© Callyn Yorke


California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni) immature  McGrath State Beach, Ventura County CA  13 August 2013

                                                                   © 2013 Callyn Yorke



October 17, 2018 Oxnard Plain: Laguna Road, Arnold Road and Ormond Beach

March 16, 2018 Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe Park.

November 3, 2017  Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe Park.

October 21, 2016  Wetlands Ecological Preserve, McGrath State Beach and Olivas Adobe Park..

November 8, 2014 Ventura Harbor and Wetlands Ecological Prieserve.

October 12, 2013   Ventura Harbor and Wetlands Ecological Preserve; Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley.

August 13, 2013  Ventura Harbor and Wetlands Ecological Preserve, McGrath State Beach and Olivas Adobe Park.

March 11, 2013  Sespe Oil Fields, Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe Park.

November 8, 2012  Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Harbor and Breakwater, Olivas Adobe HM, El Camino City Park.

October 5, 2012  Buenaventura State Park, McGrath State Beach, Big Sycamore State Park

March 4, 2012 Pt. Mugu State Park, Oxnard Plain, Port Hueneme, McGrath State Beach

January 9, 2011 Steckel Park, Ventura Harbor and Boardwalk

May 21, 2010  Pt. Mugu State Park

January 14, 2010  Arroyo Verde County Park, Buenaventura, CA

April 12, 2009   McGrath State Beach



October 17, 2018  Oxnard Plain, Ormond Beach, Port Hueneme (54 Species)


Weather: Fair; 70F to 75F; winds calm. High wind (SE - Santa Ana's) in this region 2-3 days earlier; mediium-low tide at about 1200 hrs.

Time: 0830 - 1330 hrs.

Observers: SWBSC (about 8 people) and I.

Areas Covered:  1) "The Tams" on Laguna Road, about 0.2 mi east of the intersection with Pleasant Valley Road (TAM). The principal birding spot is a 1,400 ft x 10 ft.. hedgerow of mature tamarisk, eucalyptus, palms and other ornamentals bordering a busy roadway. The group walked along the hedgerow, mainly on the shaded roadside, backlit on the north side; we included brief visits to the sunlit, south side (0830-1038 hrs.).  2) Arnold Road, located about 6-miles to the southwest of the first location (AR). We stopped on the roadway to scope the adjacent, low-height agricultural crops. Fields on the west side were mostly in the early stages of planting and consisted mostly of tilled earth and short ground-level vegetation between irrigation pipes. A few farm workers were in the fields. Bird movement was dynamic in the area; flocks of AMPI and KILL were moving back and forth between the fields (1052-1120 hrs). 3) Continuing by car caravan, we drove to the southern terminus of Arnold Road and parked adjacent to the entrance of Ormond Beach, bordered on the northwest and southeast by fenced, Ventura County Game Reserves (OB). We walked about 0.35 mi southwest from the parking area to the shore, birding a small marshy, drainage canal, the beach (with scattered wrack around the high-tide line), nearshore waters and distant mudflats of the game reserves; the latter area difficult to scope out due to high fencing. A few Fishermen were on the outer shore; a group of people with several leashed and unleashed dogs arrived as we were leaving (1123-1235 hrs.). 4) Our lunch break was at Bubbling Springs Park on Park St., Port Hueneme (BSP: 1250-1330 hrs.).


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Snowy Plover (3), Pacific- Slope Flycatcher (3), Loggerhead Shrike (1) and American Redstart (1).



BIRDS NOTED (excluding those species reported by others in the group that I did not observe)



Pied-billed Grebe  1  drainage canal with bordering marsh, OB.

Western Grebe  50  large, dispersed flocks on the water about 0.1 mi offshore, OB..

Brown Pelican  10  small flocks flying low offshore, OB.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying over game reserve, OB.

Great Blue Heron  2  in and around canal, OB.

Snowy Egret  2   flying over canal, TAM;  1 imm. in drainage canal, OB.

Green Heron  1 flushed from canal, OB.

Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over se Game Reserve, OB.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flushed from marsh near parking area, OB.

Red-tailed Hawk  2 (ad, imm) on utility pole; flying over ag. field, TAM; one on light pole, e OB.

American Coot  8  in canal, OB.

Sora  1 vocal (unseen) canal marsh near parking area, OB.

Snowy Plover  3 (unbanded)  individuals foraging mostly near high tide mark amongst wrack, on both sides of the fence; one with a SAND, OB.


              Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus) same individual in both images; Ormond Beach, VECO CA 17 Oct. 2018


                                                                                © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Killdeer  1  fly, calls, TAM;  10  gregarious; foraging in ag field, AR.

Willet  1  on outer beach, protected by the fence, se OB.

Whimbrel  2  on outer beach, protected by the fence, se OB.

Long-billed Curlew  2  on outer beach, protected by the fence, se OB.

Marbled Godwit   1  on outer beach, protected by the fence, se OB.

Sanderling  12  on outer beach, both sides of fence, OB.

Western Sandpiper  6 (conserv. est.) gregarious; foraging on salt marsh mudflats within se game reserve, OB.

Western Gull  1 flying over ag. fields, TAM; 20 (ad, imm) gregarious on outer beach, protected by the fence, OB.

California Gull  10 (ad, imm) gregarious on outer se beach near flock of WEGU, OB.

Royal Tern  2  (ad, imm) flying low over surf zone to about 0.1 mi offshore, OB.

Eurasian Collared Dove 1  on utility line, OB.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  hovering around tams, TAM.

Northern (RS) Flicker 3  vocal; flying from tams to adjacent farmyard, TAM.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher 3 individuals sallying from mid to upper-levels in shady sections understory of tams, often in msf with warblers and kinglets, TAM.

Black Phoebe  2  edge of tams and canal, TAM;  3 edge of fields and canal, OB.

Say's Phoebe  2  fence line and shrubby dune area; also edge of marsh, OB.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  on utility pole above dune scrub, OB.

Warbling Vireo  3  active in msf with warblers and kinglets in understory of tams, TAM (photo).


      Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) Laguna Rd, Oxnard   VECO CA  17 October 2018


                                                                                                                        © 2018 Callyn Yorke





American Crow  4 gregarious, vocal; TAM;  6  flying over in pairs and trios, OB;  10 BSP.

Bushtit  10  vocal, gregarious; foraging in understory of tams, TAM.

House Wren  2  vocal; staying mostly concealed in shady undergrowth of tams, TAM.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  10  gregarious; often in msf with warblers in tams, TAM.

Northern Mockingbird  1  on fence; flew into dune shrubs, OB.

European Starling  4  vocal, gregarious; adjacent ag. fields, TAM.

American Pipit  40  gregarious; on ground, moving through fields, AR.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  in msf with YRWA, TOWS and RIKI, in tams, TAM.

Yellow Warbler  1 (f imm) with other warblers in tams, TAM.

Black-throated Gray Warbler   10 (m,f)   in msf with other warblers, interior and outer foliage, TAM (photo).



               Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) male   Laguna Road, Oxnard  VECO CA  17 Oct. 2018


                                                                                                                            © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Townsend's Warbler  4  (m,f)  in msf with other warblers and kinglets in tams, TAM (photo).


                    Townsend's Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) male   Laguna Road, Oxnard  VECO CA 17 Oct. 2018


                                                                                                                                                    © 2018 Callyn Yorke




American Redstart  1 (f) snatch-gleaning in the shaded understory at the east end of the hedgerow, TAM (photo).



                            American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) female  Laguna Road, Oxnard VECO CA  17 Oct. 2018


                                                                                                                              © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Common Yellowthroat  2   in tams and adjacent canal, TAM.

Wilson's Warbler  2  (m,f) foraging with other warblers in tams, TAM.

California Towhee  1 in ditch next to tams, TAM.

White-crowned Sparrow  25  brushy areas bordering the parking and canal area, OB.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco  3  in and around covered growth houses adjacent to tams, TAM.

Song Sparrow  1  edge of tams, TAM.

Brewer's Blackbird  4  (m,f) on ground in ag. field north of tams, TAM.

Red-winged Blackbird 10  (m,f) gregarious; flying over ag. field, TAM.

Western Meadowlark  1  flying low over ag. field, AR.

House Finch  4  (m,f) in and around tams, TAM.

House Sparrow  5  (m,f) around tams, TAM; 10 brushy area next to canal, OB.






March 16, 2018  Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe Park (73 Species)


                           McGrath State Beach,  CA   Note: Active tidal channel at the mouth of the Santa Clara River.  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                                                                                                      © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Weather: Overcast with intermittent light rain; 58F; Wind wnw 1 - 3 mph.; med. high tide @ 1000 hrs. surf 2-3 ft.

Time: 0829-1335 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Wetlands Ecological Preserve (Ventura Harbor Water Treatment Facility; gate locked upon arrival; another birder called the number on sign for a maintenance worker to unlock it a few minutes later - 0829-1015 hrs. WEP).  I walked a counter-clockwise route on the trails bordering water treatment ponds and freshwater marsh-riparian & coastal sage edges. Four other birders were present in the area during my survey. One of them mentioned that he had been locked into the facility while birding one evening around sunset, failed to reach the maintenance crew by phone, and narrowly escaped by crawling under the front gate. 2) McGrath State Beach (MSB: 1020-1120 hrs.). I walked from the parking area at the nwc of WEP, south to the outlet channel of the Santa Clara River and back (photo). A few surfers were in this area; otherwise the beach was quiet and undisturbed by human activities (numerous fresh dog tracks in the sand stopped at the tidal channel). The relatively new tidal channel had breached the sandbar, allowing a point of outflow from the estuary, which had extensive open water due to recent rains. A flock of Double-crested Cormorant and American White Pelican were resting on the distant southwest shore of the estuary  3) Ventura Harbor and Breakwater (VHB: 1133-1250 hrs.). After lunch, I walked on the shore between the breakwaters, an area frequented by people with unleashed dogs, displacing most of the local shorebirds. Using the mounted spotting scope (poor quality optics) on the top floor of the adjacent Channel Islands NP Visitor's Center, I scanned the breakwaters (inner and outer) for birds sheltering on the rocks. The sidewalk, shrubs, lawns and gardens were surveyed, in addition to the inner harbor. 4) Olivas Adobe Historic Park (OAP: 1300-1335 hrs.). I walked around the park, surveying birds on lawns, in trees and gardens. The park was quiet and undisturbed by human activities. I used a  Bushnell 8x42 binocular, Nikon D850 with a 200-500mm lens, and a Nexus 12MP cell phone camera for the survey.


Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, White-faced Ibis (1), Snowy Plover (6), Yellow-crowned Night Heron (1), and Myrtle Warbler (1).






Canada Goose  3  flying low, northward over shoreline and w edge of WEP.

Gadwall  4  (m,f)   pairs swimming near edge of marsh, WEP.

Mallard  20  (m,f) pairs and individuals throughout the ponds, WEP.

Cinnamon Teal  8  (m,f) mostly in or at the edge of the marsh, WEP.

Northern Shoveler  6  (m,f)  around the edges of the ponds, WEP.

Ring-necked Duck  2 (f) swimming in open water and edge of pond, WEP.

Lesser Scaup  2  swimming in open water in estuary, MSB.

Red-breasted Merganser  7  (f)  a flock of 6 flying low over sw; one fem. diving in open water, WEP (photo).



         Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) WEP, Ventura Co CA  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                     © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Ruddy Duck 80  (m,f; 20% trans. alt. plmg.) ubiquitous in ponds, WEP and edge of estuary, MSB.

Pied-billed Grebe  25   one flock of about 16 birds swimming and diving together, WEP;  3 at edge of estuary, MSB.

Western Grebe  2  resting in open water, WEP.

Clark's Grebe  1  called once - single syllable type (unseen) edge of riparian patch in ne pond, WEP.

Feral Rock Pigeon  5  around buildings in harbor, VHB.

Eurasian Collared Dove 3  vocal, gregarious, OAP.

Mourning Dove 3  flying low over riparian and ponds, WEP.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m) displaying gorget from top of tall shrub, WEP; one male perched on rose bush in garden, OAP (photo).


                         Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) Olivas Adobe Park, Ventura County CA  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                        © 2018 Callyn Yorke



Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) perched on tall shrub in Channel Islands VC garden, VHB.

American Coot  120  gregarious; ubiquitous in ponds, WEL and edges of estuary, MSB.

Black Oystercatcher  2   a pair resting on white rocks of outer breakwater, VHB.

Killdeer  calls  from vacant lot at entrance, WEP.

Snowy Plover  6  (none banded); gregarious; resting on inner beach, MSB (photo).




      Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus)  McGrath State Beach, VECO CA  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                               © 2018 Callyn Yorke





Whimbrel  20  a cohesive flock flying low, northward over the shoreline, MSB.

Long-billed Curlew  1  vocal; flying low, northward over the shoreline, MSB.

Heermann's Gull  1 (imm) resting on white rocks of outer breakwater, VHB.

Ring-billed Gull 2 (ad) flying low over shoreline, MSB.

Western Gull  80  (ad, imm) gregarious, ubiquitous.

California Gull 1 (C1) flying over tidal channel, MSB.

Caspian Tern  2  calls (unseen)  in flight west edge of marsh-riparian, WEP;  one flying over tidal channel, MSB.

Common Loon  4  swimming in a loose flock offshore, MSB.

Pacific Loon  1  preening offshore near breakwater, VHB.

Brandt's Cormorant  3  resting on white rocks, outer breakwater, VHB.

Double-crested Cormorant  12  swimming, diving in ponds, WEP; 20 south shore of estuary with AWPE, MSB.

American White Pelican  20  a cohesive flock resting on south shore of estuary; 6 circling high above, MSB.

Brown Pelican  2  flying low, n offshore, MSB,  5  on outer breakwater, VHB.

Great Blue Heron  3  flushed from edge of marsh, WEP.

Great Egret  4  edge of estuary and marsh, MSB.

Snowy Egret  10  edge of marsh and perched in trees on heron island, WEP.

Green Heron  1 (ad) perched low on heron island near YCNH, WEP (photo).

Black-crowned Night Heron  12 (ad, imm) perched in trees and in marsh on and around heron island, WEP.


Yellow-crowned Night Heron  1 trans. alt. plmg. flying around heron island; perched in trees, then near water, WEL (photo); several YCNH found recently by SWBSC at Pt. Mugu NAB, Ventura County, where the species is presumably resident. YCNH is still very rare in adjacent Los Angeles County.



           Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) left; Green Heron (Butorides virescens), right, WEP, VECO CA  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                                             © 2018 Callyn Yorke



White-faced Ibis  1  flushed from edge of marsh next to trail, WEP.

Turkey Vulture  6  circling high (> 400 ft. agl) above shore, MSB.

Cooper's Hawk  1  (imm) flew to ornamental tree at edge of parking lot, VHB.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  vocal (unseen) WEP; 1 flying and calling around park, OAP.

Peregrine Falcon  1 flushed from snag near tidal channel; flew to another low snag on opposite shore, MSB.

Black Phoebe  2  vocal; sallying from low perches near water, WEP.

American Crow  10 vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous; one on ground shredding dry palm frond for nest material, VHB.

Common Raven  1 repeatedly vocal atop utility pole, OAP.

Tree Swallow 120  gregarious; foraging from 1-200 ft. agl over water, marsh, riparian and outer coast, WEP.

Violet- green Swallow  50  foraging low, 1 - 25 ft. mostly over ponds in msf with TRSW and NRWS, WEP.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 10  foraging low, 1 - 10 ft, mostly over ponds, fields and marsh, WEP.

Cliff Swallow  2  foraging low, 2 - 20 ft. in msf with NRWS, TRSW, VGSW, WEP.

Barn Swallow   4  foraging 10 - 30 ft. above ponds and marsh, mostly apart from other swallow spp., WEP;  2 flying low over inner beach, MSB.

Bushtit  6 vocal, gregarious; foraging in assorted trees and shrubs near ponds, WEP.

Marsh Wren   3  vocal (unseen) marsh on n and w side of ponds, WEP.

House Wren  1  flew to cover into ornamental shrub at entrance, OAP.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1  foraging in tall shrubs and willows with YRWA, w WEP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, sw WEP; 1  vocal, OAP.

European Starling  3  vocal in and around palms and parking area, VHB.

House Sparrow 8  vocal, gregarious; with WCSP in Channel Islands NP Visitor Center gardens along harbor sidewalk, VHB (photo).



             House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) male  Ventura Harbor, VECO CA 16 March 2018


                                                                                                                       © 2018 Callyn Yorke




House Finch  2 (m,f) vocal; a pair flying to sand dune area from parking lot, VHB.

Lesser Goldfinch  vocal, in garden trees, OAP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  foraging with YRWA in willows, w WEP.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler  14  (m,f) gregarious, vocal (calls) in willows and other shrubs, WEP.

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler  1 (imm) foraging with Audubon's Warbler in willows, WEP (photo).



                 Yellow-rumped Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga cornonata coronata) WEP, Ventura County CA  16 March 2018


                                                                                                                               © 2018 Callyn Yorke




Common Yellowthroat  10 (m,f) vocal; individuals and pairs in marsh and riparian patches around the ponds, WEP.

Wilson's Warbler  1 song (unseen) willow thickets, w WEP.

California Towhee  4  vocal; individuals and pairs in coastal sage scrub and edge of riparian, WEP.

Savannah Sparrow  1 calls (unseen) grassy area at edge of inner breakwater, VHB.

Song Sparrow  12  vocal; edge of marsh and riparian areas, WEP (photo); 1 vocal, garden OAP.


                                         Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) WEP, Ventura County CA  16 March  2018


                                                                                                                                   © 2018 Callyn Yorke



White-crowned Sparrow   30  (ad, imm) gregarious, ubiquitous in brushy areas.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco  2   a pair foraging on ground at edge of garden, OAP.

Red-winged Blackbird   10  (m,f) vocal in marsh-riparian areas, WEP.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  (m) vocal, flying around parking area, VHB.



























November 3, 2017  Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe Park (62 Species)


                                         Coyote (Canis latrans) WEP, Ventura CA  3 November 2017                               

                                                                                                                                                                   © 2017 Callyn Yorke





Weather: Overcast, clearing by mid-morning; wind WNW  1 - 2 mph; incoming tide; surf 2 - 3 ft.

Time: 0650-1005 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) (0650- 0834 hrs.) Wetlands Ecological Preserve (WEP), located at the intersection of Angler Court and Spinnaker Drive; I walked a counter-clockwise route around the water treatment ponds, marsh, coastal chapparal and fence line at the edge of a sandy beach (McGrath State Beach). The area was quiet, except for a few maintenance vehicles entering and leaving on the east side. Three other birders were entering the reserve as I was leaving. I surveyed a total of about 25 acres. Abundant coyote scat and one individual were found on the roads through this area (photo).


2) (0840- 0900 hrs.) Ventura Harbor, beach and breakwater  (VHB). I walked from the parking area adjacent to the Channel Islands visitor center, to the shore, breakwater and west side of the harbor. People with unleased dogs were on the shore, flushing all of the birds using that resource, forcing them to seek shelter on the adjacent breakwater rocks. Fishing boats were entering the harbor, followed by small flocks of gulls.



                     Ventura Breakwater, CA  3 November 2017                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                                   © 2017 Callyn Yorke




3) (0915- 1005 hrs.) Olivas Adobe Park (OAP): I walked a clockwise route around the park, surveying about 5 acres of  parkland (lawns, gardens, mature eucalyptus and deciduous trees), and the edge of a riparian-coastal sage patch bordering the golf course. Maintenance personnel were preparing for an event, creating a disturbance around the parking area. Otherwise, most of the park was quiet and undisturbed by human activities. An 8x40 binocular and DSLR camera were used for the surveys.



                               Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) Olivas Adobe Park, Ventura CA  3 November 2017

                                                                                                                      ©   2017 Callyn Yorke  







Mallard  10 (m,f) vocal, in flight and swimming in the ponds throughout. WEP.

Blue-winged Teal  1 (f) swimming with CITE near shore in a large pond, WEP.

Cinnamon Teal  8   (m,f)  swimming together near edge of large ponds, WEP.

Green-winged Teal  1 (f) with CITE and BWTE, near edge of pond, WEP.

Redhead  2 (f) flushed from edge of inlet, e, WEP.

Lesser Scaup  6 (m,f) swimming together in large pond, WEP.

Ruddy Duck  150 (m,f)  gregarious, ubiquitous; most resting in open water, WEP.

Pied-billed Grebe  12  vocal, gregarious (often pairs and trios), ubiquitous, esp. near marsh, WEP.

Eared Grebe  6  gregarious (pairs and trios), ubiquitous in open watre, WEP.

Western Grebe 1  in open water, WEP;  three found dead on shore, VHB.

Rock Pigeon   3  flying around adjacent fields, OAP.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  on utility pole, OAP.

Mourning Dove 1 on ground in coastal sage, WEP.

Anna's Hummingbird 6 (m,f) vocal; territorial; in and around willows, eucalyptus, and flowering shrubs, WEP; VHB, OAP.

Sora  1  calls (unseen) marsh, e WEP.

American Coot 100  gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP; one standing in shade at base of a deciduous tree, OAP.

Black Oystercatcher  2  standing together on breakwater with unleashed dogs running on adjacent shore, VHB.

Surfbird  1  resting on breakwater rocks, VHB.

Willet  12  gregarious; foraging on shore until flushed by people with unleashed dogs, VHB (photo).



                                               Willet (Tringa semipalmata) Ventura Breakwater, CA  3 November 2017


                                                                                                                                          © 2017 Callyn Yorke







Western Gull 60  (about 90% ad.); gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP, VHB.

California Gull   20  (80% ad.) gregarious; bathing in n pond, WEP.

Caspian Tern  1  flying over harbor, VHB.

Gavia sp.  flying offshore beyond outer breakwater, VHB.

Brandt's Cormorant  20  on outer breakwater rocks, VHB.

Double-crested Cormorant  10 (ad, imm)  ubiquitous; flying around; a few swimming in large ponds.

American White Pelican  3 (imm) swimming in large pond near marsh, WEP.

Brown Pelican  120  most on outer breakwater; small flocks flying over shore and outer harbor, VHB.

Great Blue Heron  3   on edge of ponds; one hunting in ruderal vacant lot, WEP.

Snowy Egret  16  loosely gregarious; scattered around edge of ponds, WEP.

Black-crowned Night Heron   14 (ad, imm) loosely gregarious while roosting at edge of riparian marsh , WEP.

Northern Harrier  2  (f & ?) seen briefly flying low toward the shore, WEP.

Turkey Vulture  1  circling high above adjacent hills and fields to n, VHB.

Red-shouldered Hawk   1 flying low over marsh, WEP.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (imm) on utility pole crosspiece adjacent to roadway, WEP (photo).

Belted Kingfisher  calls (unseen) WEP.

Black Phoebe  3   sallying from low perches throughout, WEP.

Say's Phoebe  1  open field next to the shore, VHB.

Cassin's Kingbird  1 calls (unseen) riparian patch, OAP.

American Crow   20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Common Raven  2  vocal; flying over adjacent fields and golf course, OAP.

Tree Swallow 1  flying low over ponds and marsh, WEP.

Barn Swallow 4  flying low over ponds and marsh, WEP.

House Wren  1 vocal (unseen) riparian-marsh, WEP.

Bewick's Wren  1 vocal at edge of riparian patch, OAP.

Marsh Wren  4  vocal (unseen) marsh, WEP.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8   largely silent,  loosely gregarious; active in shrubs and trees throughout, WEP (photo).


     Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) WEP, Ventura CA  3 November 2017


                                                                                                                       © 2017 Callyn Yorke






Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous in shrubs and trees; often with YRWA, WEP, OAP.

Hermit Thrush  2  flushed from low shrubs in coastal chaparral and adjacent riparian, WEP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  vocal, parkland and riparian edge, OAP.

European Starling  20  gregarious, ubiquitous.

House Sparrow  4  in garden of visitor center, VHB.

American Pipit  one foraging amongst piles of wrack on shore, VHB (photo).


    American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) Ventura Harbor Breakwater, CA  3 November 2017


                                                                                                                   © 2017 Callyn Yorke





House Finch  2  (m,f)  parking area, VHB.

Orange-crowned Warbler  4  calls; often foraging in shrubs and trees with YRWA, WEP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  (m,f)  12  vocal (calls) gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP, 16  VHB; 4 OAP.

Common Yellowthroat  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP.

Spotted Towhee 2  calls; a pair foraging on in beneath coastal sage scrub, WEP.

California Towhee 3  calls; foraging on ground in coastal sage and edge of riparian, WEP.

Savannah Sparrow  1 calls (unseen) coastal sage field, WEP.

Song Sparrow  3  vocal, active on ground in marsh-coastal sage scrub,WEP;  2  on lawn, OAP.

White-crowned Sparrow   10 vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP;  10  OAP.

Brewer's Blackbird  2  fly, calls, OAP.
























October 21, 2016  Wetlands Ecological Preserve, McGrath State Beach and Olivas Adobe Park (56 Species)




Ventura Harbor Beach, viewing northwest, Ventura, CA  21 October 2016

                                                                                                                                                                   © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Weather:  Fair; 63F to 83F; wind WNW 2 mph; tide medium low; surf 2 - 3 ft.

Time: 0653- 1145 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1)  West McGrath State Beach (MSB): I walked the shoreline from Ventura Harbor, to the mouth of the Santa Clara River. The drainage of the river remains blocked by a large sandbar; the waters at the mouth of the river are largely stagnant and form a large lagoon surrounded by riparian and marsh vegetation. A few fishermen and others (some with dogs) were on the beach during the survey (0653-0856 hrs.).  2) Wetlands Ecological Preserve (WEP): I walked the perimeter of the preserve, surveying ponds, riparian and coastal sage habitats adjacent to the outer shore (0912-1000 hrs.). 3) Ventura Harbor breakwater and shoreline (VHB). I walked the shoreline between the two breakwaters adjacent to the harbor. There were people with dogs all over the beach by this time; relatively few shorebirds were found in this area (1000- 1030 hrs.).  4) Olivas Adobe Park (OAP): I walked around the park (parkland lawns, gardens and ornamental trees, e.g. eucalyptus) and observed birds from my car in the parking lot. Most of the park was quiet and undisturbed by human activities during the survey (1125- 1200 hrs.).






Gadwall   3  (m,f) swimming in ponds, WEP.

Mallard  20 (m,f) ubiquitous in ponds, WEP.

Cinnamon Teal  12  (m,f)  gregarious; edge of ponds, WEP.

Northern Shoveler  1 (m) flushed from edge of pond, WEP.

Northern Pintail  2  (f) swimming together, WEP.

Redhead  1 (m)  in middle of pond, WEP.

Ruddy Duck  80  (bsc. plmg.) gregarious, ubiquitous; resting in ponds, WEP.

Pied-billed Grebe  20  solitary and gregarious; ubiquitous in ponds, WEP.

Eared Grebe  12  solitary and gregarious; ubiquitous in ponds, WEP.

Western Grebe  8  offshore and in lagoon; 2 dead on beach, MSB; WEP.

Double-crested Cormorant  2   WEP.

Brandt's Cormorant  12  on outer breakwater, VHB.

American White Pelican   60  gregarious; swimming at edge of pond, WEP and lagoon, MSB.

Brown Pelican  3 edge of pond, WEP; flying offshore, MSB.

Great Blue Heron  4  individuals at edge of ponds and lagoon, WEP, MSB.

Great Egret  4  edge of ponds and lagoon, WEP, MSB.

Snowy Egret   25  gregarious; edge of ponds, WEP

Black-crowned Night Heron  30  (ad, imm) most in trees overhanging ponds, WEP.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls (unseen) sw pond-riparian, WEP.

Sora  calls (unseen) marsh around pond, WEP.

American Coot  300  gregarious, ubiquitous in ponds and lagoon, WEP, MSB.

Killdeer  1 edge of lagoon, MSB.

Wandering Tattler  1  standing on edge of breakwater, VHB.

Willet  2  on outer beach, MSB.

Long-billed Curlew  1 (imm)   foraging amongst beach wrack, MSB (photo).



Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) immature, McGrath State Beach, Ventura CA  21 Oct. 2016

                                                                                                                                © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Ruddy Turnstone  1  foraging on small piles of beach wrack, MSB (photo).



Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) McGrath State Beach, Ventura CA  21 October 2016

                                                                                                                              © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Sanderling   6  foraging on outer shore, MSB.

Ring-billed Gull   3  outer beach and lagoon MSB, WEP.

Western Gull   30  (ad, C1, C2)  uibquitous.

California Gull     5 (ad, C1) one C2 heavily oiled on underside; outer shore, MSB. Others in  open water of ponds; flying over harbor, WEP.

Glaucous-winged Gull  1 (C2) foraging on dead harbor seal, inner edge of beach, MSB (photo).



Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) immature 2nd cycle, McGrath State Beach, Ventura CA  21 Oct. 2016


                                                                                                                                       © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Caspian Tern   3 (2 ad, 1 imm) flying low over the lagoon; skimming surface with lower mandible; resting on inner shore, MSB.

Feral Rock Pigeon  12 flying around harbor and parking lot, VHB.

Anna's Hummingbird  2   hovering around willows, WEP;  3  around flowering eucalyptus, OAP.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  hovering above garden, OAP.

Belted Kingfisher  3  fly, call, WEP.

Black Phoebe  5  vocal; riparian and marsh edge, WEP;  1 OAP.

American Crow   3  flying over, WEP, VHB.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow   2  flying low over ponds, WEP.

Bewick's Wren   1 active in ornamental trees, OAP.

Marsh Wren  2  repeated song (unseen) marsh at edge of lagoon, MSB.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1  calls; in top of willows, WEP (photo).



Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) Wetland Ecological Preserve, Ventura, CA  21 Oct. 2016

                                                                                                                              © 2016 Callyn Yorke




Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2  repeated calls; willows, WEP.

Northern Mockingbird  1  song, WEP.

European Starling  4   OAP.

Orange-crowned Warbler    8  gregarious; foraging in willows, WEP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  8 (m,f)    gregarious, vocal (calls) foraging at all vegetation heights, MSB, WEP, OAP.

Common Yellowthroat   12 (m,f)   vocal; active at edge of riparian-marsh, WEP.

California Towhee  2 calls;  a pair active on ground in garden, OAP.

Song Sparrow  calls (unseen) marsh-riparian edge, WEP.

White-crowned Sparrow   10  (ad, imm) vocal, gregarious; WEP, OAP.

Red-winged Blackbird  8  (m,f) in and around marsh at edge of ponds and lagoon, WEP, MSB.

Brewer's Blackbird  5   on adjacent golf course, OAP.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  parking lot, VHB.

House Finch  5  (m,f) vocal, riparian and shrubby edge of pond, WEP.

House Sparrow  4  parking lot and buildings, VHB.















November 8, 2014  Ventura Harbor Breakwater and Wetlands Ecological Preserve (53 Species).

                                          UCLA Autumn Birds of Southern California class  Ventura, 8 Nov 2014


                                                                                           © 2014  Merissa Mendez


Weather: Fair with some coastal fog, clearlng by late morning. 62F; wind WNW, W  5-10 mph. Surf 2 -3 ft. high tide.

Time: 0832 - 1220 hrs.

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

Areas Covered:  1) Ventura harbor and adjacent shoreline (VH). We walked from the harbor parking area next to Island Packers to the adjacent breakwater and shore. A surfing event was underway and the northwest end of the shore was surveyed visually from 50-100 yards away. A few unleashed dogs were running on the beach during the survey.  2) Wetlands Ecological Preserve at the intersection of Angler Court and Spinnaker Drive (WEP). We walked a counter-clockwise route around the permiter of the main lake, surveying elements of coastal sage, ruderal fields, riparian and freshwater marsh. A crew of volunteer workers was removing exotic vegetation (e.g. iceplant) from the southwestern section. Except for fog over the pond, conditions were good for finding and observing birds; several species were heard more frequently than seen.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-throated Loon (3), Blue-winged Teal (1), Lesser Scaup (4), Bufflehead (4), Surfbird (2), and Wrentit (1).


Gadwall 8 (m,f) swimming at the north and southeast edges of main pond, WEP.

American Wigeon  2 (f)  swimming at the north edge of the main pond, WEP.

Mallard   30 (m,f) ubiquitous in main pond, WEP.

Blue-winged Teal  1 (f) swimiming alone, e side of the main pond, WEP (photo).


Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura CA  8 Nov 2014


                                                                                                          © 2014 Callyn Yorke



Cinnamon Teal  3 (m) swimming together, e side of main pond, WEP.                  

Northern Shoveler   1 (m) swimming amongst RUDU and AMCO, main pond, WEP.

Lesser Scaup    4 (3 f, 1 m) resting together in main pond, WEP.

Bufflehead   4 (1m, 3 f)  diving; flying, main pond and se pond, WEP.

Ruddy Duck    150  (m,f) ubiquitous in ponds, WEP.

Red-throated Loon  3  (bsc. plmg.) swimming together outside of breakwater, VH (photo)


Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) Ventura harbor breakwater, CA  8 November 2014

                                                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Eared Grebe    40 ubiquitous;    pairs and individuals swimming on surface and diving near shore; a cohesive flock fo about 12 birds apparently engaged in cooperative feeding by shallow diving, main pond; one DCCO diving with them; food items undetermined, possibly minnows, WEP (photos a,b).


a)  Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura CA  8 November 2014


                                                                                                               © 2014 Callyn Yorke


b) Eared Grebe apparent cooperative foraging   Wetlands Ecological Preserve, Ventura CA  8 November 2014

                                                                                                                                                        © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Western Grebe  5  50-100 yards offshore, VH.

Double-crested Cormorant  2  flying VH;  one diving in main pond, WEP.

Brandt's Cormorant    2 flying low offshore, nw; 1  badly oiled and with an injured wing; standing on breakwater, VH.

Brown Pelican  150-200; several plunge-diving offshore, accompanied by WEGU and HEGU, VH.

Great Blue Heron  5  edge of marsh, WEP.

Snowy Egret   5  edge of marsh, WEP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (imm) se corner of pond at inflow, WEP.

Green Heron  2  interacting at edge of marsh-island, main pond; one flying a short distance across the pond, WEP.

Turkey Vulure  1-2  soaring above pond and adjacent ruderal field, WEP.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flying low, sw, WEP.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls (unseen)  s, WEP.

Red-tailed Hawk   2   one ad. soaring above fields;  one perched in emergent cypress tree at edge of pond, WEP.

American Kestrel  1  chased by AMCR  over adjacent ruderal field, WEP.

American Coot    250-300  ubiquitous, WEP.

Willet  3  on shore; flying; two staying together, VH.

Surfbird  2   resting on and flying overbreakwater in and near splash zone, VH (photo)


Surfbird (Calidris virgata) Ventura Harbor breakwater, CA  8 Nov. 2014

                                                                                                © 2014 Callyn Yorke


Sanderling    8   a cohesive flock running in and out with the tide onshore; individuals flying and alighting on shore near breakwater, VH.

Heermann's Gull    10 (ad, imm) flying over shoreline and offshore around BRPE, VH.

California Gull   10  (ad, imm)  flying over shore, VH; bathing in main pond with WEGU, WEP.

Western Gull   250  (ad, imm) ubiquitous.

Elegant Tern  5  1  vocal; flying offshore amongst BRPE, VH.

Royal Tern  1  flying offshore, VH.

Domestic Rock Pigeon    2  parking area (JH).

Eurasian Collared Dove    3  in palms adjacent to ruderal field, WEP.

Belted Kingfisher    2  vocal; flying together over main pond; perched in overhaning trees, WEP.

Black Phoebe  5  ubiquitous; sallying from low perches.

Say's Phoebe  1  sallying from low perch and ground in ruderal field, WEP.

American Crow  30  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous.

Bushtit     30   vocal, gregarious; feeding in the foliage of a variety of trees and shrubs, WEP.

Marsh Wren  calls (unseen) marsh at nw edge of main pond, WEP.

Wrentit   repeated song (unseen) coastal sage-riparian, w side of main pond, WEP.

American Pipit   1  calls; alighted on inner edge of breakwater next to the beach, VH.

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler   15  calls, gregarious; foraging in a variety of shrubs and trees, WEP.

Common Yellowthroat    5  calls; secretive in moist undergrowt; often joining msf with   CATO, WCSP, SOSP, YRWA, WEP.

California Towhee     4  calls; secretive, low in understory, WEP.

Savannah Sparrow  1  on breakwater, VH;   1 calls, fly, edge of pond in low vegetation, WEP.

Song Sparrow  10  vocal, ubiquitous around pond, WEP.

White-crowned Sparrow  20  vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, WEP.

Western Meadowlark  8   a cohesive flock foraging in a ruderal field, WEP.

Great-tailed Grackle  5   vocal, gregarious; harbor parking area, VH.

House Finch  3 (m,f)  on fence at edge of ruderal field and water treatment buildings, WEP

House Sparrow  2  around harbor parking area (JH).











October 12, 2013 Ventura Harbor and Wetlands Ecological Preserve; Reagan Presidential Library grounds, Simi Valley (63 Species)

Weather: Fair; 63F to 70F; wind W 2 -7 mph; seas moderately choppy..

Time: 1025-1700 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Ventura Harbor (VH):  From the marina park off Pierpont, we walked on the beach between the outer, attached and detached breakwaters, surveying shoreline, open water and rocky breakwaters. The tide was medium-low during our survey, exposing significant amounts of shoreline. A few dogs (some unleashed) were on the shore during our survey (1025-1215 hrs.)  . 2) Wetlands Ecological Preserve at the corner of Spinnaker and Angler Ct. (WEP): I walked around all the ponds, surveying coastal sage, riparian, freshwater marsh and ponds. No other people were present in this area during the survey (1238-1349 hrs.)   3) Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley (RL): We walked around the main buildings and grounds, surveying about 50 acres of hillside coastal sage with scattered coast live oaks, ornamental plantings and lawns. The grounds were quiet and undisturbed by human activities.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Brown Booby (1).


Gadwall    12 (m,f) swimming at the edges of the ponds, WEP.

Mallard  20  (m,f) around the edges of ponds, WEP.

Cinnamon Teal   6 (m,f) edges of ponds, WEP.

Northern Shoveler   60 (m,f) ubiquitous in ponds, WEP.

Green-winged Teal  2 (f) swimming at the edge of the east pond, WEP.

Ruddy Duck   25  (m,f) edges of ponds, WEP.

California Quail  10  in garden, RL.

Pied-billed Grebe   8  throughout ponds, WEP.

Eared Grebe  8  w pond, WEP.

Western Grebe  6  west harbor, VH.

Brown Pelican  200   on and around breakwaters, VH.

Brown Booby  1 (imm)  intially observed on west end of detached breakwater with BRCO; flying around then landing again on the same rocks. Noted brown wings, back and tail; mottled brown and white belly; pale yellow feet, VH.(photos).

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) immature (same individual in all photos)      Ventura Harbor CA  12 October 2013


                                                                                                  © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Brandt's Cormorant   150  on breakwater, VH.

Pelagic Cormorant  3  on breakwater with BRCO, VH.

Great Blue Heron  4  edge of marsh, WEP.

Great Egret  1 edge of marsh, WEP.

Snowy Egret  2  flying, VH;  5  edge of marsh, WEP.

Black-crowned Night Heron  3 (ad, imm) edge of marsh, WEP.

Red-shouldered Hawk  calls (unseen) WEP.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad; dark morph) soaring over hillside, RL.

American Coot  100  edge of ponds, WEP.

Black-bellied Plover  1 on shore, VH.

Killdeer  1  calls (unseen) WEP.

Marbled Godwit  16  foraging on shore, VH.

Willet  35  foraging on shore, VH.

Whimbrel  1  flushed from breakwater, inner harbor, VH.

Surfbird  1  foraging on algae-covered rocks, inner breakwater, VH (photo).


Surfbird (Aphriza virgata) Ventura Harbor, CA  12 October  2013

                                                                                                                                © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Black Turnstone   3  foraging on shore, VH.

Ruddy Turnstone   5  foraging on shore; one probing in open clam (photo), VH.


Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) Ventura Harbor, CA  12 October 2013

                                                                                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Black Oystercatcher  2  on shore, VH (photo).

Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) Ventura Harbor, CA  12 October 2013

                                                                                                                              © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Heermann's Gull   10 (ad, imm)  on shore and breakwater, VH.

California Gull   2   in east pond, WEP.

Western Gull  200  ubiquitous, VH; WEP.

Elegant Tern  80  on and flying around breakwater; diving in protected cove behind breakwater, VH.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  vocal; in ornamental trees, VH.

Mourning Dove  2  flying over, RL.

Vaux's Swift  2  flying back and forth over marsh and riparian area, WEP.

Belted Kingfisher  calls, WEP.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  foraging on dead branch of willow, WEP.

Black Phoebe   2 calls, edge of marsh, WEP; 1 marina, VH.

Say's Phoebe  1  edge of garden in small trees, RL.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  flying together; calls, RL.

Western Scrub-jay  calls, RL.

American Crow  20  ubiquitous, VH; fly, call, WEP.

Common Raven  2   vocal, pair staying together, RL.

Bushtit  35  vocal, moving through shrubs and trees, WEP.

House Wren  2  calls, WEP.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1 calls (unseen) riparian, WEP.

Orange-crowned Warbler   8  riparian, WEP.

Yellow Warbler  1  riparian, WEP.

Yellow-rumped IA) Warbler  5  calls, WEP.

Common Yellowthroat  5  calls, WEP.

Wilson's Warbler  2  calls; lower strata of riparian, WEP.

California Townee  calls, edge of garden, RL.

Chipping Sparrow  2 calls; in small trees at edge of garden, RL.

Lark Sparrow  vocal, hillside grassland, RL.

Song Sparrow  2  vocal, marsh-riparian, WEP.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1 calls, edge of garden, RL.

White-crowned Sparrow   4  WEP;  5  RL.

Red-winged Blackbird  calls, marsh-riparian, WEP.

Brewer's Blackbird  20  on lawn in marina, VH.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2 (m,f) with BRBL on lawn, VH.

House Finch  5  calls, riparian and edge, WEP.











August 13, 2013  Ventura Harbor and Wetlands Ecological Reserve, McGrath State Beach and Olivas Adobe Park (66 Species)

Weather: Overcast with a coastal marine layer; 62F to 65F; wind SSE 2-5 mph; high tide @ 0800 hrs. Surf 2-3 ft.

Time: 0754-1400 hrs.

Observers: D.K. Anderson and I.

Areas Covered:  1) Ventura harbor and adjacent breakwater (VHB): We walked nw from the parking area at Surfer's Knoll to the first breakwater. A few people with unleashed dogs arrived as we were leaving. Most of the shorebirds were found on or near the breakwater. 2) McGrath State Beach, northwest section (MSB): We continued in a southeasterly direction on the outer beach walking trudging through deep sand to the end of the estuary opposite the closed State campground on the opposite shore (0754 -1133 hrs.). 3) Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Preserve at the intersection of Spinnaker and Angler Ct. (WEP): We parked in the designated area for birders outside the fenced and gated area where about 50-acres of deciduous woodland, freshwater marsh, ponds (presumably filled and maintained by water from the adjacent treatment facility), and ruderal fields have been preserved for nature study. We walked a counter-clockwise route on the perimeter dirt road, listening to bird vocalizations in the dense woodland and marsh next to algae-covered ponds. Birdlife was abundant but a mid-day lull in activity probably resulted in us finding fewer bird species than was actually present (1209-1320 hrs). Our final stop for the day was at Olivas Adobe Historical Park (OAP). We walked around the restored adobe buildings, surveying lawns, eucalyptus, gardens, adjacent woodland-scrub bordering a golf course and  roadside utility lines alongside agricultural fields across the street (1330-1400 hrs.).


Pumping of the Santa Clara River Estuary at McGrath State Beach, Ventura, CA  13 August, 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                            © 2013 Callyn Yorke



A maintenance crew was supervising the pumping of water from the estuary and over the main beach into the sea (photo). The foreman told us that pumping had been occurring for about three weeks. Their goal was to lower the estuary and flood waters in the adjacent McGrath State Beach campground.

It is unclear why resource agencies didn't choose to breach the sandbar at the mouth of the river, which could have been completed in a matter of hours with the heavy equipment currently parked on the beach. Tracks on the entire length of the beach indicated that trucks and bulldozers had recently traversed the area. We wondered what sort of reasoning could possibly be invoked for the highly disruptive pumping project. 

A chemist employed by the local water treatment facility, who was collecting water samples from the estuary during our visit, was willing to listen to our questions. He mentioned that resource agencies wanted to wait until the Santa Clara River had risen enough to cause a natural breach of the sandbar. He said resource agencies believed that pumping water from the estuary into the adjacent sea was a "more natural solution" than breaching the sandbar. What?

Even more disturbing than the water-relocation project, was the complete lack of protection of an itinerant colony of the federally endangered California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni) adjacent to the estuary pumping project. We observed a cohesive flock of no fewer than 32 of these birds on the beach between the estuary and the outer shore (photos). Some birds were standing in fresh tracks made by heavy vehicles. Several newly fledged juveniles were being fed small fish by adults. We were careful to keep our distance to avoid disturbing the colony. However, the beach had not been fenced or posted to warn of their presence (c.f. Malibu Lagoon, Los Angeles County, CA). Neither were any park rangers present to issue citations to the owners of several unleashed dogs.

Clearly, resource agencies at McGrath State Beach are struggling to protect and maintain this outstanding example of the coastal and estuarine ecosystem in Southern California. But they should no longer be allowed to use "lack of funding" as a convenient excuse for management problems. Instead, try a "lack of common sense."  Indeed, the cost of several weeks of pumping the estuary must be astronomically high when compared with a few hours of bulldozer work to breach the sandbar at the river mouth.

In fact, a case could be reasonably made for simply allowing the natural hydrologic processes to continue at the mouth of the Santa Clara River, as they had been for millions of years before the arrival of man. Apparently, resource agencies were short-sighted when they chose the existing site for an ordinary picnic area and campground. Now they are faced with managing natural forces that may well be uncontrollable. So what if the campground is a swamp full of mosquitoes, frogs, ducks, cormorants, herons and egrets? Build a few elevated walkways and hides and convert the RV-friendly facility into an ecological preserve. Would that not be an environmentally sensitive and cost-effective solution to the problem of periodic inundation of the McGrath State Beach campground?

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Sooty Shearwater (500 +), Wandering Tattler (3), Surfbird (12), California Least Tern (32), Lesser Nighthawk (1) and Savannah Sparrow (1).


Gadwall  8 (m,f) swimming together and singly in pond, WEP.

Mallard  35 (m,f; imm) around the edges of the estuary and ponds, MSB, WEP.

Ruddy Duck  8 (m,f) resting near the edge of the pond, WEP.

Pied-billed Grebe  10   vocal; edges and middle of pond, WEP;  1 edge of estuary MSB.

Western Grebe  6  resting offshore and in estuary, MSB.

Sooty Shearwater  500 +  roughly counted flying nw about 0.75 mi offshore; birds flying fast and low over the surface, banking and showing whitish underwing markings; 2 dead and mostly decomposed on the beach (photo), MSB.

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) McGrath State Beach, Ventura CA  13 August 2013


                                                                        © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Brandt's Cormorant  200 (conserv est.) most on distant breakwater; some flying offshore, VH; MSB.

Double-crested Cormorant  40 (conserv. est.) on snags on shore and edge of estuary; some diving in estuary, VH; MSB.

Brown Pelican  400  (conserv. est.) on distant breakwater, outer shore; offshore and estuary, VH; MSB.

Great Blue Heron  11 (ad, imm) in trees on island, WEP;  2 campground and estuary shoreline, MSB.

Great Egret  6 in trees and in marsh, MSB.

Snowy Egret  12  on shore, in trees and in marsh, MSB;  2 in marsh, WEP.

Turkey Vulture  5  on ground near shore, se MSB.

Cooper's Hawk 1 (imm) on light pole in parking lot, VH.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  perched in dead tree at edge of campground, se MSB.

American Coot  4  swimming near shore, se MSB.

Black-bellied Plover  6 (trans. plmg.) on outer shore, MSB.

Killdeer  1 calls, estuary shore, MSB.

Semipalmated Plover 2  on inner estuary shore; chasing and interacting, se MSB (photo).

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) McGrath State Beach, Ventura County, CA  13 August 2013


                                                                                                     © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Willet  14  outer shore, VH.

Spotted Sandpiper  1  shoreline of estuary, se MSB.

Whimbrel   60  shoreline, VH; MSB.

Marbled Godwit   4  on shore, se MSB.

Black Oystercatcher  2  on breakwater, VH.

Wandering Tattler  3  foraging on shore next to breakwater; taking small bivalves, VH (photo).

Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana) Ventura Harbor, Ventura County CA  13 August 2013


                                                                                               © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Ruddy Turnstone   1 (alt. plmg.) foraging for small bivalves and crustaceans at tideline near breakwater, with BLTU (photo).

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) same individual; Ventura harbor, Ventura County CA  13 August 2013


                                                                                        © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Black Turnstone   20 (trans. plmg.) foraging for small bivalves at the tideline near the breakwater; with RUTU, VH (photo).

Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) Ventura harbor, Ventura County, CA  13 August 2013


                                                                                            © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Surfbird 12 (alt. and trans. plmg.) foraging for small bivalves at tideline near breakwater, VH (photos).

Surfbird (Aphriza virgata) Ventura harbor, Ventura County CA  13 August 2013

                                                                                                            © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Western Sandpiper  12 (ad) foraging together on shore of estuary, se MSB.

Least Sandpiper  1 (imm) foraging with WESA on shore of estuary, se MSB.

Heermann's Gull   120 (80% ad) on outer shore, MSB.

Ring-billed Gull  1 (ad) on outer shore, se MSB.

California Gull   10 (ad, C1, C3) outer shore, se MSB.

Western Gull  150 (ad; juv; 2 C2)  ubiquitous; on shore and in ponds; several carcasses on beach.

Caspian Tern   5 (ad)  flying near shore and on outer shore, se MSB.

Elegant Tern  16 (ad, imm) together on shore, se MSB.

California Least Tern  32 (ad, imm)  adults feeding young small fish (Grunion?) on shore, se MSB (photos).

California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni) McGrath State Beach, Ventura County CA  13 August 2013


                                                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke


California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni) juvenile   McGrath State Beach, Ventura County, CA  13 August 2013

                                                                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Rock Pigeon  1  flying over freeway 126 near 101 interchange..

Eurasian Collared Dove  3   on light poles in parking area, VH.

Mourning Dove  2  woodland surrounding the ponds, WEP; 2 flying, OAP.

Lesser Nighthawk  1 flushed from brushy area next to dirt track, WEP.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  vocal, riparian woodland next to ponds, WEP; calls OAP.

Allen's Hummingbird  2  calls, eucalyptus grove, OAP.

Black Phoebe  4  edge of pond, WEP; 1 edge of golf course, OAP.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  2 (one imm) low shrubs at edge of ruderal field, WEP.

Western Scrub-jay  calls, WEP.

American Crow  20  ubiquiotus.

Common Raven  2  calls, OAP.

Barn Swallow  1  flying low, back and forth over pond, WEP.

Bushtit   16  two vocal flocks in woodland, WEP.

Marsh Wren  1 ?  (DKA) edge of tules under GBHE colony, WEP.

European Starling  3   vocal; on utility wires, WEP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  3  vocal, active in subcanopy of woodland next to ponds, WEP; 1 in ornamental trees, OAP

Yellow Warbler  2  vocal in canopy of trees next to ponds, WEP.

Common Yellowthroat  10  vocal, active in understory and subcanopy of woodland, WEP.

Wilson's Warbler 1 song, dense woodland next to pond, WEP.

California Towhee  2   calls;  on ground in brushy ruderal field, WEP.

Savannah Sparrow  1  calls; active in flowering herbs on estuary shore, se MSB.

Song Sparrow 2  calls; marsh at edge of estuary, MSB.

Red-winged Blackbird  2 in marsh at edge of estuary, MSB.

Brewer's Blackbird  3  in parking area, VH.

Great-tailed Grackle  3 (f)   in parking and restaurant area, VH.

Hooded Oriole  2  (m,f) vocal; staying close in ornamental shrubs and trees, OAP.

House Finch  8  edge of marsh and estuary, MSB;  3  in trees, WEP.

Goldfinch sp. (probably AMGO) in tree, WEP.

House Sparrow  3  in parking area next to restaurants, VH.











March 11, 2013  Sespe Oil Fields Fillmore,Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Harbor and Olivas Adobe HP, Ventura (53 Species)

Weather: Fair; 59F; winds wnw 2-5 mph. high tide @ 1100 hrs.;  seas moderate, surf 2-4 ft.

Time:1010 - 1430 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Sespe Oil Fields, A Street, Fillmore (SOF): We drove about 3 miles north on A Street from the intersection of HWY 26 in Fillmore. A paved (rough in places) ascends into the Sespe canyon oil extraction area. We stopped on the roadside at an elevation of about 1,400 ft. asl, where a small stream crosses the road. The steep hillsides and canyons were grown primarily to chaparral with sparse riparian and coast live oak elements in the deep ravines. Traffic on the road was light; birds were scarce (1014-1024 hrs.)  2) Ventura Harbor (VH): We walked around the harbor adjacent to the beach and continued southeast about 1 mile along the main beach bordering the Santa Clara River estuary and the outer shore (SCR). Except for two people with unleashed dogs, the area was largely undisturbed by human activity during our survey (1112- 1345 hrs.).  3) Olivas Adobe Historical Park (OAP). We walked through the adobe-walled courtyard and around the grounds, surveying birds using flowering eucalyptus, lawns, plantings and weedy borders (1410-1430 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included,  American White Pelican (1 DOS); Thayer's Gull (1), Herring Gull (3) and Glaucous-winged Gull (1).


Mute Swan (introduced)   1  (orange and black bill visible) foraging in shallows on the east side of the estuary, SCR (McGrath SB) (photo).

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) SCR, Ventura CO CA 11 March 2013

                                                    © 2013 Callyn Yorke

Gadwall  2  open water, SCR.

Mallard  6  open water and edge of estuary, SCR.

Northern Shoveler  85  flying, open water, SCR.

Ruddy Duck  2  edge of estuary, SCR.

Pied-billed Grebe  1 swimming, diving in estuary, calls, SCR.

Eared Grebe  2 (bsc. plmg.) swimming together, open water of estuary, SCR.

Western Grebe  3  resting in estuary, SCR.

Double-crested Cormorant  2 diving, VH;  25 resting near shore on snags and islets, SCR.

Brandt's Cormorant  1 flying low over ocean, SCR.

American White Pelican  1 (dead on estuary shore) a largely decomposed, identifiable carcass, SCR.

Brown Pelican  2 flying, VH;  25  scattered around the shore; diving 100-300 yards offshore, SCR.

Great Blue Heron  1 flying over east side of estuary, SCR.

Snowy Egret  1  at edge of puddle next to breakwater, VH.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2  at edge of marsh, SCR.

Red-shouldered Hawk 2 (ad); one carrying a rat toward riparian patch, OAP.

Red-tailed Hawk  2  circling above orchard, SOF; 1 ad circling over agricultural fields, OAP.

American Coot  10  edge of estuary, SCR.

Black-bellied Plover  2 (bsc. plmg.) on shore of estuary, SCR.

Killdeer  2  on beach next to estuary, SCR.

Snowy Plover  3 (none banded); staying close in deep sand with depressions for concealment, protected beach area, SCR.

Yellowlegs sp.  fly, call, SCR.

Willet  11 foraging on outer shore, SCR.

Least Sandpiper   6  foraging on inner shore, SCR.

Short-billed Dowitcher  1  staying with two BBPL on inner estuary shore, SCR.

Ring-billed Gull  20 (90% adult) on main beach, SCR.

California Gull  50 (90% adult) on main beach with RBGU and WEGU, SCR.

Herring Gull  3 (ad, C1)  on main beach with other gulls, SCR (photo).

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Santa Clara River outer beach, Ventura County, CA  11 Mar 2013

                                                                                                © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Glaucous-winged Gull  1 (C1)  foraging on a young California Sea Lion carcass, SCR (photo).

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) Santa Clara River estuary outer beach, Ventura County, CA  11 March 2013

                                                                                                                                   © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Thayer's Gull  1 (C1)  note: relatively small bill and rounded head, brownish primaries, short legs; on main beach with other gulls, SCR (photo).

Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri) Santa Clara River estuary main beach, Ventura County, CA  11 Mar 2013


                                                                                         © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Western Gull   60 (C1, C2, C3; 90% adult), main beach, SCR.

Caspian Tern  1 fly, call, SCR.

Rock Pigeon   15  flying over an agricultural field, OAP.

White-throated Swift  calls, SOF.

Anna's Hummingbird  10  calls, active around flowering eucalyptus with ALHU, OAP.

Allen's Hummingbird    20  m,f  very vocal and active in and around eucalyptus, OAP.

Northern (RS) Flicker  calls, OAP.

Western Scrub-jay  2  call, fly, SOF.

American Crow  4  fly, call, VH;  3  OAP.

American Robin  1  foraging on the lawn, OAP.

European Starling  10  on utility wires, HWY 126.

Orange-crowned Warbler  2  song, active in eucalyptus, OAP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler  2  fly, call, VH;  10 in eucalyptus, OAP.

Spotted Towhee  2  calls, riparian canyon, SOF.

California Towhee   2  vocal, active in brushy area, WEP; 1 in garden, OAP.

Song Sparrow   1  in marsh, song, SCR;  1 song, OAP.

White-crowned Sparrow   1 calls, lawns and shrubs, VH; 3 foraging on lawn, OAP.

Western Meadowlark  1 song, adjacent grassy field, VH.

Brewer's Blackbird  2 calls, parking area, VH.

Great-tailed Grackle  2 calls, parking area, VH;  2 calls, song, OAP.

House Finch   10 vocal, active in eucalyptus, OAP.

Lesser Goldfinch  8  vocal, active in flowering trees, OAP.

House Sparrow  4  vocal, parking area, VH.




                                                  © 2013 Callyn Yorke




November 8, 2012 Santa Clara River Estuary, Ventura Harbor and Breakwater, Olivas Adobe Historical Park, El Camino City Park, Ventura (58 Species).

Weather: Overcast with intermittent showers; 57F to 58 F. Wind W 0 - 7 mph; high tide @ about 0930 hrs. surf 3 - 4 ft.

Time: 0854 - 1505 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1)  From Surfer's Knoll, we walked about 1 mile south and back on a sandy peninsula separating the mouth of the Santa Clara River from coastal waters (SCR). Habitats surveyed were sand dunes, freshwater riparian, marsh, open water in the SCR, ocean shoreline and nearshore coastal waters.  The carcasses of two dolphins and pinnipeds (90% decomposed but largely articulated; perhaps 3-4 weeks old) were found at the north end of the beach near the marsh. Additionally, many carcasses of seabirds (mostly grebes and cormorants), ranging from about 48 hrs. to at least two months old, were found along this same stretch of beach. The cause of death of the aforementioned animals was not determined. Except for two surfers, no other people were present during our survey of this area (0854 - 1040 hrs.).   2) Olivas Adobe Park (OAP). We walked around the gardens and along a riparian patch bordering the adjacent golf driving range. Screamer shells were being discharged to the north across the roadway, presumably to frighten off birds in the agricultural fields adjacent to Olivas Park Rd. A few golfers were on the main course; none was at the driving range, which allowed us to walk along the edge of the range where it meets a dense riparian patch. The AOP gardens (ornamental shrubs, eucalyptus, etc.) and mowed lawns supported a fair number of migratory landbirds (1100 - 1210 hrs).  3) Ventura outer Harbor and Breakwater (VH). I walked along the shore between the two breakwaters, surveying open water, rocky breakwaters and the shoreline. No other people were on the shore, though numerous dog tracks were found (1300-1330 hrs.).   4) El Camino City Park (ECP): From the parking area off Dean St., I walked the circumference of the park, surveying adjacent eucalyptus-riparian, lawns, mature evergreen (e.g. coast redwood) and deciduous (e.g. sycamore) trees. Most of the bird-life was along the north border in the adjacent ravine and edge, grown to a mixture of eucalyptus and other ornamental trees and shrubs. This ravine also featured small patches of willow and native vegetation in a stagnant, litter-strewn stream bed. The south side of the park, though heavily wooded with mature evergreens and deciduous trees, borders a busy freeway where traffic noise effectively prevented detection of bird vocalizations. Several park visitors were present with dogs, but these individuals were not using the fenced area designated for dogs in the northwest quarter of the park (1210 - 1505 hrs.). Intermittent showers and increasing winds reduced the activity and detectability of birds today.


Mallard  1 (m)  in backwater lagoon, SCR.

Ruddy Duck   10 (m,f)  edge of river, SCR.

Horned Grebe  4  swimming together in lagoon, SCR.

Western Grebe  40  (11 dead on beach - dob) in lagoon and mouth of river, SCR.

Double-crested Cormorant   40  resting on shore and on snags in river; several dob, SCR.

Brandt's Cormorant   4  on outer breakwater with BRPE, VH.

Brown Pelican   60  resting on shore of river; flying;  2 dob (old, partly disarticulated carcasses),, SCR.

Great Blue Heron  2  on shore of river, SCR.

Northern Harrier  1 (f) flying low over the marsh, SCR.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  atop tree; calls, OAP.

American Coot   30  edge of lagoon and river, SCR.

Black-bellied Plover  1  on shore, VH.

Snowy Plover  7 (none banded) on beach, SCR.

Willet   5  on shore, VH.

Marbled Godwit   7  on shore and flying low over shore, SCR.

Black Oystercatcher   5   a pair bathing near shore with the rest of the flock on beach observing;vocalizing and flying together, VH (photo).

Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)  outer Ventura Harbor, Ventura County, CA  8 November, 2012

                                                                                                                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Sanderling   30   foraging on shore, SCR.

Least Sandpiper   5  foraging on shore of river, SCR.

Heermann's Gull   10 (imm)   on shore with ofher gulls, SCR;  8  (ad, imm) on shore, VH.

Ring-billed Gull   3  ( ad, imm) on shore of river, SCR (photo).

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) juvenile   Santa Clara River estuary, Ventura County, CA  8 Nov. 2012

                                                                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke


California Gull    60  (ad, imm) on shore, SCR.

Herring Gull   4  (C1, C3) on shore, SCR (photo).

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) C4  Santa Clara River estuary, Ventura County, CA  8 Nov. 2012

                                                                                                                                          © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Glaucous-winged Gull  1 (noted sloping forehead,  slender bill with with moderate gonydeal expansion, pale upperparts with comparatively dark primaries )   1  on river shore, SCR (photo).

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens)   Santa Clara River estuary, Ventura County, CA  8 Nov. 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Western Gull    50  (ad, imm)  on shore, SCR;  15 in the parking area and on the beach, VH.

Common Tern  1  flying low near shore, SCR.

Royal Tern  1  on beach with gulls, SCR.

Eurasian Collared Dove  7  on utility wires,  OAP.

Rock Pigeon   15  on utility lines next to HWY 126 east.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls, flying around flowering eucalyptus trees, OAP; 2 (m,f) ECP.

Allen's Hummingbird    4 (f)   fly, call, around flowering eucalyptus, OAP;  2 (f)   ECP.

Northern (RS) Flicker  2  call, fly, riparian patch, OAP.

Black Phoebe   3   flycatching from low perches on beach near pinniped carcasses and edge of marsh, SCR;  2  OAP;  2 ECP.

Say's Phoebe  1  flying low around pinniped carcasses on beach, SCR.

Western Scrub-jay  3  call, fly, ECP.

American Crow   20   VH;   5  fly, call, OAP;   10  ECP.

Tree Swallow   1  flying low over beach, SCR.

Bushtit    10  vocal, active in riparian, OAP.

Marsh Wren  1  calls, in marsh, SCR.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  calls, riparian OAP;  1  willows, ECP.

Wrentit   1  song, OAP.

Northern Mockingbird   2  calls,  OAP;  2  ECP.

European Starling   10  fly, call, VH;   15 on utility wires, OAP.

American Pipit   3  foraging near carcasses on beach, SCR.

Orange-crowned Warbler   1  in ornamental shrubs and trees, OAP.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   15  (m,f) foraging on beach around carcasses; 15 all heights and vegetation, OAP;  8  ECP.

Townsend's Warbler  1  foraging quickly in canopy of small ornamnetal tree, OAP.

Common Yellowthroat  2  edge of marsh, SCR;  4, calls, edge of riparian, OAP;  2  in marshy ravine, ECP.

Spotted Towhee  1  edge of riparian, ECP.

California Towhee  2  edge of willows, OAP;  2  edge of eucalyptus woodland, ECP.

Fox Sparrow  1  seen briefly at edge of riparian patch, OAP.

Song Sparrow   3 ( noted; gray vs.reddish toned individuals of presumably two distinct subspecies)  vocal;   edge of riparian; foraging on lawn, OAP (photos).

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) two individuals of presumably distinctly different subspecies, Olivas Adobe Park, Ventura County, CA          8 Nov. 2012


                                                                                                       © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Savannah Sparrow  1  calls, edge of beach-marsh, SCR.

White-crowned Sparrow  15 (ad, imm) foraging at edge of brush and on lawns, OAP;  5  edge of lawns, ECP.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco   10  foraging at edge of field, ECP.

Brewer's Blackbird   16 (m,f) a tight flock foraging on the lawn, OAP.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  calls, OAP.

House Finch   30 (m,f) foraging in sand dunes with halophytic herbaceous plants, SCR;   10  riparan and edge, OAP.

House Sparrow   10  around restaurants in the mall, VH.







OCTOBER 5, 2012  Buenaventura, McGrath and Big Sycamore State Park (43 Species)

Weather: Fair; 65F to 72F; winds WSW 2 mph. Surf 1-3 ft. High tide @ 1230 hrs.

Time: 0915 - 1330 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Buenaventura State Beach (BV: 0930 - 1115 hrs.). We were greeted by two cheerful park officials at the entrance and told (erroneously) that an annual pass ($195) could be purchased from the main office inside the park.  However, when we optimistically bustled into the park headquarters a few minutes later, we were apologetically informed that there were no more passes available. Based on our experience today (see below), it seemed annoyingly clear that resident taxpayers who wished to support our California State Parks could find neither a competent park official from whom reliable information might be obtained, nor a repository for our annual donation. We left our vehicle on an adjacent suburban street and walked through the park (no fee for walk-ins) and to the outer shore.  Aside from a few inebriated citizens of the local homeless community, most of the park was uninhabited and conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. We checked the larger trees for migratory birds but found relatively few species. The outer coastline had some surfers and bare-footed beach-goers, some with unleashed dogs chasing a large flock of sanderlings.

2) Continuing by car southbound on Harbor Blvd., we entered the largely deserted McGrath State Beach which had recently been re-opened. We were greeted by the resident volunteer ("park host") at the entrance (MSB:1124 - 1145 hrs). This was the same person who earlier today had directed us to the State Park headquarters in BV to obtain an annual pass. This time we learned that, even if we had purchased an annual State Park pass, it was useless because due to flooding there was no day-parking at MSB, only 15-minute parking a few feet from the kiosk. Yet, and here is the terminator-style reasoning that has ruined the entire California State Park system, motorhomes and RV's are allowed access to the park. We might have left our EV outside the park and walked in but there were several NO PARKING signs strategically placed along the roadway at the park entrance, effectively deterring pedestrian access. Meanwhile, a constant parade of hopeful motorists entered the park only to be given the same perplexing news we had received about no day-parking. Basically, if you weren't intending to camp in MSB, you and your family might as well return to Minnesota. And, by the way folks, did we mention that your annual pass is non-refundable? Have a nice day.

With little time to bird MSB, we scurried through a maze of  flooded campsites in the north section, flushing scores of coots, while peering into hedges and low evergreen trees. There was evidently a variety of migratory and resident birds present in the park, but unless we recognized their sounds, most were left undocumented.  We managed to add a few species to our day-list (e.g.  Gadwall, Turkey Vulture and Allen's Hummingbird), but our 15-minute parking time was up almost before we could catch our breath. Many waterbird species could be seen in the distant Santa Clara River estuary, but most of those were too distant to identify with any accuracy. 

3) Big Sycamore Canyon State Park (BSC: 1228-1330 hrs.). We paid the mandatory drive-in entry fee ($12), parked at the south end designated as "Day Use" and walked through the crowded camping area with mature sycamore, willow and other riparian vegetation wedged between chaparral-covered slopes. Despite the lofty overnight camping fee ($45), campsites were occupied by tent-campers and motorhomes with noisy generators. This roadside refugee camp appeared to be just another embarrassing example of a run-down California State Park (though a slight improvement over MSB). We included a brief survey of the adjacent shoreline and park (on the south side of PCH) by crossing under the PCH bridge, barely escaping the incoming tide. A few more bird species were added to our day-list here, including, California Quail, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, Wrentit, Western Scrub-jay, California Thrasher, Spotted Towhee and California Towhee. All of the aforementioned species were relatively tame and allowed close approach for observations.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included Surf Scoter (1) and Royal Tern (30).


Gadwall  1 (f) resting at the edge of a flooded area with mallards, MSB.

Mallard   3 (m,f) MSB.

Surf Scoter  1 (m)  inside the surf zone; "duck-diving" through large waves, BV (photos).

Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) male - same individual -   Buenaventura beach, Ventura County, CA  5 October, 2012


                                                                                                       © 2012 Callyn Yorke

California Quail   3  running across the interior roadway, BSC.

Western Grebe   10  resting offshore, BV.

Double-crested Cormorant   1  flying northwest nearshore, BV.

Brown Pelican  2   distant estuary of Santa Clara River, MSB.

Snowy Egret  1  in flooded campsite, MSB.

Turkey Vulture   3  circling above, MSB.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (ad) in palm tree at edge of park, BV.

American Coot  30  flushed from flooded areas, MSB.

Sanderling   40  chased by a dog to the edge of the breakwater, northwest beach, MSB.

Heermann's Gull  18 (ad, imm) resting in a flock on the beach with other gulls and terns, BV;  5 outer shore, BSC.

California Gull   30 (90% C-3,4) resting together on the beach with other gulls and terns, BV.

Western Gull    5 (ad, imm)  resting on the beach with other gulls, BV;  10 on beach and offshore, BSC.

Elegant Tern  2  together and greatly outnumbered by a surrounding flock of ROTE (photo), BV.

Royal Tern  28  resting on the beach, allowing us to approach within about 20 feet before relocating nearby (photo).

 L to R: Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) and Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) Buenaventura beach, Ventura Co, CA  5 Oct. 2012

                                                                                                                                         © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Eurasian Collared Dove  8   flighty, in trees, sw BV.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls, flying around shrubs and trees, BV;  2  MSB.

Allen's Hummingbird  3  calls, chasing around bottlebush, MSB.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2 (m,f)  vocal, foraging 50 yards apart in riparian thickets, BSC.

Black Phoebe   2  vocal, low perches, MSB;  1 BSC.

Say's Phoebe  1  low perch in tree, BV.

Western Scrub-jay  4  fly, call  BSC.

American Crow   20  BV;  5 BSC. One small adult with short legs, appeared about the size of a grackle; gave typical AMCR calls (photo).

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) an unusually small individual, Big Sycamore SP, Ventura County, CA 5 Oct 2012


                                                                                                                                                   © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Oak Titmouse  1  vocal, active in the subcanopy of a sycamore, BSC.

Common Bushtit   10  vocal, active in shrubs along the street, BV; 10 vocal active in shrubs, MSB;  14, all levels, BSC.

House Wren  3  vocal, active in evergreen trees, BV.

Wrentit  2  song, hillside chaparral, BSC.

Northern Mockingbird  2  song (vocal repertoire included a variety of shorebird imitations and a scrub-jay) chasing another individual into a tree, BV.

California Thrasher  1  calls from atop a leafless elderberry, BSC.

European Starling   60   vocal, flying together in a circle, landing on utility line, MSB.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  calls, dense riparian patch, e, BV.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   5  (f) vocal, active in a variety of trees and shrubs, BV;  6 MSB;  4 BSC.

Common Yellowthroat  2  calls, active in understory shrubs, BV;  2  calls, flooded area, MSB;  1 calls,  streambed marsh.

Spotted Towhee  4  vocal, active on ground with other individuals and CATO, BSC.

California Towhee   8   vocal, active in shrubs and on ground, BSC.

Song Sparrow  1 calls, flooded area, MSB.

White-crowned Sparrow   10  foraging on ground at edge of shruvbs, BV; calls, BSC.

Brewer's Blackbird  3 (m,f) bathing in streambed puddle, BSC.

House Finch    50 (m,f), feeding on dry thistles with LEGO, BV.

Lesser Goldfinch  15 (m,f) vocal, feeding on dry thistles, BV.

House Sparrow   25  adjacent suburbs and gardens, BV.










MARCH 4, 2012  Pt. Mugu State Park, Oxnard Plain, Port Hueneme and McGrath State Beach        (70 Species)


Weather: Fair; 65F  to 69F; winds SSE 2 - 5 mph. Seas calm; surf 1-3 ft.

Time: 0916 - 1455 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Areas Covered:  1) HWY 126 (Santa Paula FWY): between Santa Clarita and Ventura, round trip (126). Citrus and vegetable cropland with mature eucalyptus windbreaks; towns and ruderal fields surrounded by foothills.This was "drive by" birding; birds flying over and on utility poles and wires noted during our west and eastbound transit.  2) Mugu Rock, Pt. Mugu, south side (MR). I scoped the nearshore waters for pelagic birds. The long, sandy beach was being used by people with free-running dogs and thus was nearly devoid of birdlife. By contrast, a good diversity of diving birds was present offshore (e.g. Red-throated and Pacific Loon, Common Murre and Surf Scoter  0916-0940 hrs.). 3) Pt. Mugu State Park, La Jolla Canyon (LJC). We parked in the day-use area and walked to the trailhead, surveying the surrounding chaparral hillsides, mature riparian (sycamore, willow) and ruderal roadways (0952-1035 hrs.). 4) Pt. Mugu State Park, Big Sycamore Canyon beach and adjacent campground (BSC). We stopped briefly to survey the busy picnic area at BSC beach; relatively little birdlife was apparent. Crossing PCH, we entered the BSC campground-day use area where a fair variety of inland birds was found, as the park rapidly filled with large numbers of people (e.g. Acorn Woodpecker, Black-hooded Parakeet, and Golden-crowned Sparrow  1041-1140 hrs.). 5) Continuing by car through the Oxnard Plain (OP), we made brief stops enroute on Potrero Road (Channel Islands State University and Round Mountain), then Laguna Road (at the concrete drainage crossing), where only a few new bird species were added to our day-list (Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Western Sandpiper, American Robin and Tyrannus sp  1150-1230 hrs.).Many waterbirds could be seen in the channels and estuary of the Pt. Mugu Naval Airbase, but we did not find a safe place to bird this area from the roadway   6) Surfside Drive and beach, Port Hueneme (PH). Merissa stayed with our vehicle in the parking area next to the main beach, north of the boardwalk, while I walked around mixed-species flocks of gulls at close range. Here I observed and photographed a very large flock of Mew Gull, showing three years of their plumage developmental sequence (1300-1330 hrs.). 7) Channel Islands Harbor and breakwater (CIH). We walked along Harbor Blvd. at the southern outlet of the harbor, surveying the rocky breakwater, narrow shoreline and adjacent sand dunes. Heavy boat traffic commbined with many fisherman on the breakwater, resulted in a relatively poor diversity of birds at this location. 8) McGrath State Beach (MSB). Merissa stayed with the vehicle at the park entrance (closed to vehicles for at least two years) on Harbor Blvd., while I walked through the vacant park.. Most of the low-lying picnic areas were under a foot or more of water; a good diversity of dabbling ducks was found in these flooded areas; many ducks were startled by my presence (e.g. Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and Cinnamon Teal). Further afield to the north (unapproachable from the park due to flooding) I could see hundreds of gulls and other waterbirds in the mouth of the Santa Clara River. This all but abandoned State Park, once one of the most significant coastal wetlands in the California State Park system had by far the largest diversity of land and waterbirds found during our survey today. Indeed, McGrath State Beach has become an excellent example of how once heavily used areas, left without human interference, may return to their pristine state relatively quickly (see photo below  1430-1455 hrs.). I used a 10x42 binocular,  35-55x spotting scope and DSLR camera for today's survey.

McGrath State Beach, viewing north across the mouth of the Santa Clara River, Ventura County, CA     March 4, 2012

                                                                                                                                        © 2012 Callyn Yorke



Gadwall  4 (m,f) s edge of SC River, MSB.

Mallard  3 (m,f) CIH;  6  MSB.

Cinnamon Teal  8 (m,f)  dabbling in flooded areas, MSB.

Northern Shoveler   60 (m,f) dabbling in flooded areas, MSB.

Northern Pintail  10 (m,f) dabbling in flooded areas, MSB.

Green-winged Teal (m,f)  120 (m,f)  flighty; dabbling, resting in flooded areas, MSB.

Surf Scoter   20 (m,f; ad, imm) individuals scattered nearshore and a tight flock (12) just outside surf zone, diving, MR.

Ruddy Duck   2 (m,f)   in flooded area at n end of park, MSB.

Red-throated Loon  6  offshore, diving, MR.

Pacific Loon   8  offshore, diving, preening, flying n, MR.

Horned Grebe  1  offshore, diving, MR.

Eared Grebe  1  offshore, diving, MR.  2 diving, CIH.

Western Grebe   30  offshore, preening, diving, MR.

Red-necked Grebe 1 ?  well offshore, diving; not seen clearly but size, profile and coloration seemed to match this sp. better than other grebes present, i.e. WEGR, EAGR and HOGR.

Double-crested Cormorant  3  resting on shoreline rocks, BSC.

Brandt's Cormorant  4  offshore, diving, MR.

Brown Pelican   30  flying low shore and offshore, MR; BSC.

Great Blue Heron  1  flying over park, MSB.

Great Egret  1  edge of breakwater, CIH.

Turkey Vulture 1 (ad) flying low over n side of park, MSB.

Cooper's Hawk 1 (imm) on utility wire, 126.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 fly, call, MSB.

Red-tailed Hawk  2  (imm, ad) fly, OP.

American Coot   15  in concrete drainage, OP;  30, flooded fields, MSB.

Killdeer  3  edge of flooded areas, MSB.

Black-necked Stilt 1  foraging in shallow flooded area, MSB.

Greater Yellowlegs  4  foraging in shallows, calls, fly, MSB.

Whimbrel  1  on beach with gulls, PH.

Western Sandpiper   8  foraging in concrete drainage, OP.

Heermann's Gull 1 (imm) flying over channel, CIH.

Mew Gull   60 ( C1, 2, adult) clustered together on beach (photo), PH.

Mew Gull (C1, C2, adult) Port Hueneme beach, Ventura County, CA   March 4, 2012


                                                                                                  © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Ring-billed Gull  20 (ad, imm) on beach in mixed species flock of gulls, PH.

California Gull   10 (ad, imm) on beach with other gulls, PH (photo).

California Gull (adult, alt. plmg) Port Hueneme beach VECO CA  4 March, 2012

                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Western Gull   15 (ad, C1, C2) offshore, onshore. MR;  8 with other gulls on beach, PH (photo).

Western Gull (C1-2) and adult Mew Gull, Port Hueneme beach, Ventura County, CA  4 March, 2012

                                                                                               © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Glaucous-winged Gull 1 (C1) in channel with WEGU, chasing incoming fishing boats for refuse, CIH.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1 flew over roadway, 126.

Rock Pigeon  200 +   ubiquitous, in and outside of towns.

Common Murre  1  offshore, diving, MR.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 call, fly, flowering bottlebrush, MSB.

Allen's Hummingbird  2  fly, calls, hovering around eucalyptus, BSC.

Acorn Woodpecker  1 calls in large sycamore, BSC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, near trailhead, BSC.

Black-hooded Parakeet (Nanday nenday)  2 (a locally established South American exotic)  a pair called while flying and landing in alarge sycamore, BSC.

Black Phoebe  2  calls, fly, MSB.

Say's Phoebe 1  perched on low sign, MSB.

Kingbird sp. (possibly T. vociferans)  briefly seen from car; flushed from low perch at edge of farmland, OP.

Western Scrub-jay  1 fly, call, BSC.

American Crow  10, BSC; 20, OP;  30 126.

Common Raven  2  circling together, east end of 126.

Oak Titmouse  2  song, call, sycamores, BSC.

Bushtit  10  calls, active in tall shrubs, MSB.

American Robin 1  calls, eucalyptus grove near concrete drainage channel, OP.

Wrentit  4  song,  chaparral hillsides and adjacent riparian, BSC.

Northern Mockingbird  1  song, park entrance, BSC.

California Thrasher  2  active, vocal in chaparral and riparian edge, BSC.

European Starling  80  ubiquitous in town and in parks.

American Pipit  2  edge of flooded areas, MSB.

Orange-crowned Warbler  5  song, calls, willows, mixed riparian, BSC.

Yellow-rumped (A) Warbler   20  active at all levels, riparian, edge, BSC;  10  MSB.

Common Yellowthroat  1  song, dense riparian, BSC.

Spotted Towhee   3  song, riparian and edge of chaparral, BSC (photo).

Spotted Towhee, Big Sycamore Canyon, VECO, CA  4 March, 2012

                                                     © 2012 Callyn Yorke

California Towhee   8  foraging on ground, BSC.

Song Sparrow  4  calls, song, riparian, BSC.

White-crowned Sparrow   2 saltbush scrub, MR; 10  edge of riparian-chaparral, BSC.

Golden-crowned Sparrow 1 (imm) foraging on willow tree buds, then on ground, BSC (photo).

Golden-crowned Sparrow  Big Sycamore Canyon, Ventura County, CA  4  March, 2012

                                                                                       © 2012 Callyn Yorke

Red-winged Blackbird  4  flying over orchard at edge of town, 126

Brewer's Blackbird   4  flying over farmland, OP

House Finch   4  calls, song, BSC.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  calls, song, foraging at top of mature sycamore, BSC.

House Sparrow  6  foraging around trash cans, CIH.











JANUARY 9, 2011  Steckel Park, Santa Paula; Ventura Harbor and Boardwalk, Ventura County, CA (49 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy, 49F to 56F; winds ENE 2-5 mph. Seas moderate; surf 2-4 ft Low tide.

Time: 1041 - 1150 hrs. (Steckel Park); 1231 - 1500  hrs ( Ventura Harbor and adjacent shoreline: Surfer's Knoll; Buenaventura Breakwater; Marina Park; Ventura Boardwalk).

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: 1) Steckel County Park (SP): We walked around in the largely deserted campground-picnic area in the lower portion of Santa Paula Canyon, featuring a mature Coast Live Oak woodland and a swift stream (dense riparian with mature Willow and Sycamore - photo), bordered by hillsides covered by a mosaic of  coastal sage scrub, planted conifers & exotic shrubs, citrus orchards (west side), homesteads and pastureland. The park entrance is along The Ojai Road (HWY 150) about 2 miles south of Thomas Aquinas College (private with vigilant security patrols). The latter location offers a hiking trail but visitor parking is available only along Highway 150, which is about 1 mile downhill from the trailhead and posted with theft warning signs. We opted to return to Steckel Park for our bird survey this morning. Steckel County Park, resembling an abandoned refugee camp, also includes a dilapidated aviary (many signs advertising absent captives), prolific graffiti, broken glass, litter and a bulletin board warning of ticks and rattlesnakes. Except for the din of traffic on HWY 150, conditions within most of the park were good for identifying bird vocalizations.  2) We drove west on HWY 126, stopping first at McGrath State Beach (closed for no apparent reason), then onto Spinnaker Drive through Ventura Harbor, stopping briefly at Surfer's Knoll, the adjacent shoreline (many people with dogs setting shorebirds aflight), Buenaventura Harbor and breakwater (again many people with unleashed dogs on the beach), then back around the harbor to Marina Park (near the intersection of Coral and Pierpont). The latter location offers a very birdy (but posted Restricted Entry) breakwater (photo) facing both the quiet channel to the harbor and the thundering surf zone (VH). Next we drove through a huge, yet nearly empty parking lot of Buena Ventura State Beach (the southern entrance), finding nothing much of interest. Our last stop was the State Beach adjacent to the Ventura Boardwalk, where we surveyed nearshore waters and the shoreline (VB). A crazy homeless man and several fishermen were on the pier; the  fishermen evidently not catching much that could be bragged about (photo). This location produced three new birds for our day list: Common Loon, Red-throated Loon and Glaucous-winged Gull. Our surveys today were made using binoculars and a DSLR camera.

Steckel Park, viewing south through Santa Paula Canyon. January 9, 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Merissa Mendez on the breakwater at Marina Park, Ventura.  January 9, 2011


                                                                                            © 2011 Callyn Yorke        

                              Calico Rockfish (Sebastes dallii) caught by a fisherman on the Ventura Boardwalk, Jan 9, 2011


                                                                                                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke




Ruddy Duck   6  resting with WEGR and CLGR in sheltered cove, VH.

Red-throated Loon  1  staying on surface, north side of pier, VB (photo).

                                                                                                         © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Common Loon  1  well offshore, VB.

Red-necked Grebe  1  diving in channel, VH.

Western Grebe  12  a fairly cohesive flock resting (some diving) in sheltered cove, VH; 1 nearshore, VB..

Clark's Grebe  3  with flock of WEGR in sheltered cove; diving; 1 nearshore, VB.

Eared Grebe    3  diving in channel, VH.

Brown Pelican   300  most resting on breakwater near Marina Park, VH.

Double-crested Cormorant  30  resting on breakwater, swimming in harbor and channel, VH.

Great Egret  1 in grassy area behind sand dunes, VB.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (imm) flying over chaparral, SP.

American Kestrel  1  on utility line, HWY 126.

Killdeer   5  sandy-grassy area behind parking lot at Buenaventura State Park, VH.

Willet   12 on shore and resting on breakwater in small flock, VH (photo)

                                                                                                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Wandering Tattler  1  foraging on breakwater at water's edge on mussel-covered rocks, VH.

Marbled Godwit   1  foraging on beach, VH.

Sanderling  12  foraging on shore, VH.

Heermann's Gull   5 (ad, imm)   flying over shore; on beach, VH.

Ring-billed Gull    30 (ad, imm)   on shore, VH.

California Gull   30 resting in harbor; on beach, VH.

Western Gull   50  resting in harbor, on roof-tops, on shore and breakwater, VH.

Glaucous-winged Gull  1 (C1) on shore; flushed by unleashed dog, VB.

Tern sp. (possibly Royal) 1  flying offshore, VB.

Rock Pigeon  50  feeding in Marina Park, VH.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  feeding with ROPI in Marina Park.

Mourning Dove  2  flying over riparian area, SP.

Acorn Woodpecker   10  in Sycamores and oaks; calls, SP.

Northern Flicker  1  calls from riparian-oak woodland, SP.

Black Phoebe  1  open grassy area, SP; 1 open area near Marina Park, VH..

Say's Phoebe  2  edge of sand dunes, VH.

Western Scrub-jay   4  fly, call, SP.

American Crow   12  fly, landing in tall Sycamore, SP;  10  flying around, VH.

Oak Titmouse  2  calls in riparian-oak woodland, SP.

Bushtit   12  foraging in tall shrubs on chaparral slope, SP.

House Wren  1  scold calls at edge of chaparral, SP.

American Robin   12  in Sycamores with clumps of mistletoe, SP.

Wrentit  2  chaparral hillside, calls, SP.

Cedar Waxwing   20  large, vocal flock in tall Sycamore with mistletoe, SP.

European Starling   10  flying around, VH.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)   10  riparian and chaparral,  foraging on lawn, SP. 3  shrubs at edge of dunes, VH.

California Towhee  1  calls in chaparral, SP.

Song Sparrow   4  calls from edge of chaparral and riparian, SP.

White-crowned Sparrow  10  edge of riparian-oak woodland, SP.

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)  16  edge of riparian-oak woodland, SP.

Brewer's Blackbird  10  lawns and parking lots, VH.

Great-tailed Grackle  1 (m) on dock in Marina Park, calls, VH.

House Finch   6  in riparian-chaparral, SP.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  flying over riparian, SP.

House Sparrow 4  edge of parking lot near shopping area, VH.








MAY 21, 2010  (Pt. Mugu State Park: Sycamore Campground & Sycamore Cove:  29 Species)

Weather: Fair, 62F, winds WNW  2-10 mph; Seas Choppy; surf 3-5 ft. Tide low @ 1200 hrs.

Time:  1400 -1546 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We entered the Sycamore Campground area (SCPM) Pt. Mugu State Park off PCH, opposite Sycamore Cove State Beach, Ventura County, CA (northwest of the Los Angeles County line) and parked in the northern campsite area. We walked around the campsite, surveying mature Sycamore riparian and chaparral hillsides, using binoculars. Continuing on foot, we walked about 0.3 miles up the trail into the canyon, staying on the main roadway (closed to autos). This route includes a dry streambed grown to tall Sycamore, Willow, Elderberry, surrounded by hillside chaparral. We returned on the same roadway to the campground. A couple of cyclists sped by us quietly, otherwise we were alone on the trail. Conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations. After completing the survey, we drove directly across PCH and briefly surveyed the parking area of Sycamore Cove State Beach (SCSB). Vegetation attracting birds included mature Eucalytpus and exotic shrubs planted around the parking area. Except for gulls, waterbirds were absent from the wave-beaten shore.



1) Western Gull  3 (ad, imm) SCSB  on rocky point and beach

2) Glaucous-winged Gull 1 (imm) SCSB flying E near shore.

3) Rock Pigeon  2 SCSB   foraging on beach.

4) Red-tailed Hawk  3 (ad, imm) SCPM nesting in tall Sycamore; one adult circling and calling.

5) Nuttall's Woodpecker   2 (m,f) SCPM riparian and chaparral edge; calls.

6) White-throated Swift  2-3 SCPM  flying above cliffs near the entrance; calls.

7) Allen's Hummingbird  2 SCPM  riparian roadway; calls.

8) Costa's Hummingbird  1 SCPM   display flights and calls, chaparral-riparian edge.

9) Anna's Hummingbird  1  SCPM calls from riparian.

10) Ash-throated Flycatcher  1 SCPM calls from chaparral next to open field.

11) Western Wood Pewee  2 SCPM; riparian and edge of chaparral; calls.

12) Pacific Slope Flycatcher   1  SCPM  riparian-chaparral edge; calls.

13) Bushtit  4  SCPM riparan; calls.

14) Oak Titmouse  1 SCPM   in Sycamore; calls.

15) Western Scrub-jay  4 SCPM  riparian and chaparral;  2 SCSB in juniper shrubs; calls.

16) American Crow  4 (ad, imm.)   SCPM  riparian; fly and calls; fledglings begging in Sycamore.

17) Rough-winged Swallow  2  SCPM  flying low over drainage-riparian near entrance.

18) Wrentit   4  SCPM  singing continuously in chaparral.

19) House Wren  1 SCPM  singing in riparian near open field.

20) Bewick's Wren  2  SCPM  singing in riparian-chaparral edge.

21) Orange-crowned Warbler   3 SCPM   singing in riparian areas.

22) Common Yellowthroat   1  SCPM  singing in wetland-field.

23) California Towhee  2  SCPM  calls in riparian thickets.

24) Spotted Towhee  2  SCPM  calls and song in Elderberry, riparian edge.

25) Black-headed Grosbeak   5 (m,f)   SCPM  song and calls in Sycamore and Elderberry.

26) Song Sparrow  1 SCPM  calls and song in riparian area.

27) House Finch  4 (m,f)   SCPM  riparian and chaparral edge; calls and song; 4 SCSB in crown of Eucalyptus.

28) Bullock's Oriole  1 SCPM  tall sycamore; calls.

29) Hooded Oriole  3 (m,f) SCSB foraging crown of in tall, flowering Eucalyptus; calls.










Arroyo Verde County Park, Buenaventura, CA


January 14, 2010

Weather:  Fair. 63F  WNW winds 0-2 mph.

Time: 1040-1140 hrs.

Observers:  Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We walked slowly from the N parking area, along the W border of the park, surveying with binoculars,  parkland lawns, pines, oaks, Sycamores, palms, and hillsides of coastal sage chaparral. About 25 people in the park during our survey; several unleashed dogs running around. Conditions fair to poor for detecting bird vocalizations. Arroyo Verde Park, with tall trees and good cover around the edges, looks like it would be productive during migration.

                                      BIRDS NOTED

1) Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring over W hills.

2) Anna's Hummingbird  6 (m)  around shrubs and trees, W; calls.

3) Downy Woodpecker  1 (m) in oak canopy; calls.

4) Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging in oak subcanopy; calls (photo).

5) Acorn Woodpecker  2   in ornamental trees; callss (photo).

6) Western Scrub Jay   6   in chaparral and edge (photo).

7) Mountain Chickadee  1  foraging in canopy of pine; calls.

8) Oak Titmouse  1  oaks; calls.

9) Bushtit  10   foraging in fruiting ornamental shrub; calls.

10) Bewick's Wren  1   calls from W chaparral.

11) Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3  subcanopy of pines and oaks; calls.

12) Blue-gray Gnatchatcher   1   calls from E chaparral (unseen).

13) Hermit Thrush   2   shady understory, W.

14) American Robin   2 (ad, imm)   "             "   NW.

15) Wrentit   3  singing from E and W chaparral (unseen).

16) Northern Mockingbird  1   singing from adjacent suburbs, S.

17) Yellow-rumped Warbler  3   subcanopy of pines and oaks; calls.

18) California Towhee  3  calls from understory and chaparral, W.

19) Spotted Towhee  1   call/fly into ornamental tree.

20) Song Sparrow  1  calls from tall Elymus grass, W.

21) White-crowned Sparrow  2  calls from edge of chaparral, W.

22) Lesser Goldfinch  2   hillside, edge of chaparral, E.


                                                                                     Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorous) Arroyo Verde Park                                                    


                                                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn Yorke

    Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii)  Arroyo Verde Park                


                                                          © 2010 Callyn Yorke





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