabrillo park.












Ocean Trails and Trump National Golf Course, Palos Verdes, CA  Viewing NW,   May 29, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Fair, 68 to 73F; winds WNW 1-2 mph; Tide medium low; surf 1-3 ft. (see above photo).

Time: 0853 - 1315 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I

Area Covered (see May 9, 2009 for map and detailed site descriptions). 1) From the parking area at the end of La Rotonda, bordering the Trump National Golf Course, we walked down the designated trails between golf cart paths to the Ocean Trails (OT) section along the cliffs (see above photo). This route, about 0.2 miles, traverses coastal sage scrub, fresh water marsh and ponds (artificial), steep cliffs and rocky shoreline. We descended to the shoreline at the first trail southeast of the Trump NGC, followed the shoreline SE for about 0.1 miles, then ascended to the top of the bluffs and returned NW and N to our starting point in the parking lot next to the restrooms.Conditions were very good for identifying bird vocalizations. We met several other birders along the trail, all in search of Belcher's Gull, reported in this location on the L.A County Bird Yahoo server yesterday by Kevin Larson. No one whom we met had found this South American gull, which, if verified, would have been only the second documented occurrence in California. The gull had been reported feeding on a sea lion carcass, and although there was a decidely strong smell of rotting organic material on the shore, we did not find it. The only gull found on the shore during our survey was a 3rd cycle Western Gull, which bears little resemblance to Belcher's Gull (0853-1050 hrs.).

We then drove NE along Palos Verdes Drive to 25th Street, then S on Gaffey St. to Pt. Fermin park (PF). There, we walked along the bluff, viewing the rocky shoreline and nearshore waters. Bird diversity was low here; mainly crows, starlings and rock pigeons (1102 - 1132 hrs).Our final stop was Cabrillo Beach, where we visited the Cabrillo Aquarium for about 45 minutes. The aquarium, recently upgraded and enlarged, featured nurseries for abalone, grunion, and several other small marine animals native to the nearshore waters and tidal zones in Southern California. Educational information was excellent and plentiful, along with several volunteer assistants. We were encouraged to visit the nearby Salinas de San Pedro salt marsh (SM), after obtaining a key to the gate from the folks in the information booth. Subsequently, we walked a short distance N to the fenced and gated marsh and surveyed it for about 20 minutes (1235- 1255 hrs.). Our last  area surveyed was Cabrillo Beach (CB) breakwater and sandy shore (occupied by dozens of people) especially for a close look at a few gulls crowded into a small, relatively secluded section of the beach (1300- 1315 hrs). We used only binoculars and a DSLR camera for all of our surveys today.


1) Mallard  3 (m,f) SM  swimming in shallows near mudflats.

2) Brown Pelican  5  OT  flying in formation along bluffs.

3) Brandt's Cormorant  1 OT  flying low over water, SE;  1 PF  on large, flat rock near shore.

4) Great Blue Heron  1 OT foraging in shallow tidal area, leaning forward motionless;  3 (ad, imm) SM  one in tree; two on mudflats.

5) Snowy Egret  1  OT  edge of pond on golf course;  2 SM  along shore, foraging.

6) Black-crowned Night Heron  5 (ad, imm)   SM  flushed from beneath wooden deck and nearby trees; flying nearby; calls; nesting here?

7) Killdeer   2  OT   a pair on edge of pond, golf course; calls.

8) Heermann's Gull  1 (imm) SM resting on rocks at inlet;  3 (imm) CB on shore.

9) Ring-billed Gull  1 (ad) CB  flying over bay.

10) California Gull  1 (imm) CB flying over and landing on shore.

11) Western Gull  4 (imm; 1-3rd cycle)  OT  flying along bluffs; one resting on shore;  10 (imm) CB on shore and picnic area.

12) Elegant Tern  20  OT   loose flock flying SE well offshore.

13) Caspian Tern   10  OT  flying singly and in widely separated flocks, SE nearshore;  1 PF  flying with fish in beak.

14) Rock Pigeon  5  PF  flying around nearby tile-roofed homes.

15) Mourning Dove  6  OT   pairs in shrubs and trees; calls.

16) White-throated Swift  1  OT  flying over open fields at 50-100 ft.

17) Allen's Hummingbird  4  OT  in shrubs and fying/calling over open fields.

18) Black Phoebe  3 OT  shoreline and golf course; calls; 2 PF around garden.

19) American Crow   6  OT;  8   PF eating pet food from a dish ;  4 SM and CB.

20) Common Raven  4  OT  soaring along cliffs; perched on trailside post (photo).

Common Raven (Corvus corax)  Ocean Trails, Palos Verdes, CA   May 29, 2010

                                                                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke


21) Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1  OT  flying low over sage scrub and golf course.

22) Barn Swallow  1  OT  flying low over pond on golf course.

23) Bushtit  4  OT in dense shrubs along trail; calls.

24) Rock Wren  5  OT (ad, imm)   small flock foraging on shore in seaweed among rocks(photo).

             Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)  Ocean Trails, Palos Verdes   May 29, 2010


                                                                                                                                           © 2010 Callyn Yorke                                                 



25) California Gnatcatcher  3  OT  very active in shrubs in a ravine along trail; calls (photo).

California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica)  Ocean Trails, Palos Verdes

May 29, 2010                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke


26) Northern Mockingbird   3  OT  song mimicking CGR, BLP, KLDR, and other resident birds.  1  PF  in adjacent suburbs.

27) European Starling  5 (ad, imm)   PF;  6  SM; 5 CB.

28) Orange-crowned Warbler  1 OT  Singing in dense, tall shrub along cart path.

29) Common Yellowthroat   3  OT  singing near ponds on golf course.

30) California Towhee   6  OT  along trails; calls.

31) Song Sparrow  6  OT  singing near ponds;  1 SM  calls.

32) Blue Grosbeak  2  (m,f) OT on snag in sage scrub (photo).

Blue Grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea)  Palos Verdes, CA

May 29, 2010                                      © 2010 Callyn Yorke


33) Red-winged Blackbird   3 (m) OT around ponds on golf course.

34) Brewer's Blackbird  2 (m) PF  calls from garden area.

35) House Finch   4  OT;  4  PF; calls and song.

36) American Goldfinch   2 (f, imm)   OT fly, call, Willows near pond.

37) House Sparrow   8  PF  in park and adjacent suburbs.












MAY 7, 2010  (72 Species)


Weather: Fair, 70 to 72F; winds WNW 5-7 mph. Low tide @ 1200 hrs.

Time:  0950 - 1830 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I; later (PM) joined by Robert 'Roy'  van de Hoek and Marcia Hanscom of the Ballona Institute.

Area Covered:  1) Ballona Fresh Water Marsh (BFWM) at the SWC of Lincoln Blvd. and Jefferson, near Marina del Rey, Los Angeles County, CA. Beginning at the signed east entrance to the reserve (photos), Merissa and I walked slowly, using binoculars and a DSLR camera, on a trail along the eastern and southern border of an extensive riparian-fresh water marsh bordering open fields hillsides with mixed exotic flowering herbs (e.g Brassica) and native coastal sage scrub (photo).  Except for the sections of the marsh next to roadways, the area was largely quiet and conditions good for identifying bird vocalizations. One other person (apparently a biology student) was visiting the marsh during our survey             ( 0950-1115 hrs.).  2) We then drove west into Playa Del Rey and surveyed Playa Del Rey Park (PDRP) adjacent to a small tidal creek with exposed muflats. 3) Walking northward, we reached a bridge over Ballona Creek crossed it, then walking west on the northern edge of a jetty terminating at the mouth of the creek (BCJ). From this location we could survey the Ballona Creek outlet to the sea, part of an adjacent beach on the south and north sides and an isolated jetty just offshore supporting thousands of Brown Pelican, Double-crested  a few Brandt's Cormorant, and many (uncounted) California Sea Lion and Harbor Seal.

After lunch next to Titmouse Park (TP) in Playa del Rey, Roy and Marcia led us on a tour of several other locations within the Greater Ballona Wetlands area, including the headquarters of the Ballona Institute and a nearby information center. From the upper floor of their nearby apartment building, we could see nearly the entire Ballona salt marsh and adjacent developments to the north. Roy pointed out nest boxes for Tree Swallow that had been successful in housing several broods over the past two years. Roy has also re-introduced plants such as Salt Marsh Dodder to the reserve, and together with Marcia, has been responsible for numerous restoration projects within the reserve. One of those projects involved fencing off an area containing a rare and soon to be State-listed plant (Orcutt's Yellow Pincushion) along a tidal slough running through a residential area on the north side of Ballona Creek, near 66th Ave in Playa Del Rey (66th Ave.). Nearby is the fenced off beach-dune area, where the largest colony of Califronia Least Tern has been nesting for several years (CLT). We walked around the six-foot sand-colored chain-linked fence, surveying the interior hummocks for CLTN; only a few decoys were found during our survey this afternoon (earlier that day, Merissa and i saw five individual CLTN over the jetty). Roy explained the design of the fencing, which includes a lower border to prevent CLTN chicks from escaping before being fledged, as well as entry of predators such a rats and cats (photo). The highest number of successfully fledged CLTN at this location occurred in 2007, which was about 1,000 individuals ( the total number of CLTN was about 5,000), according to a faded sign near the eastern edge of the protected area. The 2008 and 2009 numbers were slightly lower; this year's nesting season evidently has not yet begun. Roy mentioned that crow predation of the eggs and chicks is significant, prompting the placement of dead crows inside the enclosure after the CLTN eggs have been laid.

The four of us then drove to Admiralty Drive across from the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Rey (RCH) to view several nesting Black-crowned Night Heron, Snowy Egret,  and possibly one Great Egret, in mature Eucalyptus trees and other ornamental trees. We counted about 20  active Snowy Egret and 6 Black-crowned Night Heron nests (photos). Roy and Marcia have been supporting ongoing conservation efforts to save these highly visible arboreal colonies, despite opposition by biologists hired to evaluate the significance of the colony. Apparently, the arguments against saving the second-season rookery, are based on the questionable assumption that these species did not nest in this area prior to the introduction of ornamental trees. However, in my opinion, it seems highly likely that the elevated margins of the original wetlands in this area, now almost completly replaced by developments, supported mature riparian trees (e.g. Willow , Sycamore and Alder) which could reasonably be expected to attract colonies of egrets and herons.

Our last stop for the day was at another heron rookery located in the Bora Bora Way development on the north side of the Playa Del Rey Creek (BBW). There, in the mature Eucalyptus trees, were at least 5 active Great Blue Heron nests, supporting a total of about 7 young (photo). Roy pointed out that the trees had been recently pruned following an announcement of the presence of the rookery. At least two of the pruned trees had supported GBH nests last year, according to Roy. Directly across the creek and adjacent to a U.S. Coast Guard station, was an active arboreal colony of Double-crested Cormorant, numbering about 40; three or four adults were seen sitting on nests. Apparently, this nesting colony is also in danger of being destroyed by opponents to wildlife conservation within the Ballona Wetlands.



  East Entrance to the Ballona Fresh Water Marsh, viewing W along Jefferson Blvd.               Ballona FWM and hillside from the east entrance, viewing S


 Robert 'Roy' van de Hoek at the Least Tern colony enclosure, Playa del Rey


 ©   2010 Callyn Yorke                                                                         May 7, 2010                 Roy van de Hoek and Marcia Hanscom at the Ballona Institute




1) Grey-lag Goose  3 (domestic)  PDRP  N edge.

2) Mallard   6 (m,f two young)  BFWM   edge of marsh, S.

3) Gadwall  4  (m,f)  BFWM  edge of marsh, S,E.

4) Surf Scoter  2 (m) BCJ  swimming near mouth of creek.

5) Ruddy Duck  (m,f) 4   BFWM, resting at edge of marsh, S.

6) Pacific Loon  1 (alt. plmg.)  BCJ  swimming west.

7) Pied-billed Grebe  5 (3 young) BFWM   S.

8) Western Grebe  1  BCJ  swimming, preening.

9) Brown Pelican   2,000 (conserv. est.) BCJ  mostly on an isolated jetty; some flying around creek.

10) Double-crested Cormorant  1  BFWM  flying E;  200 (conserv. est) BCJ on isolated jetty with Brandt's Cormorant; 40 Marina del Rey Creek, nests in trees next to Coast Guard station.

11) Brandt's Cormorant   10 (very rough estimate; most too distant for accurate identification)  BCJ  with Brown Pelicans on isolated jetty.

12) Great Blue Heron  14 (including 7 young) BBW  nesting in mature Eucalyptus trees next to apartment buildings (photo).

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) nest with 3 young, BBW, May 7, 2010

                                                                                          © 2010 Callyn Yorke


13) Great Egret   1  66th Ave,  in slough; 1 (ad) RCH possibly nesting in Eucalyptus.]

14) Snowy Egret   2  BFWM  flying in to S area; foraging along E edge;  20  RCH   nesting in mature, deciduous ornamental trees; displays and much vocalizing (photo).

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) at nest site, RCH, May 7, 2010


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          © 2010 Callyn Yorke


15) Green Heron  1 (ad)  BFWM  edge of marsh, S.

16) Balck-crowned Night Heron  6   RCH  nesting in mature trees (photo).

                                                           Black-crowned Night Heron ( Nycticorax nycticorax) on nest, RCH, May 7, 2010


                                                                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke


17) Common Moorhen  3  BFWM  foraging on surface vegetation, E and S; pair staying close (photo).


     Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)  BFWM, May 7, 2010                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke


18) American Coot  10  BFWM open water and edges of marsh.

19) Black-bellied Plover  2 (basic plmg.) PDRP  on mudflat, N; 2 CLT.

20) Killdeer  3  BFWM  flying, calling, S; 1 CLT.

21) Black-necked Stilt  2  BFWM   edge of marsh, S.

22) Whimbrel   2  BCJ   on algae-covered rocks near water's edge;

23) Wandering Tattler   2 (alt. plmg.)  BCJ    foraging on rocks along edge of jetty (photo).


Wandering Tattler (Heteroscelus incanus)  BCJ  May 7, 2010

                                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke


24) Marbled Godwit  3  PDRP  foraging on mudflat.

25) Short-billed Dowitcher   4  PDRP  foraging on mudflat.

26) Long-billed Dowitcher   2  PDRP  foraging on mudflat with SBDW.

27) Willet  3  PDRP  foraging on mudflat.

28) Least Sandpiper    2   BCJ  on rocks near water.

29) Sanderling   300   66th Street Beach, in cove near jetty, flushed by unleashed dog, NW.

30) Ruddy Turnstone    4  BCJ (alt. plmg.) on rocks near water (photo).


      Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)  BCJ   May 7, 2010                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke


31) Bonaparte's Gull  1 (basic plmg.) beach, S of BCJ  with terns.

32) Ring-billed Gull   2  PDRP  on mudflat with other gulls.

33) California Gull   3  PDRP  on mudflat.

34) Western Gull   20 ( ad, imm)  BCJ; PDRP.

35) Glaucous-winged Gull  1  (imm) BCJ  on beach.

36) Heermann's Gull  1  PDRP  on mudflat.

37) Caspian Tern   8  BCJ  on beach with Elegant Terns; flying, calls.

38) Elegant Tern   130  BCJ  on beach in tight flock.

39) Royal Tern  2  BCJ  on beach with Elegant Tern (photo).


Elegant Tern (Sterna elegans) left,  and Royal Tern (Sterna maxima), right,  BCJ beach, May 7, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke


40) Forster's Tern  1  BCJ  on beach with Elegant Tern.

41) California Least Tern   5  BCJ  flying about 50-100 feet above the creek; calls. None found in enclosure.

42) Rock Pigeon  10  Playa del Rey, in town mostly.

43) Eurasian Collared Dove  2  PDRP   a pair flew out of large deciduous tree in SWC of park.

44) Mourning Dove    6 BFWM;  2  PDRP  foraging on ground; calls.

45) Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m)  BFWM  riparian, east edge; calls.

46) Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  BFWM  edge of marsh and coastal sage, S; calls.

47) Selasphorous sp.  1 (m) BFWM  possibly a green backed S.rufus.

48) Black-chinned Hummingbird   1 BFWM  SE edge of marsh.

49) Black phoebe  1  BFWM    edge, NE

50) Tree Swallow  2   flying high over marsh N of Ballona Institute.

51) Barn Swallow  1  BFWM  flying low over marsh.

52) Rough-winged Swallow  2  BFWM   one on ground at NE edge of marsh.

53) Cliff Swallow  1  BFWM  flying low over S edge of marsh.

54) American Crow   50 (conserv. est.)   ubiquitous.

55) Western Scrub-jay  1  PDRP  calls from E side (unseen).

56) Bushtit  30   small flocks of 3-5 individuals, ubiquitous in brushy areas.

57) Northern Mockingbird  1 PDRP  singing, E side (unseen).

58) European Starling  12 BFWM;  20  PDRP;  20  Marina del Rey residential areas; one nesting in corner stop light pole.

59) Warbling Vireo  1  BFWM  foraging low in riparian edge.

60) Yellow Warbler  3 (m,f)   BFWM  foraging in riparian trees, E edge; calls and song; 2 TP in a diseased Eucalyptus .

61) Common Yellowthroat  11 BFWM  singing throughout E and SE sections of the marsh.

62) Wilson's Warbler  4 (m,f)   BFWM  foraging and singing in theriparian edge.  1 TP  foraging near Yellow Warbler in same tree.

63) California Towhee  2  BFWM  calls from SE hillside sage scrub.

64) Song Sparrow  20  BFWM  singing from riparian and edge of marsh.

65) Red-winged Blackbird   22 (m,f)   BFWM  singing from riparian and within marsh.

66) Yellow-headed Blackbird  1 (?)  BFMW  called once from SE marsh (unseen).

67) Brewer's Blackbird  1 (m)   in town, Playa del Rey.

68) Great-tailed Grackle   11 (m,f)  BFWM  calling and flying around edge of marsh.

69) Brown-headed Cowbird   2  BFWM  calls and song from riparian edge.

70) Lesser Goldfinch  2  BFWM  calls and song from E riparian edge.

71) House Finch  4   BFWM  calls and song from SE riparian and coastal sage hillside.

72) House Sparrow  5  PDRP  around gardens and buildings; calls.














Palos Verdes Peninsula


January 3, 2010

                   Cabrillo Beach and tide pools below Pt. Fermin, San Pedro, CA                                            © 2010  Callyn D. Yorke


Weather:  Partly cloudy. 74F (air); 55F (water). HIgh tide at 1045 hrs. Surf 2-3 ft.

Time: 1101-1204 hrs.

Area Covered: Cabrillo beach and breakwater: Walked from S parking area trhough gardens and planted pines  to the shoreline on both sides of the breakwater, surveying birds on the beach, nearshore waters and bay, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Several other birders were already present or just arriving in search of the King Eider, a holarctic duck previously recorded only six times in Los Angeles County since 1974 (Hamilton, 2007:  pp. 71-72) and reported from this location for the first time more than a week ago.

One couple I met at the outset of my survey kindly directed me to the small beach along the jetty where they had just seen this bird. Within minutes, I had located the bird and began taking photos (see below). Afterwards, I walked to the adjacent west beach to view a group of shorebirds. I also scanned the nearshore waters for pelagic species, as well as the bay and east beach for shorebirds. I finished the survey by walking around the picnic areas and water sports building checking the gardens, lawns and pines for additional bird species. In the meantime, two more birders showed up with scopes and telephoto lenses, asking for directions to the King Eider, which, to their astonishment, happened to be only about 30 yards from us in plain view.




1) King Eider 1  immature male found standing on a small beach on the north side of the main jetty and breakwater. The bird was surrounded by  Western gulls but only once had an interaction with them. I was able to get a series of hand-held photos (see below) using a Nikon D3X with an 80-400 mm VR AF lens, without disturbing the bird. As I moved in closer, the bird began slowly walking out to the water and swam out about 20 yards. It was sleeping for a few minutes then became alert and came back to shore where I had first seen it. The bird's plumage appeared rather oily and worn, but its alert, active behavior suggested that it was still in relatively good health.

 King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)  Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles County, CA  J anuary 3, 2010.                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                             © 2010  Callyn D. Yorke

BIRDS NOTED - Continued

2) Surf Scoter 12 (m,f) nearshore waters and bay.

3) Bufflehead 6 (m,f)  in bay near the E beach.

4) Lesser Scaup  1 (m)  "                    ".

5) Red-throated Loon  2  staying close and near shore in bay (photo).

6) Pacific Loon  1   60 yards SW of breakwater.

7) Eared Grebe  1  near shore in bay.

8) Western Grebe  20  in bay and offshore.

9) Brown Pelican  1  flying over bay.

10) Double-crested Cormorant  1  flying over bay.

11) Brandt's Cormorant   2  flying near jetty.

12) California Gull  2  (ad) on W beach with other gulls.

13) Herring Gull  1 (ad) on W beach near water.

14) Western Gull  30 (ad, imm)   on W and E beach; flying over ocean and bay.

15) Heermann's Gull  10 (ad, imm)   on W and E beach; flying along outer shore.

16) Mew Gull  2 (ad, imm)  on W beach (photo).

17) Caspian Tern   1   on main beach with gulls.

18) Sanderling  7  foraging at water's edge on W beach.

19) Willet  5   W and E beach.

20) Marbled Godwit  2  on W beach.

21) Snowy Plover  2  on W beach (well concealed).

22) Rock Dove  20  flying around parking lot.

23) American Crow  10  flying around picnic areas; calls.

24) Yellow-rumped Warbler   2 gardens with tall trees next to parking lot.

25) White-crowned Sparrow  1  "                   ", calls.

26) House Finch   2   "                     ", calls.


Mew Gull (Larus canus)  West Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles County, CA January 3, 2010.                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn D. Yorke


Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)  Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles County, CA   January 3, 2010.                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn D. Yorke



Rick Brammer with a Harris' Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, CA   17 December 2009

                                                                                                                                                        © 2009 Callyn Yorke

DECEMBER  17, 2009 Placerita Canyon Nature Center (14 Species)

Weather: fair 55F; winds WNW 0-3 mph.

Time:  0830-0930 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered:  Parking lot, visitor's center, bridge over dry creek, oak woodland, grassland and chapparal. We walked slowly on the trail system at the park entrance, using binoculars and a DSLR camera. Met Rick Brammer, a falconer with a Harris' Hawk (photo above), who is also a docent at the park. Viewed the caged Great Horned Owl (with only one wing) and a Red-tailed Hawk. The Visitor Center recently reopened after being closed for about three years. A good trail system has been developed throughout the park, traversing all habitats.


    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) in Placerita Canyon Park, December 17, 2009.      

                                                                                                                                                  © 2009 Callyn Yorke



1) Nuttall's Woodpecker   1 (f) in upper level of mature Coast Live Oak.

2) Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker  2  fly, call.

3) Acorn Woodpecker  2  in dead CLO and Sycamore; calls.

4) Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m)  in Sycamore.

5) Western Bluebird  5  drinking in puddle near parkinglot; foraging in lot covered with wood chips.

6) Western Scrub Jay 2  fly, call.

7) White-breasted Nuthatch  1  foraging in subcanopy of CLO.

8) Oak Titmouse  2 active in shrubs and oaks.

9) Black Phoebe  1 open field, low perch.

10) California Towhee  1  brushy area at edge of parking lot.

11) Spotted Towhee  1  SW side of stream bed; calls.

12) White-throated Sparrow  1  foraging in grass; flushed to tall shrubs; calls (photo above).

13) House Finch  2   in oaks; calls.

14) Dark-eyed Junco  10  on ground and in shrubs around oaks.








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