February 21, 2011 Elizabeth Lake

February 12, 2011  Elizabeth Lake

February 9, 2011  Elizabeth Lake

January 26, 2011  Elizabeth Lake and West Lake Hughes

December 8, 2010   Elizabeth Lake and USFS Upper Shake Campground

November 3, 2010

October 24, 2010

September 16, 2010

August 5, 2010

April  21, 2010

December 15, 2009

September 19, 2009

June 17, 2009   Quartz Hill to USFS Upper Shake Campground


Elizabeth Lake, Northern Los Angeles County, CA

Elizabeth Lake, viewing SW from northeastern shore, December 15, 2009.                                               © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


Area map showing location of survey site: Elizabeth Lake. © Compass Maps
Area map showing location of survey site: Elizabeth Lake. © Compass Maps

                                                                                                   © 2011 Callyn Yorke


                                 Red-shouldered Buteo lineatus) EL Feb 12, 2011             Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) EL  Feb 12, 2011                                      



      Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia heermanni ), Elizabeth Lake, December 15, 2009.                 ©  2009  Callyn D. Yorke                            




FEBRUARY 21, 2011  Elizabeth Lake (56 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 34F to 44F; winds W 2-5 mph; patches of snow on ground.

Time: 0800 - 1130 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Areas Covered: 1) Sand Rock Drive, south Elizabeth Lake (SEL): We walked the fence line from the intersection of Ranch Club Rd. and back, surveying chaparral slopes, suburban gardens, riparian, ruderal fields, muddy shoreline, fresh water marsh, and open water. About 20 fishermen were scattered around the south shore; two were cruising the lake in small motorboats. Several people were walking dogs (only one was picking up their dog droppings along the fence line). Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. We also walked along the south shore for about 50 yards in an attempt to begin documentation of morphological variation of Song Sparrows at Elizabeth Lake (0800-1040 hrs.).  2) We drove on Elizabeth Lake Rd. to the northwestern USFS parking area and walked south through a riparian woodland bordering a ruderal field (w) and chaparral slope (s) (WEL). This area includes a small farm pond in the northwest corner. Several fishermen were on the northwest shore. Conditions here were also good for identifying bird vocalizations. Species added to our day-list were: Turkey Vulture, White-throated Swift, Wrentit, Bewick's Wren, California Thrasher, Western Bluebird, Spotted Towhee and Lesser Goldfinch (1055-1130 hrs.).  Returning to Green Valley, we stopped briefly along the roadway adjacent to the Elizabeth Lake Golf Course (closed indefinitely) where we added American Wigeon to our day-list. Birds found today of seasonal/distributional interest included: Bald Eagle (1 adult - continuing) Red-breasted Sapsucker (1) and large flock of White-throated Swift. No sign of the continuing Tundra Swan was found today during our survey..


American Wigeon   80 + (m,f) in exiting a small pond on the EL golf course.

Mallard  18  (m,f) south and west shore, SEL; WEL.

Canvasback  30 (m,f) most resting along se edge of lake, SEL.

Bufflehead  1 (m) diving SEL; 4 (m,f) on small pond; one diving, WEL.

Common Merganser  4 (m,f) flying low over lake, SEL.

Ruddy Duck  70 (m,f)   most resting around edges of the lake; taking flight when approached by a small motorboat,SEL.

Ring-necked Pheasant 2 ? (called several times) unseen in dense riparian cover near fence line, SEL.

California Quail 30 (m,f) flushed from riparian-marsh, SEL.

Double-crested Cormorant  32 (ad, imm) most perched on snags, se; many in flight and a few swimming in open water, SEL.

Great Blue Heron  2  flying, landing in marsh, SEL.

Turkey Vulture  2  soaring over Elizabeth Lake Rd. on north side of lake.

Bald Eagle  1 (ad - continuing) soaring high above the lake, SEL.

Red-shouldered Hawk  3    calls; flying over tree-tops; one on nest in Cottonwood, SEL.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring high over western lake, WEL.

American Kestrel  1 (ad f) in large Cottonwood, SEL.

American Coot   30 around s edge of lake, SEL, WEL; 80 around ponds on EL golf course.

Killdeer  1 shore, SEL;  4 on EL golf course.

Ring-billed Gull   8  (ad) flying over lake, SEL, WEL;

California Gull  1  open water, SEL.

Rock Pigeon 4  flying over suburbs, SEL.

Eurasian Collared Dove  6  calls from utility poles and trees, suburbs, SEL.

Mourning Dove  1  suburban garden, SEL.

White-throated Swift    30  flying low and high over hillside, riparian and lake, Elizabeth Lake Rd., north side.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m) displays, calls from top of Elderberry shrub, SEL.

Sapsucker Sphyrapicus sp. c.f. nuchalis  1 (m)  note black around eye; seen briefly in riparian patch; flying low across road to ornamental conifer, SEL (photo).

                                                      © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  fly, call; foraging low on Cottonwood, SEL.

Downy Woodpecker  2  (m)  fly, call; foraging at mid-level on Cottonwood branches, SEL (photo).

                                                                                                              © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Northern (red-shafted) Flicker  1  riparian; flew into suburbs, SEL.

Black Phoebe  1  suburban garden and riparian; calls, SEL; 1 edge of riparian, WEL.

Western Scrub-jay  3  riparian, SEL;  2  riparian, WEL.

American Crow  12  suburbs and riparian; calls, SEL.

Common Raven  4  soaring and flying; calls, SEL.

Tree Swallow  120  loose flock flying low, back and forth over lake, SEL, WEL.

Oak titmouse   3  riparian, calls, SEL; 2 calls, riparian, WEL.

Bushtit  2  calls, riparian, SEL.

Bewick's Wren  1  scolding as a response to my Screech Owl imitation and PSHING, WEL.

House Wren  2  calls, riparian, suburban garden, SEL.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1 calls, riparian, SEL;  2  calls, active in Cottonwoods, WEL.

Western Bluebird  2 (m,f) dense riparian, edge, WEL.

American Robin  1  foraging in leaf litter beneath Cottonwoods, SEL (photo).

                                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Wrentit  2  song,  south and north-facing chaparral hillsides, WEL.

Northern Mockingbird  2  song, suburbs, SEL.

California Thrasher  1  calls, shrubs along Elizabeth Lake Rd., north side of lake.

European Starling  2  suburbs, SEL.

American Pipit  1 on shore; fly, calls,  on peninsula separating east and west EL.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (A)    20 (m,f)   foraging, calls, in riparian, marsh, shoreline and Mulefat scrub, SEL.

Spotted Towhee  1  song, dense riparian edge, WEL.

Song Sparrow   18  marsh and riparian; calls and song, SEL. (photos; five different individuals (A-D). Note variation in color tone and streaking).


A)  SEL  21 February, 2011                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke                                            B)  SEL  21 February, 2011                         © 2011 Callyn Yorke


C)  SEL  21 February, 2011                                                                                                                                                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke



D)  SEL  21 February, 2011                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke                          E)  SEL   21 February, 2011                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Lincoln's Sparrow  1  active at edge of marsh; calls, SEL.

White-crowned Sparrow   18 (ad, imm)   riparian, suburban gardens, edge of fields; calls, partial song, SEL (photo); WEL.

                                                     © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Red-winged Blackbird   10 (m,f) calls and song, edge of riparian-marsh, SEL.

Great-tailed Grackle   3 (m,f) flying, calls, riparian, suburban gardens, SEL.

House Finch  8 (m,f) riparian edge and suburban gardens, SEL.

Pine Siskin   6  foraging in tops of Cottonwoods, calls, SEL.

Lesser Goldfinch   3  calls and song, WEL.

House Sparrow  20  roof-tops and gardens, SEL.











FEBRUARY 12, 2011  Elizabeth Lake (40 Species)

Weather: Fair, 54F to 65F; winds ENE 1-2 mph.

Time: 1007 - 1210 hrs.

Area CoveredSE Elizabeth Lake only: I walked the fence line along the entire length of Sandrock Drive to the intersection of Ranch Club Rd, beginning and ending at the western end, across from Monacan St.. I surveyed riparian, marsh, shoreline, adjacent suburban gardens and ruderal vacant lots. Except for light auto traffic and a few people walking dogs, the area was largely quiet; conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Continuing in this area were Tundra Swan and Bald Eagle; no sign of the Eastern Phoebe, reported here last Sunday by Tom Miko, was found by either myself or Kimball Garrett, whom had also been searching the area (independently) this morning.


Tundra Swan  1 - continuing:   Preening in same location near the shore in the se corner of the lake.

American Wigeon  150 (m,f) around pond on EL golf course.

Canvasback  25 (m,f) mostly resting near shore, se.

Bufflehead  2 (m,f) open water, dive, fly.

Common Merganser  35 (m,f) diving together; 2-3 rafts, se.

Ruddy Duck  60 (m,f) mostly resting near shore, se, ne.

California Quail   6  walking through drainage in suburban garden.

Double-crested Cormorant   30 (ad, imm)  fly, diving; on snags, se.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring over suburbs; followed from above by calling RESH.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2 (ad)  fly, calls; perched in leafless Cottonwood (photo).

                                  © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Bald Eagle  1 (ad) continuing -- first seen flying east over trees; later soaring much higher with small (3-5") fish in talons (photo); eating part of it in flight when followed by ravens and California Gulls.

                                                              © 2011 Callyn Yorke

American Coot   50  along edges of lake.

Killdeer  1   on shoreline; calls.

California Gull   10 (ad)   flying with BAEA; resting on lake.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  calls, adjacent suburbs.

Mourning Dove  1  on utility pole, suburb.

Anna's Hummingbird  2 (m) on tall shrubs; calls.

Downy Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging on small diameter Cottonwood branches.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 calls; foraging on Cottonwood trunk.

Northern Flicker  2  call, fly, riparian.

Black Phoebe  2  one in suburban garden; one along shoreline in marsh.

Western Scrub-jay  1 flew into tall Cottonwood; calls.

American Crow  8  suburban gardens and riparian; calls.

Common Raven   4  circling (inn pairs) around BAEA; calls.

Western Bluebird  1  on utility line over vacant lot; calls.

Oak Titmouse  2  foraging in tall Cottonwoods; calls.

House Wren  2  foraging on ground and in low shrubs; calls (photo).

                                                                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke

European Starling  2  calls, song, adjacent suburbs.

American Pipit  1  foraging on shoreline with patches of foamy brine.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (A)  15 (m,f)  foraging, calls, riparian.

White-crowned Sparrow   12 (ad, imm) riparian and edge; calls.

Song Sparrow  8    3 subspecies: 1) a large individual with an overall pale coloration: M.m. fallax (saltonis) ? (2) a much darker, reddish- winged  with blurry flank streaks: M.m. morphna? 3) M.m heermanni or M.m. cooperi, resident and common forms. All were foraging on the muddy shore within and adjacent to Umbrella Sedge; song and calls heard but unassigned to a particular form (see February 21, 2011 photos).

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  flushed in dense marsh near shore.

Dark-eyed Junco  2  brushy area at edge of riparian.

California Towhee  1  on fence, calls.

Red-winged Blackbird  10 (m,f) calls and song in tall shrubs.

House Finch   10 (m,f) song, calls, riparian.

Pine Siskin  16  foraging in budding Willow and Cottonwood; calls.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  calls, riparian.

House Sparrow  2  suburban garden.





FEBRUARY 9, 2011  Elizabeth Lake (44 Species)

Weather: Fair, 31F to 45F; Winds ENE 5 - 15 mph.

Time: 0720-1015 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) SE Elizabeth Lake at Sandrock Drive and Ranch Club Rd. (SRRC). I walked from the roadside opening in the fence through a field of tall grasses and shrubs lined by tall Cottonwoods. Continuing toward the lake, I traversed a dense marsh for about 50 yards, where my forward progress was stopped due to the shoulder-high tules partly obscuring my view of a continuing Tundra Swan (see Jan. 26 notes) in the southeast corner of the lake ( 0720- 0820 hrs. see notes).  2) I drove west on Sandrock Lane to the intersection with Monacan (SRM), parked along the roadway and walked north onto a riparian peninsula incompletely separating the eastern and western sections of Elizabeth Lake. I also walked along Sandrock lane between Lesina and Monacan, surveying birds in a riparian strip along the fenceline. There I talked briefly with a local resident, Tim R., who mentioned that EL was occasionally stocked with fish (trout) and that other species of fish (centrarchids) had also been introduced into the lake several times by local fishermen. Tim mentioned that a wintering Bald Eagle (see photos) had been recently seen feeding on fish from the lake. Of additional interest here was the report by Tom Miko of an Eastern Phoebe (a new record for EL) in this vicinity on Sunday, February 6, 2011; I spent about 20 minutes trying to find this bird  (0822- 0945 hrs. see notes below). 3) My last survey area was west Elizabeth Lake (WEL) in a riparian woodland bordering a large field of Rabbitbrush to the west and hillside chaparral to the south. This area has a secluded pond in the northwest corner (0952-1015 hrs.). Except for a few fishermen and people walking dogs along Sandrock Lane, the survey areas were quiet and largely undisturbed by human activity. I used a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera.


Tundra Swan  1 - continuing:   Swimming and foraging with several Canvasback in the southeast corner of the lake, SRR (photo)

                                                                                                                                 © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Mallard   5 (m,f)   shoreline and near shore, SRR; 8 (m,f)   in pond and near shore, WEL.

Canvasback   12  (m,f) foraging near TUSW, SRRC.

Bufflehead   2 (m,f)   open water, diving, SRM.

Ring-necked Duck  2 (m,f)  in secluded pond, wary, WEL.

Common Merganser  22 (m,f) open water, flyingn, SRRC, SRM.

Ruddy Duck  35  tight flock resting on lake, SRRC.

California Quail   5  calls from dense riparian, SRRC.

Double-crested Cormorant   35 (ad, imm)   swimming, flying, resting on snags, SRRC.

Great Blue Heron  2   flushed on n shore, SRM.

Great Egret  1  perched in low tree, SRRC.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 soaring over adjacent suburbs, SRM.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flushed from thick riparian woods, SRM.

Bald Eagle  1 (ad) continuing:  flying over lake; harassed by a pair of CORA in a tall Cottonwood (photos).


© 2011 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

American Coot   45  on and near shore throughout.

Killdeer  2  on n shore, SRRC.

California Gull  4 (ad) flying over lake; soaring with BAEA, SRRC.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4   calls; on utility lines and poles, SRRC, SRM.

Anna's Hummingbird   1  riparian, calls, SRRC; 1 (m) riparian, SRM.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging in Cottonwood, SRM;  2  (m,f) foraging in riparian woods, WEL.

Downy Woodpecker  1 (m) drumming on utility pole, WEL.

Hairy Woodpecker 2 (m,f)     a pair foraging within 30 ft., f staying low, m higher in dead Cottonwood; several contact calls (photo, f).

                                                                          © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Northern Flicker  2  riparian, calls, WEL.

Black Phoebe  1  north side of isthmus, shoreline-riparian, SRM.

Sayornis sp. ?.  1   unseen: vocalized 2-3 times from roadside edge of dense riparian woods SRM; a distinctive, high-pitched, emphatic, two-part, fast, phoebe-like call; definitely unlike BLPH or SAPH. In vicinity where reported by Tom Miko last Sunday, February 6, 2011. Several walk-by surveys of the area failed to reveal the source of the unusual vocalizations. Song was similar to certain REBL calls when concealed; also similar to Pine Siskin vocalizations at a distance; the latter two species were vocalizing in this area today..

Western Scrub-jay  4  riparian, calls, SRCL;  4  WEL.

American Crow  10  suburbs and gathering nest material in riparian woods, SRM.

Common Raven  2   pair harrassing a BAEA in tall Cottonwood (see above photo).

Tree Swallow  6  flying back and forth, low over the lake.

Oak Titmouse  1  calls, riparian, SRRC; 2 calls, riparian, WEL.

Bewick's Wren  2  low at edge of riparian; scold calls, SRRC.

California Thrasher  1  singing in hillside chaparral, WEL.

American Pipit  1  flying, calls, shoreline, SRM.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  riparian, calls, SRCL;  2 SRM.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  1  riparian, SRRC;  4  riparian, SRM.

White-crowned Sparrow  2  calls, riparian-open field, WEL.

Song Sparrow  2  flying low, calls, SRRC; 2  shoreline-marsh, SRM;  2  riparian, WEL.

Dark-eyed Junco  2  riparian edge, SRM.

Brewer's Blackbird  6 (m,f) riparian, SRM.

Red-winged Blackbird  20  marsh and riparian; song, SRRC;  3  riparian, WEL; song.

Great-tailed Grackle  1  calls, marsh-riparian, SRRC.

House Finch   6 (m,f)  riparian, SRRC (photos)


© 2011 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                                                                                                       © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Purple Finch  2  call, song,  riparian, SRRC.

Pine Siskin  6  canopy of Cottonwood, calls and song, SRM.




JANUARY 26, 2011  Elizabeth Lake and West Lake Hughes (63 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy; 43F to 52F; winds ENE 2 -5mph.

Time: 0825 - 1156 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) East Elizabeth Lake, golf course at Ranch Club Road (RCR: 0825-0900 hrs. ). I walked along the edge of roadways and the west end of the Elizabeth Lake Golf Course, surveying riparian, mature Cottonwoods (100 yr. old +), ponds, fairways, dist'urbed chaparral and suburban gardens. The area was quiet except for moderate automobile traffic to and from the EL suburbs.  2) East Elizabeth Lake (EEL: 0906-1005 hrs. ) from the intersection of Elizabeth Lake Rd. and Munz Ranch Rd. Large openings in the chain-link fence along Elizabeth Lake Rd. mark a trailhead for the north and eastern shoreline, where I walked, surveying riparian, open water, mud-rock shoreline, backwater ponds (concealed at the east end of the lake) and freshwater marsh. The relatively isolated and protected cove in the southeast portion of EEL produced several species of duck and a Tundra Swan, which I observed and photographed for several minutes (photo).  3) West Elizabeth Lake (WEL: 1010-1130 hrs.). I walked along the western shore of WEL and up to a parallel trail on the southern hills leading to an abandoned, vandalized resort on the overlooking the lake. This route included mature riparian, freshwater marsh, open water,  muddy shoreline, chaparral, ornamental trees and shrubs, one backwater pond ( nwc) and much disturbed vegetation. A Bald Eagle was briefly seen soaring over the southern hillsides in this area.  4) West Lake Hughes at Bay Trail Rd (WLH: 1135-1156 hrs ). I walked from a roadside shoulder, down to the lakeshore, surveying birds in riparian, freshwater marsh, open water and pine-oak woodland. Birds added to my day-list here were: Redhead, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Hairy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch and Yellow-rumped Warbler. All surveys today were made using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera.  Except for noise from passing autos on Elizabeth Lake Rd., conditions were generally good for identifying bird vocalizations.


Tundra Swan  1  swimming, foraging near the edge of the southeast cove; moving to open water as I approached within 200 yards. The bird returned after a few minutes, to just beyond the resolution limit of my hand-held Nikon and 80-400 mm lens (about 100 yards) from where I stood on the shore (photo), sometimes preening, sometimes resting; watching ducks around it.  Judging by facial features in the photographs, this  individual appears to differ from the pair I photographed at 60th Street West and Avenue B (Nebeker Ranch), January 5, 2011.

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) southeast Elizabeth Lake,  January 26, 2011

                                                                                                                                                             © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Gadwall  2 (m,f) backwater pond, EEL.

American Wigeon  120  in golf course pond; foraging on adjacent lawn, RCR.

Mallard  6 (m,f) EEL; 5 WEL; 20 WLH.

Northern Shoveler  4  backwater pond, EEL;  6  northwest edge of lake, WLH.

Northern Pintail   1 (m)  backwater pond, WEL.

Canvasback   14 (m,f) resting,   EEL; 56 (m,f)  most were sleeping, WLH.

Redhead  30  (m,f) sleeping, WLH.

Ring-necked Duck  2 (m) in backwater pond, WEL.

Lesser Scaup  10 (m,f) southeast EEL.

Bufflehead  25 backwater pond and open water, EEL; 16 WLH.

Common Merganser  32 (m,f)  swimming, chasing, displays, open water, EEL; 12 (m,f) WLH.

Ruddy Duck  65 (one male in alt. plmg.)   EEL and WEL;  16  WLH.

Ring-necked Pheasant  1 (m) foraging in riparian leaf litter and tall grass on south hills; wary but approachable to within about 20 ft. (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                   © 2011 Callyn Yorke                                              


Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, WLH.

Double-crested Cormorant  55  swimming, flying low over lake; resting on snags, EEL, WEL; 2 WLH.

Great Blue Heron  1 (ad) next to pond on golf course, RCR.

Great Egret  1  (ad) near pond, RCR.

Black-crowned Night Heron  2 (ad, imm) flushed from tree at south shore, WLH.

Cooper's Hawk   1 (imm) on chain-link fence, EEL; 1 (imm) in almond orchard, south hills, WEL.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2   riparian strip, sw corner, calls, WEL.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  fly, call   EEL.

Bald Eagle  1 (adult or nearly so) soaring briefly over south hills; landed on utility pole, showing large, pure white tail and whitish head. Disappeared a few minutes later as I was preparing for a long-distance photograph (i.e. > 200 yards).

American Kestrel  1  hillside next to Munz Ranch Rd., calling,  EEL.

American Coot  150  on golf course, RCR;  100 + EEL and WEL;  50 WLH.

Killdeer    8   on golf course, RCR

Ring-billed Gull  1(ad)   flying over lake, EEL.

California Gull  6  (ad) flying over lake; resting in open water, EEL, WEL.

Herring Gull  1 (ad) resting in open water, EEL.

Rock Pigeon  6  on golf course, RCR.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  edge of golf course, RCR;  2  calling in adjacent yard, WLH.

Mourning Dove  1 on utility line, RCR.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m,) edge of marsh, EEL;  1  on Elderberry, south hillside, WEL; 1 (f) collecting cattail fuzz, WLH.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, riparian, RCR;  2 calls, riparian WEL.

Hairy Woodpecker  1 (m) foraging on Cottonwood stump and on branches overhanging marsh, calls, WLH.

Northern Flicker (red-shafted) in large deciduous tree at edge of golf course, RCR.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of marsh, EEL;  1  hillside chaparral, calls, WEL.

Western Scrub-jay  4  fly, call, edge of riparian-golf course-suburbs, RCR;  6  fly, call, riparian, WEL.

American Crow   6  fly, call, drinking from roadside puddle, RCR;  2 fly, call, WEL.

Common Raven  3  soaring over south hills, WEL.

Oak Titmouse  1 calls from Cottonwoods, RCR;  2  calling in riparian, WEL.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1 called twice from mixed pine woodland, WLH.

Marsh Wren  1  flew quickly into low marsh, edge of lake, EEL.

Bewick's Wren  1 calls from edge of chaparral-riparian, south hillside, WEL.

California Thrasher  1  singing briefly, chaparral, WEL.

Western Bluebird   2  riparian edge, calls, EEL; 4  tall deciduous trees near roadway, calls, WLH.

European Starling   35  on golf course and surrounding utility lines; calls and song, RCR.

American Pipit  1  on southwest shore, WEL.

Phainopepla  1 calling from tall trees near abandoned resort, south hillside, WEL.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  2 (Audubon's)   foraging in deciduous trees; calls, WLH.

Common Yellowthroat  2  marsh, sec of EEL, calls.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls from dense riparian, WEL.

Savannah Sparrow   2  calls from edge of marsh-riparian, EEL;  3  edge of marsh-riparian-chaparral, WEL.

Song Sparrow  5  flushed from dense marsh-riparian; calls, EEL;  4  edge of marsh-riparian, WEL.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  flushed from edge of riparian-chaparral, WEL.

White-crowned Sparrow  4  calls, hillside scrub and edge of riparian, EEL.

Dark-eyed Junco  8  edge of golf course, RCR.

Red-winged Blackbird   6  singing, calls, utility lines and shrubs at edge of golf course, RCR;   8 (m) singing in marsh, WLH.

Tricolored Blackbird  1 (m) flying se over hillside, calls, WEL.

Brewer's Blackbird  50 (m,f) foraging on golf course; on utility lines, RCR.

Great-tailed Grackle  2  calls from golf course, RCR;   4, calls from edge of marsh, EEL;  2,  calls from edge of lake, WLH.

House Finch  4  fly, call, riparian, RCR.

House Sparrow  5  around suburbs, RCR.











DECEMBER 8, 2010  Elizabeth Lake and USFS Upper Shake Campground (50 Species)

Weather: Fair, 30F to 60 F; winds WNW 0-1 mph.

Time: 0807- 1045 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) (0719 - 0754 hrs.) East Elizabeth Lake (EEL): I walked from the intersection of Munz Ranch Rd. to the north shore of EEL, following the shoreline to the eastern margin of the lake. Habitats surveyed included, riparian, ruderal-chaparral, shoreline and open water. Most of the waterbirds were found at the eastern edge of the lake. Shoreline vegetation was covered with a thick frost; water vapor formed a thin haze over the glassy surface of the lake. No other people were in the survey area.  2) (0807-0900 hrs)West Elizabeth Lake (WEL). I walked from the USFS parking area along the northwestern shore and into the adjacent riparian-chaparral area to the west. I used a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera for EEL and WEL surveys.  3) I drove west on Elizabeth Lake Rd.and turned south onto USFS 7N23, continuing uphill for about 3 miles on a graded dirt road with icy spots and a few minor rock slides, passable with high clearance 2WD. At the gated entrance to Upper Shake Campground road (7N23B: Elev. 4,600 ft.), I parked and walked about 0.5 miles down to Upper Shake Campground ( USC -- which has been closed to vehicles for several years but remains open to hikers: Elev. 4,320 ft.). This route passes through upland (hard) chaparral hillsides, grown to Manzanita, Ceanothus spp., Yucca whipplei and many other plant species. At the lower elevations, a dry creek channel opens into a meadow with mature Alder, Arroyo Willow, Big Cone Spruce, Canyon Live Oak and Coulter Pine. The old campground, now abandoned, sits in the middle of a mixed conifer-riparian woodland, and had most of the birdlife found in the area, including several lower montane species, e.g. Stellar's Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch and Red-breasted Sapsucker. No other people were in the area during my survey (0921-1045 hrs.).


Mallard   20 EEL; 12 WEL (m,f), edges of the lake and in an adjacent pond, wary.

Northern Shoveler   60 (m,f)   EEL, edges, wary -- swimming out to the middle of the lake as I approached.

Northern Pintail  1 (m)  in a small pond on the west end of WEL.

Green-winged Teal  2 (m,f)  in weedy border of EEL.

Canvasback  200 (m,f) resting at east end of lake, swimming out as I approached, EEL.

Bufflehead  1 (f) in small pond at w end of WEL.

Common Merganser   12 (m,f) in two flocks, west side of EEL.

Ruddy Duck   150  (m,f)  resting and swimming, EEL and WEL.

American White Pelican  1  resting on shore, then swimming out into middle of lake, EEL.

Double-crested Cormorant   2  swimming near south shore, EEL.

Great Blue Heron    3  on shore, flying short distances along shore; calls, EEL, WEL.

Great Egret  1  on shore, WEL.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (ad) flying west, WEL.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad ) on utility pole; chased away by SCAL Edison workers, WEL.

Red-shouldered Hawk   1 EEL,  1 WEL  calls (unseen).

American Coot    200  shore and open water, WEL, EEL.

Killdeer   5  on ne shoreline, EEL.

Wilson's Snipe   2  flushed from frosty weeds on ne shoreline, EEL.

California Gull   14 (ad) resting in middle of lake, EEL.

Acorn Woodpecker   8  flying, landing in tall conifers, calls, USC.

Red-breasted Sapsucker  1  in large oak, USC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, EEL;  1 calls, WEL, 1 calls, USC.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, WEL;  1 calls, USC.

Black Phoebe  1  calls, WEL.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  perched atop tall, leafless tree, calls, WEL.

Stellar's Jay  5  flying, calling, landing in conifers, USC.

Western Scrub-jay   6  chaparral and riparian edge, WEL,  6 chaparral, USC.

American Crow  2  nw shore, WEL.

Common Raven   6  in trees and utility poles, EEL, WEL.

Mountain Chickadee  1  calls, USC.

Oak Titmouse   1 calls, WEL;  4   chaparral, riparian-oak woodland, calls, USC.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  calls, oak-conifer woodland, USC.

Marsh Wren  2  calls from lakeside marsh, WEL.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet    4  chaparral and riparian woodland, USC.

Wrentit   1  song, chaparral edge, WEL;  2  song, chaparral hillsides, USC.

California Thrasher   1  song, chaparral  south hillside, USC

European Starling  5  on utility line, song, calls, EEL.

American Pipit  1  fly, call, EEL.

Common Yellowthroat  1  calls, marsh-riparian EEL;  1  WEL.

Spotted Towhee  2  calls, dense chaparral ravine, USC.

Song Sparrow  2  active in marsh-edge, EEL;  2  in dry marsh, WEL, calls.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  in marsh, WEL.

White-crowned Sparrow  2 (ad, imm)   calls, EEL;  4 in Rabbitbrush field, calls, WEL;  3  chaparral ravine, USC.

Dark-eyed Junco   20  chaparral, mixed woodlands, USC.

Red-winged Blackbird   6  song (partial), calls, east shore riparian, EEL.

Brewer's Blackbird   2  landed on e shore, EEL.

Great-tailed Grackle   2  calls, EEL.

Purple Finch  2  fly, call, woodland, USC.

Pine Siskin   5  flying nw, calls, USC.

Lesser Goldfinch   6   fly, call, perched in tall shrubs, chaparral ravine, USC.









NOVEMBER 3, 2010 (48 Species)

Weather: Fair; 50F to 62F; wind 0-2 mph; lake surface glassy.

Time: 0720 - 0915 hrs.

Area Covered:  1) USFS parking lot next to north-central shore (ELC). I walked down to the shore (sand, mud, foam and debris) to view waterbirds on the lake, using a 10x42 binocular. Birds were scattered over most of the lake; dense swarms of insects hovered above the surface.  2) Continuing to the west lake parking area (ELW), I spent about 45 minutes walking around the west shore and into the adjacent marsh-riparian-chapparal edge habitat. Many bird species were vocalizing and readily identified. This area was the most species-rich area of EL surveyed this morning. 3) Returning on Elizabeth Lake Rd, eastward, I made two brief stops at roadside to view the lake. No new species were added to the list.  4) The last area surveyed this morning was along Ranch Club Rd. (RCR) adjacent to a riparian area grown to mature Cottonwood and Willow on the west side; a golf course and suburban area on the east side. Three new species were added ( Eurasian Collared Dove, Say's Phoebe and House Sparrow) were added to the day-list for Elizabeth Lake.


Mallard  40 (m,f) around the edges of the lake, ELC, ELW.

Bufflehead  13 (m,f)  middle and edges of the lake, ELC, ELW.

Ruddy Duck  34 (m,f) middle and edges of the lake; most resting, ELC, ELW.

California Quail   10  flushed from brushy area, ELC.

Eared Grebe  4  snatching flying insects above the water surface, ELW.

Western Grebe  3  swimming in central and edge of lake, ELC, ELW.

Double-crested Cormorant    3 swimming, flying, perched on short snag, ELC, ELW.

Great Blue Heron  3  shoreline, ELC, ELW.

Great Egret  2  shoreline with GBHE; ELC, ELW.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flying through Cottonwoods, ELW.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (imm) flushed from Cottonwoods, ELW; calls.

American Kestrel  2 (m,f)   one (f) flying low over open field; eating something while perched in Rabbitbrush, ELW;  flying low over hillside, ELC

American Coot  25  edge of lake, ELC, ELW; on golf course next to pond.

Killdeer   2  shoreline, ELC, ELW.

Ring-billed Gull   4  (ad) flying around lake, ELC, ELW.

California Gull   1  C3  on lake, ELC.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1  on utility line, RCR.

Nuttall's Woodpecker   3  calls, ELC, ELW.

Northern Flicker   1  calls, ELW.

Black Phoebe   2  shoreline, ELC; RCR; calls.

Say's Phoebe  on 3ft. high chain-link fence next to baseball field, RCR.

Loggerhead Shrike  1-2  perched in tall tree; calls; scolding response to my screech owl imitations and pshhing, ELW.

Western Scrub-jay    7  ELC, ELW, RCR; calls.

American Crow   3  flying over, ELW, RCR; calls.

Common Raven  1  on utility pole, ELC; calls.

Oak Titmouse  3  calling in riparian area; responding to my screech owl calls, ELW.

Bewick's Wren   2  calls and partial song, ELW.

House Wren   4  calls and full song in brushy areas, ELW.

Marsh Wren  1  calls from marsh, ELW.

Western Bluebird  6 (m,f)   in trees and on utility lines, ELW.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   7  active in riparian and edge, ELC, ELW, RCR; calls.

Califronia Thrasher  2  calls and partial song from chaparral hillsides, ELW, ELC.

European Starling   6  on utility line and pole; flying nw; calls, ELW.

Yellow-rumped Warbler    20   marsh, riparian, edge, most habitats; flycatching, gleaning, on ground; calls, ELC, ELW, RCR..

Common Yellowthroat  1  calls in marsh-riparian , ELW.

Spotted Towhee   3  in low willow-chaparral edge, ELW; calls.

California Towhee  1  calls from chapparral-ruderal area next to parking lot, ELW.

Song Sparrow   7  marsh and Horsebrush edge, ELW; calls. Roadside seepage grown to Bull Thistle, RCR; calls.

Savannah Sparrow  2   calls in dense Horsebrush, shoreline, ELW.

White-crowned Sparrow  20  ubiquitous in brushy areas, riparian, etc. ;calls and song; ELC, ELW, RCR.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  1  singing at edge of chaparral hillside (swc) of ELC.

Dark-eyed Junco   2   a pair foraging together in Willow, ELW; calls.

Red-winged Blackbird   30 flying, calls; riparian edge, ELC, ELW, RCR.

Brewer's Blackbird  40  shoreline, ELC;  flying over, calls, ELW;  utility lines, RCR.

Western Meadowlark  2  calls and song from open fields (n) ELC.

House Finch   20   in trees, ELC, ELW; fly, call, RCR.

Lesser Goldfinch  6  calls from Cottonwoods, ELW; RCR.

House Sparrow  5  gardens and edge of suburbs, RCR.






OCTOBER 24, 2010 (46 Species)

Weather: Partly cloudy. 54F; winds WSW 5-7 mph.

Time: 0843-1105 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered:  1) Elizabeth Lake Golf Course, west end and adjacent suburbs (ELG): We walked around the west edge of the golf course, surveying riparian, roadside scrub, ruderal fields, gardens with exotic trees and shrubs and one of the smaller ponds on the golf course surrounded by tules. This area produced about 26 species of bird ( 0843-0925 hrs.).   2) We drove a short distance to the intersection of Munz Ranch Road and Elizabeth Lake Road, where I scoped the east end of Elizabeth Lake (ELE  0930-0948 hrs). A few fishermen were on and around the lake; three in small boats.  3) Continuing by car to the USFS central Elizabeth Lake parking and picnic area, we walked from the parking lot, west along the north shoreline, surveying open water, riparian and chaparral edge (ELC   0955-1015 hrs ).  4) Our final stop was at the west end of EL, where we walked along the west shore and into the adjacent riparian woodland, surveying open water (dark green in color),foam-encrusted, muddy shoreline, riparian (Willow and Cottonwood), open fields and the dense chaparral covering the adjacent north slope (ELW  1020-1105 hrs). Conditions were fair to good for identifying bird vocalizations. A man with children was driving a motorboat around the lake flushing waterbirds, evidently in an attempt to provide entertainment for his kids. Consequently, most waterbirds were seen in shallow areas around the lake and/or in flight over the lake.


Gadwall   6  (m,f) dabbling at the edge of the lake, ELE, ELW.

Mallard   50 (m,f)  dabbling around the edge of the lake, ELE, ELC, ELW.

Cinnamon Teal  1 (m) small pond on golf course, ELG.

Green-winged Teal  2 (f)  dabbling at edge of lake, ELW.

Bufflehead  6  S edge of lake, ELE, ELW.

Ruddy Duck  200 (m,f)  edge of lake, S and W.

Great Blue Heron  1  SW shoreline, ELC.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  edge of lake, ELE, ELC.

Eared Grebe   10  diving at S edge of lake, ELE, ELC, ELW.

Western Grebe  3  resting, calls, ELW.

Double-crested Cormorant    8 diving, ELE, ELC, ELW.

California Quail    8  crossing street ELG; 10 flushed from dense riparian cover, ELW.

Eurasian Collared Dove  1 on utility line, ELG.

California Gull  3 (C3)   open water, S ELE.

Ring-billed Gull   3  (C2-C3)  flying over west lake, ELW.

American Coot   200   ELG, ELE, ELC, ELW.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) flying low along hillside, ELW.

Cooper's hawk  1 flushed from dense riparian, ELW.

American Kestrel  1 on utility pole, ELE.

Northern Flicker   2 calls, ELE and ELW.

Downy Woodpecker  1  calls, ELG.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2  calls, ELG and ELC.

Acorn Woodpecker  2  suburban area, utility poles, ELG.

Black Phoebe   2  riparian-marsh edge, perched on snag; calls, ELW.

Western Scrub-jay   6  ELG,  ELW.

American Crow   16  ELG, ELC, ELW.

Marsh Wren  2  marsh, ELW; calls.

Bewick's Wren  6  brushy areas throughout; calls, ELG, ELC, ELW.

American Robin  2  suburban area, ELG; calls.

European Starling  20  suburbs fields, ELG; calls.

Northern Mockingbird  1  suburban area, ELG.

California Thrasher  1  singing, riparian-chaparral, ELW.

Oak Titmouse  1  ELG;  2 ELW calls.

Wrentit   1  singing in dense chaparral, ELW.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  10  ubiquitous in riparian and edge; calls.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   20  ubiquitous in all habitats; calls.

Common Yellowthroat  1  brushy ditch, ELG;  2  marsh, ELW.

Song Sparrow   4  marsh and riparian edge, ELW; calls.

White-crowned Sparrow   20  ubiquitous in all brushy habitats; calls and song.

Savannah Sparrow  2  calls from brushy ditch, ELG.

House Finch   20 (m,f)   suburbs, ELG; calls. ELW.

Great-tailed Grackle  20 (m,f) on roof-top and in adjacent riparian, ELG.

Brewer's Blackbird   25 (m,f) suburbs and shoreline, ELG, ELC.

Red-winged Blackbird  20 (m,f)   suburbs and adjacent fields, ELG.

American Goldfinch  2  utility lines, suburbs, ELG; calls.

House Sparrow   20  suburbs, ELG.







SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 (41 Species)

Weather: Fair, 46F to 60F; wind WSW 0-2 mph.

Time: 0720-0920 hrs.

Area Covered:  1) Elizabeth Lake Golf Course (ELGC). I walked around the parkinglot of the closed cafe, surveying playing fields, mature Cottonwoods, fairways and adjacent riparian, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. A few workers, walkers (one with an unleashed pitbull) and commuters were present during the survey.  2) Elizabeth Lake USFS day-use east parking area (ELE). I walked along the riparian strip at the shoreline, surveying chaparral, ruderal and open water habitats. One fisherman was on the shore.  3) Elizabeth Lake USFS west parking area (ELW). I walked along the edge and into the shady understory of the Willow-Cottonwood riparian strip bordering the shoreline and open chaparral. The area was quiet and undisturbed by human activties during the survey.  4) I made two brief stops while returning westward on Elizabeth Lake Rd. overlooking the eastern portion of the lake (ELE). The eastern border of the lake has a shallow inshore with many snags. Here I used a scope to scan the distant eastern and southern shoreline and shallows. The best birding this morning was at the edge of ELGC and ELW.


Mallard  200 (est.) m,f.  dabbling and dipping along the southern and western shorelines.

Cinnamon Teal  20 (m,f)  dabbling with mallards around shoerlines.

Great Blue Heron   4  ELE and ELW shoreline.

California Quail   10  brushy borders, ELE, ELW; calls.

Pied-billed Grebe   4  southern shallows, ELE, ELW.

Western Grebe  1  open water near W shore, ELW.

Double-crested Cormorant  1  on a snag, ELE.

Red-shouldered Hawk  2  calling, ELE and ELE.

American Kestrel  1 on utility line, ELE.

American Coot   100 (est.) shallows around the lake, ELE, ELW.

Killdeer  6  shoreline, ELE, ELW; calls.

Greater Yellowlegs ?  calls in the distance from shoreline, ELW (unseen).

Eurasian Collared Dove  4  flying around ELGC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker   1 calls, ELE;  2 calls, ELW.

Northern Flicker  3   calls, ELW.

Black Phoebe  1 riparian edge, ELE;  1 shoreline, ELW.

Western Kingbird  1  foraging on ground with goldfinches, ELGC.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  perched on high, dead branch of Cottonwood, ELW.

European Starling  40 foraging in weeds and fairway, ELGC;  14 in Cottonwoods and utility lines, ELW.

Northern Mockingbird  1  in tall roadside shrub, ELE.

California Thrasher  1  singing in edge of riparian-chaparral, ELW.

Western Bluebird  2  foraging on edge of fairway on dirt road, ELGC;  4 in dry pond, ELW.

Phainopepla   9  (ad, imm) tree tops, calls, interactions, ELW.

American Crow  8  ELE; 4 ELW.

Western Scrub-Jay  2  south shore chaparral, ELE; 4 riparian, ELW; calls.

Bewick's Wren  1  riparian-chaparral edge, ELW.

House Wren  1 ELE, calls;  2  low riparian-chaparral edge, calls, ELW.

Marsh Wren  1  calls from edge of marsh, ELW.

Oak Titmouse   1  understory of riparian-chaparral edge, ELW.

Orange-crowned warbler   4   foraging low in willow and Mulefat along shore, ELE, ELW; calls.

Yellow Warbler  6  foraging in crown of Cottonwoods, ELE, ELW; calls repeated in quick bursts, similar to a Verdin.

Song Sparrow  2  calls and song, ELW.

Lark Sparrow  6  foraging in field, ELGC.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls from riparian-chaparral edge, ELW.

Red-winged Blackbird  16  feeding on sunflowers, ELGC;  4 calls, ELE; 6 calls from marsh, ELW.

Brewer's Blackbird  20  in weedy field and fairway, ELGC; 10 in Cottonwood, ELE;  roadside weedy fields, ELW.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2 (imm) foraging in weedy field with Starlings, ELGC.

House Finch  20 ELGC; 10 ELE; 10 ELW.

Lesser Goldfinch  4  in Cottonwoods, ELW; calls.

Lawrence's Goldfinch   8  on ground and in grass, ELGC.

House Sparrow 4  foraging in weedy field with HF and ES.





AUGUST 5, 2010 (27 Species)

Weather: Fair; 57F, no wind.

Time: 0730-0830 hrs.

Area Covered: 1) Montibello and Ranch Club Drive (MRC): We walked along the eastern border of the Elizabeth Lake golf course, surveying chaparral, riparian and ruderal fields using binoculars (0730-0750 hrs.). Most birdlife was in and around the large Cottonwoods along the course boundary.   2) The east USFS parking lot on Elizabeth Lake Rd and north shore of Elizabeth Lake (EEL). We walked through the riparian strip of mature Cottonwoods along the north shoreline. A man was walking a leashed dog resembling a small wolf along the shore, flushed several waterbirds. Noisy boaters in the parking lot also reduced our chances to find birds( 0750-0800 hrs.). 3) West USFS parking lot on northern shore of Elizabeth Lake (WEL). We walked on the shore and into an adjacent mature riparian woodland. Except for a few people fishing and seated on the shore, the area was quiet and had abundant birdlife.


1) Mallard (m,f imm)  12 EEL; 30 WEL.

2) California Quail   4  MRC; 3 WEL.

3) Great Blue Heron  2 EEL; 1 WEL.

4) Killdeer   2  WEL.

5) Red-shouldered Hawk  1  MRC, calls.

6) American Coot  6 EEL; 2 WEL.

7) Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 MRC, calls.

8) Northern Flicker 1 WEL, calls.

9) Anna's Hummingbird  1  MRC; 1 WEL.

10) American Crow   4 WRC.

11) Western Scrub-Jay   2  WEL.

12) European Starling 6 MRC; 1 WEL.

13) Loggerhead Shrike  1 WEL (photo).

                           © 2010 Callyn Yorke

14) Wrentit  1  WEL , calls from adjacent hillside.

15) House Wren 1 WEL, song.

16) Oak Titmouse  1  WEL  in lower branches of Cottonwood; calls.

17) Phainopepla   4  (m,f)  at top of Cottonwood, WEL (photos: left, f; right, m).


© 2010 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke


18) Western Kingbird  2    top of Cottonwoods, WEL.

19) Black Phoebe  1 shoreline, EEL; 1 shore-riparian, WEL.

20) Common Yellowthroat  1 WEL, calls.

21) Song Sparrow  3  WEL, calls.

22) House Finch  10 MRC; 4 WEL.

23) Black-headed Grosbeak  1 MRC; 3 (m,f) WEL.

24) Lawrence's Goldfinch ? 2 singing (unseen) WEL.

25) Lesser Goldfinch  3  MRC.

26) Great-tailed Grackle  1 MRC; 4 WEL.

27) Brewer's Blackbird  1 flying over golf course, MRC.




April 21, 2010  (46 Species)

Weather:  Partly cloudy: 35 to 39F; winds WNW 10-20 mph.

Time:  0712 - 0930 hrs.

Area Covered: From the western-most USFS parking area, I walked along the N and W shoreline, surveying riparian, marsh and open water of Elizabeth Lake. I continued walking S through a riparian woodland bordering a pond and large open field of Rabbitbrush and California Buckwheat. The trail disappears into a dry wash originating in a nearby north-facing slope of dense chaparral. I used a 10x42 binocular for the survey, walking slowly with frequent stops to listen for bird vocalizations (most easily heard on the leeward side of the shoreline and the adjacent woodland). After about 1 hour at this location, I drove to the adjacent USFS parking lot (paved and with public restrooms, picnic tables, etc), and scoped the entire western lake, adding only Double-crested Cormorant to the day-list and about 100 more Tree Swallows foraging over the lake surface (0845-0900 hrs). Continuing eastward, I stopped along Elizabeth Lake Rd. and scanned the eastern section of Elizabeth Lake, using a binocular. Great Blue Heron was added to the list. The next stop in this area was at the entrance to the Elizabeth Lake golf course, bar and grill (closed indefinitely), where I scanned the near portions of the course, including fairways, greens, mature cottonwoods and ruderal edge. Here, I added American Robin and Western Bluebird to the day-list. Further eastward, in an open, wet field next to the golf course, two Great Egrets were seen foraging in tall grass. The pond-marsh at the southeast corner of Elizabeth Lake Road and Johnson Hill Rd. contained a colony of about 30 Red-winged Blackbirds and one male Tricolored Blackbird on the northern edge of the marsh. My final stop was near the intersection of Avenue K and 110th Street West, where I added American Kestrel and Western Meadowlark. I then drove directly to AVC for my 1100 hrs. Biology 101 Lab class.


1) Mallard   10 (m,f) on and near shore.

2) Gadwall  6 (m,f) near shore; W pond.

3) Ruddy Duck   15 (m,f)  near shore.

4) California Quail   10 (m,f)   on and around shoreline; calls.

5) Western Grebe  1  resting near shore, W.

6) Double-crested Cormorant     20  on snags, E end.

7) Great Blue Heron   2   E end of lake.

8) Great Egret  2   open field E of lake.

9) Black-crowned Night Heron   1 (ad) flushed from Cottonwoods, W.

10) Red-tailed Hawk  1  soaring over NW ridge.

11) American Kestrel  1 on utility line near Ave. K and 110th St. West.

12) American Coot  50  on and near shore, W and E.

13) Killdeer   1  W end;  3 on golf course, E.

14) Caspian Tern  3  flying NW over lake; calls.

15) Mourning Dove   2  W riparian; calls.

16) Nuttall's Woodpecker   1  riparian, W; calls.

17) Western Kingbird  2  a pair flying to and from Cottonwoods to shore;NW.

18) Western Scrub-jay  4  chaparral hillside, SW.

19) American Crow   2   flying over shore, W.

20) Common Raven  3  flying along shore; two on utility poles; calls.

21) Tree Swallow   200  flying low over lake surface; perched on snags (photo) with Cliff Swallows.

22) Cliff Swallow  20  perched on snags; flying low over lake.

23) Barn Swallow   1   on snag; flying low, W.

24) Violet -green Swallow  2  flying 40 ft. over W shore.

25) Oak Titmouse   1  calls from chaparral, SW.

26) Bewick's Wren  1 singing, calls from chaparral, SW.

27) House Wren  4  singing in riparian woodland; active near ground, SW.

28) Wrentit  1  singing in chaparral, SW.

29) American Robin  1   EL on golf course.

30) Western Bluebird  1 (m) in Cottonwood, EL golf course.

31) European Starling 20  W and E;shore and golf course.

32) Orange-crowned Warbler   1  flying over parking lot, W.

33) Yellow-rumped Warbler   3  riparian, NW shoreline.

34) Common Yellowthroat   1  singing from riparian shoreline, NW.

35) California Towhee     1  calls from chaparral, SW.

36) Spotted Towhee   4  singing, riparian and chaparral.

37) Song Sparrow    12   N and W shore; singing, calls.

38) White-crowned Sparrow   6  NW shore and riparian edge; calls.

39) Red-winged Blackbird    35 (m,f)    NW, S and SE shore;  30  Peterson Ranch marsh-pond.

40) Tricolored Blackbird  1 (m)  NE edge of Peterson Ranch marsh pond.

41) Brewer's Blackbird  10  N shore of EL.

42) Brown-headed Cowbird   2  (m)  singing from Cottonwoods, W and NW.

43) Bulllock's Oriole  3 (m)   riparian shore; calls and song.

44) Western Meadowlark   3   Ave. K and 110th Street West; song.

45) House Finch  8  NW riparian.

46) House Sparrow   4   NW riparian.







December 15, 2009

Weather:  Increasing cloudiness: 30 to 35F. NE winds 0-2 mph.

Time: 0700-0912 hrs.

Area Covered:  (1)  From east parking area, I walked E along the N shore, surveying open water, riparian and picnic areas, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. The lake water level is still relatively low (see Sept. 19, 2009 survey notes below), with mud and exposed snags along the shoreline. The area surveyed was quiet this morning; only a couple of fishermen and hikers on the west end.  (2) I drove directly to the east parking area and walked along the W shore and into the adjacent wooded area. Only one other person on the N shore during the survey.


American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) at Elizabeth Lake, December 15, 2009.     © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke                                          



1) Mallard   10 (m,f)  along shore; E and W.

2) Northern Shoveler   20 (m,f) E end; dabbling.

3) Green-winged Teal  5 (m,f)   E and W end.

4) Canvasback    4 (m,f)  E and W end.

5) Bufflehead  25 (m,f)  E and W end.

6) Common Merganser  16 (m)   E end.

7) Ruddy Duck  100 (m,f) E and W end.

8) California Quail   20   W woods edge.

9) Pied-billed Grebe  3  E and W end.

10) Double-crested Cormorant 6  E end.

11) Great Blue Heron  3  E and W end; flighty.

12) Great Egret   2   E and W end; flighty.

13) Black-crowned Night Heron   3   E end.

14) Osprey  1 (ad) E end; in Cottonwood next to shore. calls; flighty.

15) American Kestrel   1 (m)  on utility pole, W.

16) California Gull   2  flying W.

17) Ring-billed Gull   2   flying W.

18) Nuttall's Woodpecker   2   E and W; foraging in cottonwood; calls.

19) Northern Flicker   2   E and W; calls.

20) Black Phoebe    2  flying low over lake, gleaning from surface.

21) Loggerhead Shrike   1   calls and song (brief, fragmented) on Cottonwood near parking lot, E.

22) Western Scrub-Jay    2   W calls.

23) Common Raven   3 fly, call.

24) American Crow   2   calls, SW side.

25) Oak Titmouse   2  woods, W (photo).

26) Bushtit   5  brushy areas, E and W.

27) Ruby-crowned Kinglet   1   woods, W.

28) Hermit Thrush    1   woods, W.

29) Western Bluebird  6 (m,f) E and W: feeding on misltetoe in Cottonwood (photo).

30) Northern Mockingbird   1   calls and song (brief), E.

31) California Thrasher    2   singing at edge of chaparral.

32) European Starling   4    in Cottonwood, E.

33) American Pipit    4   shoreline, E and W (photo).

34) Phainopepla  1 (f)  in tall Cottonwood next to E parking area; calls.

35) Yellow-rumped Warbler   15   E and W, foraging on muddy shore; in trees and shrubs; calls.

36) California Towhee   1  on shore with DEJ, E.

37) Spotted Towhee    1  calling from dense brush near W entrance.

38) Fox Sparrow   2   in Cottonwood, E; calls.

39) Song Sparrow   20  ubiquitous around lake; calls and song.

40) White-crowned Sparrow     30  ubiquitous around lake; calls and song.

41) Lincoln''s Sparrow  1   brushy lakeside, E; calls.

42) Dark-eyed Junco    3   shoreline at picnic area with CT, E.

43) Red-winged Blackbird    3  flying S across lake; calls.

44) Brewer's Blackbird  10   along shore, E.

45) House Finch    25   ubiquitous in brushy areas around lake.

46) Lesser Goldfinch    3    fly, call, woods, W.



                Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) in Elizabeth Lake, December 15, 2009.             © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke




September 19, 2009

Weather: Fair, 65-90F; winds 0-6mph WNW.

Time: 0752-1000 hrs.

Area Covered:  I parked at the NE entrance to National Forest Service recreational area parking lot, along the northern shore of Elizabeth Lake. Walked the northern shoreline using a 25-30x scope and 10x40 bincocular. Surveyed shoreline (N, S, E and W), open water, riparian edge and adjacent chaparral. A few fisherman, mainly near the parking area on the north shore. Low water level has exposed extensive mud flats and sandbars, snags and abundant, rotting vegetation and debris around the entire lake. A number of migrant warblers and other landbirds was found along the north shore in the tall cottonwoods.


North shore of Elizabeth Lake, viewing SW: Note low water level.  © 2009  Callyn D. Yorke
North shore of Elizabeth Lake, viewing SW: Note low water level. © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Turkey Vulture, North Shore of Elizabeth Lake   © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke
Turkey Vulture, North Shore of Elizabeth Lake © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Birds Noted

1) Mallard  30 (m & f): dabbling in shallows; resting on shore; wary.

2) Northern shoveler  2:  south shore shallows.

3) California quail 10: flushed from riparian thickets.

4) Double-crested cormorant  2: snags at east end of lake.

5) Great blue heron  2:  fly/call; perched in cottonwood.

6) Great egret  1: flew to E shore; foraging in shallows.

7) Turkey vulture  6: (1 imm.) 3 on ne shore; others in dead cottonwood (photo).

8) Cooper's hawk  1: flushed from cottonwood, ne shore.

9) Red-tailed hawk  1: calling (unseen).

10) American coot 25-30: ubiquitous in and around lake.

11) Killdeer  6:  all shorelines; call/fly.

12) Spotted sandpiper  1 ne shore near mallards and greater yellowlegs.

13) Greater yellowlegs  1: ne shore near mallards.

14) Anna's hummingbird  4:  subcanopy of cottonwoods; calls; foraging on flying insects.

15) Nuttall's woodpecker  1: calls ne cottonwoods (unseen).

16) Black phoebe  6: all shorelines. perched on short snags; calls.

17) Warbling vireo  2: foraging in subcanopy of cottonwoods, ne shore.

18) Western scrub jay 2: one in adjacent foothill chaparral; one drinking at western edge of lake.

19) American crow  2: call/ fly, south shore.

20) Cliff swallow  1: circling high (100 ft.) above lake.

21) European starling  1: calls from cottonwoods next to parking area (unseen).

22) Bewick's wren 1: scolding in an elderberry (Sambucus mexicanus) with a Wilson's warbler.

23) Orange-crowned warbler  4: foraging in canopy and subcanopy of cottonwoods; calls.

24) Yellow warbler  4: pair foraging within a few feet of each other in the subcanopy of cottonwoods; calls.

25) Yellow-rumped warbler 3: (m & f); foraging in subcanopy and middle levels of cottonwoods; calls.

26) Black-throated gray warbler 1 (m) foraging in canopy of cottonwood; other warblers nearby.

27) Common yellowthroat  4: ne riparian; low, dense veg.; calls. one in adjacent chaparral.

28) Wilson's warbler  1: ne riparian edge, in elderberry beneath cottonwoods with other warblers; scolded by Bewick's wren.

29) Song sparrow 2: ne riparian thickets; calls.

30) Red-winged blackbird 20: fly/call; ne and e shore; tight flocks.

31) Brewer's blackbird  40: shoreline, ubiquitous.

32) House finch  20: riparian; call/fly.

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