Green Valley, Spunky Saddle Plantation, Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground, Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, Los Angeles County, CA


                                                           Index to Surveys

                                   Falls Campground, November 4, 2014

                                   Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, May 27, 2013

                                   Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground, Green Valley, October 25, 2012

                                   Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, September 30, 2012

                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, September 2, 2012

                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, May 19, 2012

                                    Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground, Green Valley, October 29, 2011

                                    Bouquet Reservoir and Green Valley, October 8-10, 2011

                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, October 1, 2011

                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, June 12, 2011

                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, March 13, 2011

                                    Old San Fancisquito Canyon Road, January 29, 2011

                                    Spunky Saddle Plantation, Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground, Green Valley, Jan 12, 2011

                                    Spunky Saddle Plantation, Bouquet Reservoir and Falls Campground, October 31, 2010

                                    San Francisquito Canyon Road,  May 23, 2010

                                    Green Valley  April 18, 2010

                                    San Francisquito Canyon  July 3, 2009

                                    San Francisquito Canyon   April, 8, 2009


NOVEMBER 4, 2014  Falls Campground, Bouquet Canyon Rd. (17 Species)


Weather: Fair; 55F; wind ENE 5 -15 mph.

Time: 0903-1005 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked from the lower USFS Falls Campground parking area to and from the first set of boulders past the bridge. Heavy rainfall accompanying a recent cold front resulted in a continuing strong stream flow through this area.

The once scenic campground remains closed and in a apocalyptic state of disrepair. Virtually every elevated object has multiple layers of colorful, often obscene graffitti. This area, still an ecologically functional riparian, oak woodland, chaparral habitat, has been allowed by the USFS and local law enforcement agencies, to degenerate into a haven for vandals and other criminals hell-bent on destruction (both their own and anything else within reach). As such, the Falls Campground, along with several other abandoned campgrounds in the area, exist as ugly reminders of the continuing and long-term failure of our elected officials to prioritize the management and preservation of these unique and valuable natural resources of the United States National Forest Service of northern Los Angeles County, California.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Band-tailed Pigeon (21) and Lawrence's Goldfinch (5).



Band-tailed Pigeon  21   Three successive flocks of seven to nine birds circling above the oak canopy; twice landing on adjacent high cliffs.

Acorn Woodpecker  5  vocal, gregarious; holding acorns and drilling into existing holes on the main trunk and branches of a tall sycamore.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls (unseen), oak woodland.

Northern Flicker  1  repeated calls (unseen) adjacent hillside chaparral.

Western Scrub-jay   2-3  vocal, gregarious; riparian area near homesteads.

White-breasted Nuthatch  calls (unseen) riparian area near homesteads.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3  vocal; foraging in dense foliage; riparian near homesteads.

Western Bluebird  calls (unseen) riparian.

Hermit Thrush  2  calls; one taking red berries from toyon; riparian near homesteads.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  1  repeated calls, riparian area near homesteads.

Spotted Towhee  2  calls; active in low, dense vegetation near stream at both ends of the campground.

California Towhee  2   a pair active in low vegetation near the roadway entrance.

Song Sparrow  1  calls; marshy area along the upper stream.

Lincoln's Sparrow 1  calls (unseen) dense, moist streamside herbs and shrubs.

White-crowned Sparrow  2   flew into brushy area next to homestead at roadside entrance.

Dark-eyed (O) Junco  1  flew into above brush area with WCSP.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  (m,f) vocal, gregarious in riparian areas.





MAY 27, 2013  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, Los Angeles County, CA (38 Species)

Weather: Fair; 57F to 73F; wind WSW 0 - 2 mph.

Time: 0730 - 1046 hrs.

Area Covered: 1) Entrance to DWP residential area at Stator Lane and San Francisquito Canyon Rd. (SL). I birded from the roadway with a clear view of the mature conifers and deciduous trees within the residential area. This area had abundant birdlife; several species were unseen but readily identified by their vocalizations (0730-0755 hrs.).  2) Old San Francisquito Road (permanently closed to auto traffic) from Stator Lane to the collapsed San Francisquito Dam site, near the junction of the new bypass (SFR)..This route, about 1 mile in length, follows a dry streambed with patches of mature willow-cottonwood riparian, grading into a closed canopy woodland at the north end near the old dam. Audible water flow occurs beneath block of concrete from the collapsed dam. The route also includes steep, rocky hillsides and canyon formations grown to chaparral and a few mature Coast Live Oak on lower slopes. Many native herbs and shrubs were flowering (e.g. Lizard Tail, Sticky Monkey Flower, Yerba Santa), attracting a high diversity of insects with increasing ambient temperatures (e.g  diptera and several species of lepidopteran, e.g. Tiger Swallowtail). Only one cyclist passed through by on SFR during my survey. Auto traffic on the bypass road was relatively light and conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations. Cautionary Note: Well-concealed (abandoned?) encampments were discovered in the dense riparian woodland upstream from the collapsed dam, suggesting Cannabis growers could be operating in this area.


California Quail    calls, SL;  6 flushed near the dam, SFR.

Killdeer  2  calls (unseen) dry streambed, SFR.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  calls; flying, around residential area, SL.

Mourning Dove  1  flying out of SL and up the SFR canyon.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  1 (f) on nest; vocal as I approached; lower branches of willow, shady riparian woodland, SFR (photo).

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) Old San Francisquito Canyon Rd. LACO CA 27 May 2013


                                                                                           © 2013 Callyn Yorke



Acorn Woodpecker   calls (unseen) , SL.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  calls (unseen), SL;  2  flying; drumming, calls, riparian woodland, n SFR.

Downy Woodpecker  1  calls (unseen) riparian woodland, n SFR.

Northern Flicker   calls (unseen) SL;  calls (unseen) riparian canyon, n SFR.

Willow Flycatcher  1  a repeated and emphatic fitz-bew song given from a exposed branch in dry streambed, SFR (photos).

Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii) same individual;  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO CA 27 May 2013


                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Black Phoebe  2  calls; low perch in riparian area, n SFR.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  calls, SL;  5  calls and song from exposed canopy perches, SFR.

Cassin's Kingbird  2  vocal, active in tall trees and on utility lines; WEKI nearby, SL (photo).

Cassin's Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans) DWP @ Stator Lane, LACO CA 27 May 2013


                                                                                                 © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Western Kingbird  2  vocal, active in tall cottonwoods and conifers, SL (photo).

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) DWP @ Stator Ln, LACO CA  27 May 2013

                                                                                              © 2013 Callyn Yorke


Warbling Vireo  2  song, dense riparian woodland, n SFR.

Western Scrub-jay  2  SL;  4  fly, call, SFR.

Common Raven   calls, n SFR.

Violet-green Swallow  5  flying 50 - 70 ft.  back and forth over streambed and residential area, SL.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2  flying low, together over open streambed, n SFR.

Cliff Swallow  1  flying low, back and forth over streambed; nesting colony under bridge evidently abandoned, n SFR.

Oak Titmouse  2  calls, in cottonwoods, SL;  calls, SFR.

Bushtit   8  calls, foraging in understory and upper levels of riparian woodland, n SFR.

Bewick's Wren   8  vocal, active in chaparral, understory and subcanopy of cottonwoods; canyon walls, SFR.

House Wren  5  vocal, brushy understory and subcanopy of cottonwoods, SFR.

Wrentit   8 (ad, imm)    repeated song; hillside and canyon chaparral; an immature giving single, weak, slightly metallic sparrow-like chip calls in Yerba Santa (photo).

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata) immature; Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO CA 27 May 2013

                                                                                                                   © 2013 Callyn Yorke


California Thrasher   1  calls given from an exposed perch in a coast live oak, dry streambed, SFR.

European Starling  3  vocal; foraging on lawn, SL.

Phainopepla   1  (unseen) calls given briefly from west-facing canyon covered by chaparral , SFR.

Spotted Towhee   calls (unseen) dry streambed, SL;  5  calls, song, riparian patches, n SFR.

California Towhee   16  vocal, ubiquitous.

Rufous-crowned Sparrow  1  song (unseen) high on a  steep, west-facing rocky slope covered by chaparral, SFR.

Song Sparrow  4  song, calls, dense riparian, n SFR.

Western Tanager  1  calls (unseen) tall pines inside residential area, SL.

Black-headed Grosbeak  10 vocal, ubiquitous.

Brown-headed Cowbird   calls (unseen) residential area, SL.

Bullock's Oriole  15  vocal, ubiquitous in cottonwoods.

House Finch   6  vocal, ubiquitous in cottonwoods, dry streambed, SFR.

Lesser Goldfinch   6 (m,f) fly, call; tops of cottowoods and willows, n SFR.





















OCTOBER 25, 2012  Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground, and Green Valley (27 Species)

Weather: Fair; 52F to 65F; wind WNW 5 -15 mph.

Time: 0830 - 1015 hrs.; 1700-1750 hrs.

Areas Covered: 1) Bouquet Reservoir (BR): I scanned the reservoir from the roadside at the northwest corner and the dam. The reservoir water level continues to drop and is now several terraces below (about 30 ft).the high-water mark, exposing shoreline and islands throughout. Relatively few waterbirds were found (0832 - 0910 hrs.);  2) Falls Campground (FC): From the southern entrance on Bouquet Canyon Road, I walked to the large boulders near the head of the falls, surveying coast live oak woodland, riparian and hillside chaparral. The campground (closed for years) and swift -running stream was littered with trash. No other people were present in this area during my survey; conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations (0915 - 1015 hrs.).  3) Green Valley (GV): I observed birds from the deck in my yard as cool WNW winds increased, gusting to 10 mph. This area includes coast live-oak woodland, hillside chaparral, riparian elements (e.g. cottonwood and sycamore),and gardens with bird feeders (1700-1750 hrs.).

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Red-breasted Sapsucker (2), Mountain Chickadee (3),  American Dipper (1) and Pine Siskin (2).


Western Grebe  4  swimming, open water, BR.

California Quail  2  running across the roadway, BR;  2  around feeders, GV.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1 calls, GV.

Cooper's Hawk  1 ad  flushed from sycamores at the campground, FC.

American Coot   20  swimming together, open water and near shore, BR.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m)  vocal; staying around the garden, GV.

Acorn Woodpecker   3  vocal, active in tall sycamore with dead limbs FC;  3  vocal, on utility poles, GV..

Northern Flicker  1  calls, BR;  1 in the crown of a dead  pine tree, GV.

Red-breasted Sapsucker  2 (m,f)  chasing, interacting,, highly vocal with shreeking sounds, riparian; foraging in cavities of large oaks, FC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  2 (m,f) vocal, active in canopy and subcanopy of mature oaks, FC..

Black Phoebe  1 calls, edge of chaparral next to stream, FC.

Western Scrub-jay  2 calls, fly, BR;  4  calls, flying under oaks, FC;  2  calls, GV.

American Crow   4  calls, flying, BR;  10 flocks flying sw, GV.

Oak Titmouse  2  vocal, active in oak subcanopy, FC;   2  vocal, active in oaks, GV.

White-breasted Nuthatch   1  calls,  mature oake, GV.

Mountain Chickadee  3  vocal, active in subcanopy of oaks, GV.

American Dipper  1  bouncing on large boulders in stream; diving into shallow pool; silent but blinking eyes showing white nictitating membrane; flew a short distance downstream then disappeared. Note: American Dipper was fairly regularly found at this location until the early 1990's (e.g. Grass Mt. CBC, 1991). This is the first one I have seen here in two decades, FC.(photos).

American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) sme individual; Falls Campground, Bouquet Canyon, Los Angeles County, CA  25 Oct. 2012


                                                                                              © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Ruby-crowned Kinglet   3  calls (responded to my pshhing sounds), riparian and oaks, FC; 1 in oaks, GV.

Hermit thrush  2  active, vocal; in shrubs and low branches of trees around campground, FC (photo).

Hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) Falls Campground, BC, Los Angeles County, CA  25 Oct. 2012


                                                                                                           © 2012 Callyn Yorke


Common Bushtit   8  vocal, active in msf with OATI and MCHI, in oaks, GV.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   1 calls, BR;  1  active in subcanopy of oaks and sycamores, FC; 1 in canopy of oaks, GV.

Spotted Towhee  2  active on ground in shade of oaks, FC.

California Towhee   1  calls, BR;  1 calls, FC;  1 calls, GV.

White-crowned Sparrow   10  roadside brush, BR;  8  on driveway at entrance,. FC;  2   vocal; around garden and feeders, GV.

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco   4  foraging on driveway, FC;  calls, GV.

House Finch    2  calls, in oaks, FC;  calls, GV.

Pine Siskin  2  calls,  in oaks above garden and feeders, GV.











SEPTEMBER 30, 2012  Old San Fancisquito Canyon Road (30 Species)

Weather: Fair, 73F to 82F; wind WNW 0 -7 mph.

Time:  0823 - 1040 hrs.

Area Covered: From the DWP residential area at Stator Lane (SL), I walked north and south (one round-trip) on the old (closed) San Francisquito Canyon Road (SFR) to the remains of the collapsed SFC dam, where a permanent stream supports a well-developed canyon riparian formation. The stream bed south of the old dam site was completely dry. Most of the bird life today was found in and around the DWP residential area (bird feeders present, along with well-watered lawns and gardens) and the north end of the old SFC road. Noise from passing autos was significant at SL, but decreased within the canyon, northward on SFR, where conditions were excellent for identifying bird vocalizations.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, Rufous-crowned Sparrow (3) and Lawrence's Goldfinch (6).


California Quail  5  calls; one flushed from the upper SFR.

Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) flying down the east side of the canyon, SFR.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) calls from an exposed perch in a cottonwood, upper SFR.

Eurasian Collared Dove  4  calls; active in and around the tall pines, SL.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls, SL, SFR.

Selasphorus sp.  1-2  calls (like S. sasin), fly;  around tree tobacco plants, SFR.

Acorn Woodpecker  2  calls, SL.

Downy Woodpecker  1  calls, riparian patch, upper SFR.

Northern Flicker  1 calls, dry riparian, middle SFR.

Western Scrub-jay  12 vocal, ubiquitous around trees.

American Crow   calls, SL.

Common Raven   2  fly, call,  SFR.

Oak Titmouse  1  active, vocal in large coast live oak, middle SFR.

Common Bushtit  20  vocal flocks moving through riparian and chaparral, SFR.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1 calls, around large coast live oak, middle, SFR.

Bewick's Wren    4  calls, riparian and edge, SL, SFR.

House Wren  1  calls, dense riparian, upper SFR.

Wrentit  3  calls, hillside chaparral, middle and upper SFR.

California Thrasher   2     flying over road; one foraging in leaf litter, middle SFR.

European Starling   4  flying around upper levels of evergreen trees, SL.

Spotted Towhee  2  calls; active in shrubby edge of riparian, SFR.

California Towhee    8  calls, active in riparian and patchy chaparral, SFR.

Sage Sparrow   1  relatively dark morph, e.g. belli; seen briefly in canyon riparian, upper, SFR.

Song Sparrow  1  dense riparian, upper SFR.

Rufous-crowned Sparrow  2 -3 (unseen)   'zeet' calls repeated from concealed patches of hillside chaparral on rocky, east canyon slope, lower SFR.

White-crowned Sparrow (gambelii)   30  (ad, imm) vocal, ubiquitous, SL, SFR.

House Finch   40   (m,f) vocal, ubiquitous, SL, SFR.

Lesser Goldfinch   4 (m,f) vocal, riparian, upper SFR.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  6 (m,f) a  cohesive, vocal flock in tree-tops, riparian strip, upper SFR.

House Sparrow   5  vocal, active around houses and gardens, SL.









SEPTEMBER 2, 2012  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road (26 Species)

Weather: Fair; 59F to 82F; no wind.

Time: 0731 - 0940 hrs.

Area Covered:  1) Stator Lane DWP residential area entrance (SL). Tall pines, mixed deciduous plantings, lawns, gardens and ruderal roadsides were surveyed. One home on the nwc of Stator Ln and SFCR had a hummingbird and seed feeder; seeds had evidently also been scattered on the ground around the home, attracting numerous birds. The area was relatively quiet except for occasional auto traffic on SFCR doing stop-and-go at the bridge stop sign. I started to walk northward on the old SFCR but stopped after about 100 yards when three individuals arrived and proceeded aheas of me up the canyon. The entire creek bed was dry; riparian borders were still largely lush with green foliage.  2) From the parking area at the north end of the old SFCR, I walked south about 0.5 mile on the paved road through the canyon (SFR). This canyon chaparral area was still lush with green foliage of willows, cottonwoods, mulefat, etc. and had an audible water flow about 50m below the old dam site. But the entire creekbed was dry south of this point. Much of the bird life occurred with 50 yards of the water in a dense riparian woodland. The three individuals I saw at the south end of the road reappeared on the road near the north bridge. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations along the northern portion of the old SFCR this morning.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included, White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Western Tanager (1) and Lawrence's Goldfinch (4).


California Quail   6 foraging on the ground around a home with feeders, SL.

American Kestrel  1  calls, SFR.

Eurasian Collared Dove  3  foraging on ground at home with feeders, SL.

Mourning Dove  1  flying up the canyon, SL.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  (m,f)  vocal; one at feeder, SL.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1 vocal in pines, SL;  2   in riparian area, SFR

Acorn Woodpecker  2  call, fly  in pines, SL.

Northern Flicker  1  fly, call, SFR.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1  flying over chaparral hillside, SFR.

Western Scrub-jay    8  vocal; on ground at home with feeders, SL;  5  vocal, in tall cottonwoods, SFR.

American Crow  2  fly, call, SL.

Oak Titmouse  1 calls, SL;  2  scold calls in riparian, SFR.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  calls, around birds at feeder, SL.

Bewick's Wren  1  calls, riparian edge, SL;  7  vocal, riparian and chaparral edge, SFR.

Wrentit   3  song, chaparral hillsides, SFR.

Northern Mockingbird  1 foraging on lawn, SL.

European Starling  6   vocal at and around home with feeder, SL.

Common Yellowthroat  1 calls, riparian with running water, SFR.

Spotted Towhee  1 calls, SL;  4 calls, SFR.

California Townee  3  calls, around home with feeder, SL;  12  vocal; pairs in chaparral and riparian, SFR.

Lark Sparrow  2  foraging on ground at home with feeder, SL.

Song Sparrow  1 calls, SL;  8  calls, song, riparian, SFR.

Western Tanager  1 (f) active in dense riparian area, SFR.

House Finch  8 (m,f)   at feeder, SL;  4  (m,f) vocal, riparian, SFR.

Lesser Goldfinch  5   vocal, dense riparian, SFR.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  4 (m,f)  vocal; small flock staying together in dense riparian, SFR.



MAY 19, 2012  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road (33 Species)

Weather: Fair. 57F to 83F; winds WSW 0 - 2 mph.

Time:  0742 - 1000 hrs.

Area Covered:  I walked the entire length of the old San Francisquito Canyon Road from the DWP residential area at Stator Lane to the northern terminus and back (about 2.5 mi.). Workers using gasoline-powered weed-cutters all but eliminated birding opportunities around the entrance of the DWP residential area at Stator Lane. The rest of the survey route on the old, closed roadway, was quiet and without disturbance during my survey. The southern half of the canyon stream bed was dry; the northern half, beginning at the bridge, had running water and one large pool under the bridge with a nesting colony of Cliff Swallow. Upland chaparral dominates the canyon (Yerba Santa, California Buckwheat, Chaparral Yucca), with scattered clumps of Coast Live Oak and riparian vegetation along the upper half of the canyon (California Sycamore, Willow, Mulefat). In addition, roadside ruderal areas featured flowering Tree Tobacco, which attracted  Allen's,Black-chinned and Costa's Hummingbird. See survey notes from April 8, 2009 for a map and habitat photos:                                San Francisquito Canyon   April, 8, 2009 . Two species of lizard were observed and photographed, Western Fence Lizard and Side-blotched Lizard. I used a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera for the survey.

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis                                    Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana   


                                                                    Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO, CA  19 May, 2012                          © 2012 Callyn Yorke



California Quail  3  roadside chaparral; calls, s.

Mourning Dove  4  flushed from riparian areas, s, n.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  2  (m,f) around Tree Tobacco, s   and riparian, n.

Allen's Hummingbird  1 (m)  hovering around Tree Tobacco and Yerba Santa, s.

Costa's Hummingbird  1 (m) audible display flight sounds, s.

Acorn Woodpecker  1  calls from adjacent DWP pine trees at Stator Lane.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  3  fly, call, riparian, oaks, s, n.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, riparian, n.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  4  flying; calls, chaparral, s, n.

Western Scrub-jay   6  fly, call, riparian, chaparral, s.

Common Raven  1  on adjacent rocky hill-top.

Cliff Swallow  25  flushed from under the old bridge; vocal, flying low, back and forth around me, n.

Bushtit  10  chaparral and edge of riparian, s, n.'

Rock Wren  3  song (similar to an abbreviated Mockingbird song), from atop a tall shrub and large rock, s, n.

Bewick's Wren  10  song, calls, chaparral, riparian, edge, s, n.

House Wren   6  song, calls, around sycamores, edge of chaparral, s, n.

Thrush sp.  1  seen briefly crossing roadway in dense willow thicket, n.

Wrentit   3  song, uphill from road in chaparral (unseen), s, n.

European Starling  6  on tall tree at DWP residential area; flying up canyon, s.

Phainopepla   6  (m,f)  one pair staying close; calls, flying down canyon, edge of cliff, chaparral and riparian, s, n.

Yellow Warbler  2  song, dense willow thicket, n.

Wilson's Warbler  6  song, calls,  cottonwood riparian, dense willow thickets, n.

Spotted Towhee  10  calls, song, chaparral along roadway, s, n.

California Towhee    6  calls,  chaparral, riparian, s, n.

Song Sparrow  4  calls, song, riparian, s, n.

Black-headed Grosbeak   5 (m,f)  song, calls, riparian, oak woodland, edge, s, n.

Brewer's Blackbird  2 (m,f) flying up canyon, s.

Brown-headed Cowbird  2  calls, DWP residential area, s.

Bullock's Oriole  8  (m,f) calls, song, oaks, riparian, s, n.

Hooded Oriole  2 (m,f)  a pair in a large oak, s.

House Finch  20   vocal, ubiquitous.

Lesser Goldfinch  8 (m,f) calls, song, riparian, n.




OCTOBER 29, 2011  Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground and Green Valley, Angeles National Forest, LACO (36 Species)

Weather: Fair; 55 F; winds NE 2 -7 mph.

Time: 0820 - 1234 hrs.

Areas Covered:  1) Northwest corner of Bouquet Reservoir (BR); From the roadside (Spunky Canyon Rd.) I scoped most of Bouquet Reservoir, including the shoreline (several terraces exposed by low water), riparian and adjacent chaparral hillsides. Traffic was light; conditions were good for identifying birds by their vocalizations (0820 - 0849 hrs.).  2) Lower USFS Falls Campground (FC). I parked at the southern entrance to the closed and abandoned USFS Falls Campground, adjacent to several secluded homes. I walked up the main paved roadway along a swift-flowing stream in a coast live oak - riparian - chaparral ecotone, to the first set of rapids and large boulders decorated with graffiti. The area was quiet during most of the survey, except for passing cars on Bouquet Canyon Rd. At the conclusion of my survey, I was met by two adult (50 lb.), free-ranging female pitbulls that chased me to my car. The dogs held me at bay in my car, but did not bark, growl or try to bite me before I closed the car door. The owner, a local resident, appeared a few minutes later and called to them, apologizing to me and a passing person walking her dog, also approached by the same two pitbulls, repeatedly insisting that they were "harmless dogs" (0900- 1000 hrs.).  3) Green Valley (GV). I spent the rest of the day intermittently observing birds in and around my yard in Green Valley, where my neighbor's bird feeders (including two hummingbird feeders) and bird-bath were attracting numerous birds of several species.

Addendum to the above notes from my yard in Green Valley: On October 22, 2011 a Canyon Wren was singing in the immediate vicinity of my home. This represented the first record of Canyon Wren in Green Valley and a new addition to my yard list. Subsequently, on March 15, 2013, I photographed a Canyon Wren singing on my rooftop (photo). No evidence of nesting has been found yet in this vicinity.

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus) Green Valley, LACO CA  15 March 2013


                                                      © 2013 Callyn Yorke




Ring-necked Duck  7 (m,f)  swimming together near nw shore with AMCO, BR.

California Quail   5  crossing Spunky Canyon, BR.

Eared Grebe  5  swimming near nw shore, BR.

Western Grebe  1  swimming near dam, s, BR.

American Coot  30  swimming together near nw shore, BR.

Killdeer 1  flying s over reservoir, BR.

Anna's Hummingbird  1  calls, FC;  1 GV.

Acorn Woodpecker   4  in the sycamores 2 , FC; fly, call, GV.

Northern Flicker  1  calls (unseen)  BR. 1 calls, GV.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls (unseen), GV.

Black Phoebe  1  calls (unseen), BR;  1  on driveway, FC.

Western Scrub-jay   2  fly, call, BR;   5  active, vocal in oaks and low shrubs, FC;  2  GV.

American Crow  3  GV.

Common Raven  2  one on utility pole; one flying, calls, BR.

Oak Titmouse  1  calls, BR;  1 calls, FC; 1 at feeder, GV.

Mountain Chickadee  1  in oaks around feeders, GV.

White-breasted Nuthatch  1  foraging in oaks, calls, FC.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  in shrubs and small oake, FC.

Hermit Thrush  2   in shrubs and beneath pyracantha (in fruit); calls, FC.

Swainson's Thrush ? 1  seen briefly in shade of pyracantha; tail about same color as olive-brown back, FC.

Bewick's Wren  1 calls (unseen), BR; 1 in tangled understory around fence near feeders, GV.

Wrentit  1  song, BR.

Loggerhead Shrike  1 on top of a small, nearly leafless cottonwood, BR.

European Starling   5  calls, in sycamore cavity, FC;  2 calls, GV.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  5  in oaks and sycamores, FC.

Spotted Towhee  2  in tall shrubs; calls, FC; 1  scratching in leaf litter, GV.

California Towhee  4   calls, fly, BR; calls, FC.

Sage Sparrow ?  1 calls (unseen)  south-facing slope of chaparral, BR.

Savannah Sparrow  1 calls (unseen)  roadside ruderal field, BR.

White-crowned Sparrow  10  calls, song, BR;  5  FC;  5  at and around feeders, GV.

Dark-eyed Oregon Junco (J.h. thurberi)   2  calls, in oake, FC;  1 around feeders, GV.

House Finch   4  calls, song, FC;  5  at feeders, GV.

Lesser Goldfinch   2  calls, fly, FC;  2 calls, song, GV.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  2  flew into small oak, calls, BR.

American Goldfinch  4  flying over shoreline, calls, BR.

House Sparrow  3  around feeders, GV.








OCTOBER 8-10, 2011  Bouquet Reservoir and Green Valley, Angeles National Forest, LACO       (41 Species)

Weather: Fair. 52F to 65F; winds WNW 0- 5 mph.

Time: 0740 - 1600 hrs.

Area Covered:  1) Bouquet Reservoir (BR). I surveyed the reservoir twice (10/8 and 10/10), scoping the reservoir from the roadside at the northwest corner, surveying open water and shoreline. Portions of the north and southern lake, i.e. coves and shoreline, could not be seen. I also surveyed from the southeast corner at the dam (10/8), through a chain-link fence (10/8: 0820 -0907 hrs; 10/10: 0740-0844 hrs.) I surveyed riparian (sparse)- chaparral areas bordering the northwest and northeast corners of the reservoir using a binocular. Conditions were good for identifying birds by their vocalizations; waterbirds 0.25 - 0.5 miles away on the reservoir were sometimes difficult to identify. The water level of the reservoir was low, exposing several terraces of bare ground above a narrow, muddy shore. Two large (e.g.> 12 inch) fish jumped in the middle of the reservoir on the morning of 10/10.. My second survey of the reservoir (10/10) allowed better views of distant waterbirds than the first survey; several species of waterbird and landbird were added to the list (e.g.  American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant and Osprey.  2) I spent several hours, off and on, observing birds in and around my yard in Green Valley (GV: 10/8; 10/9: 0900 - 1600 hrs). My neighbors to the south had several bird feeders (mixed grains and sunflower seeds; two hummingbird feeders) and a bird bath, collectively attracting abundant birdlife at close range. A total of twenty-eight species of bird (none new to my yard list) was obtained during two days of casual observation.



American Wigeon  1 (m) swimming alone, then ahead of GRTE near a peninsula, ne, BR.

Green-winged Teal  11  (f) staying close together; flying occasionally, low over the lake, ne, BR.

Ruddy Duck  1-2   seen at great distance, e, BR.

California Quail    12  coming to ground feeder, GV

Horned Grebe  1   sw side of the reservoir; seen well with the scope:  long, upright neck, white cheeks, flat back, BR.

Eared Grebe  20  staying close, swimming, preening ,stretching wings, se BR.

Double-crested Cormorant  1 (imm) flying, sw, BR.

Osprey  1  flew up to leafless tree on south shore near dam.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  calls, GV.

American Coot   5  swimming near s shore, BR.

Mourning Dove  2  landed in coast live oak, GV.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  flying over yard; landing in dead pine, GV.

Anna's Hummingbird  3 (m,f)  around feeder; calls; aerial-hawking from tall, dead pine, GV.

Acorn Woodpecker  3   in coast live oak and on utility pole; calls, GV.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, BR; 1 calls, GV.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, BR. 1 calls, GV.

Black Phoebe   1  calls, GV.

Say's Phoebe  1  low perch on shoreline, nw, BR.

Western Scrub-jay   6  GV;  3  calls, fly, BR.

American Crow   6  GV.

Common Raven  1  on shore, nw BR.

Horned Lark   12  flying over shore, BR.

Mountain Chickadee  2  in coast live oak, calls, GV.

Oak Titmouse  3   in coast live oak and shrubs, GV;  1 calls, BR.

Bushtit  16  in shrubs and coast live oak, GV.

White-breasted Nuthatch  2  calls, coast live oak, GV.

Bewick's Wren  2  calls, song, nw  BR;  1  GV.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1  calls, coast live oake, GV.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1  calls (distinctive nasal sound), nw BR.

Hermit Thrush  1 flew into coast live oak, GV.

Western Bluebird 2 (m,f)  utility lines and tree-tops, GV.

California Thrasher  1 song, chaparral, nw BR.

European Starling  2  calls, fly, GV.

Wrentit  1  song, chaparral, nw  BR.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls, BR;  1 calls, GV.

California Towhee  2   riparian edge, nw BR;  2 in shrubs and at ground feeder, GV.

White-crowned Sparrow  5   calls, BR;  3  calls, song, GV.

House Finch   20  riparian and shoreline, nw BR;  10  at feeders, GV.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  fly, call, nw BR;  4  at feeders, GV.

American Goldfinch  3  in coast live oaks and at feeders, GV.

Lawrence's Goldfinch   2  in coast live oaks and at feeders, GV.

House Sparrow  2  at feeders, GV.






OCTOBER 1, 2011  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO, CA (25 Species)

Weather: Fair; 66F to 75F; wind  WSW  0-2 mph.

Time: 0820 - 0955 hrs.

Area Covered: 1) Stator Lane and San Francisquito Canyon Road (SL). From the entrance on SFCR, I surveyed the riparian stream bed (dry), adjacent residential lawns, mature pines, eucalyptus and other ornamental trees and shrubs, lawns and adjacent hillside chaparral. Although most of the bird species found today were in this area, observations were difficult due to steady automobile traffic on SFCR and  noisy machinery being operated inside the residential area. 2) I walked from SL on the old SFCR (SFR) about 0.5 mi. north and back, surveying streamside (no surface water) riparian (Salix sp. Baccharis sp., Populus fremontii, Nicotiana glauca) and hillside chaparral (e.g. Eriodictyon crassifolius , Eriogonum californica) with a few mature coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia). The west-facing canyon walls remained shaded during the survey. No other people were present in this area during my survey; conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Relatively few bird species were found here, presumably due to xeric conditions. Species added to the day-list from this area included, Northern Flicker, Northern Mockingbird, Common Raven, Rock Wren, Wrentit, Spotted Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow. The northern section of the old SFCR was not surveyed today. I used a 10x42 binocular and a DSLR camera for the survey.


Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad - medium dark morph) on top of a tall, hillside conifer, SL.

Red-shouldered Hawk  1  calls, SL.

Eurasian Collared Dove  3    vocal, using bird bath, SL.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  1 (f)   relatively small size, long, decurved bill; seen clearly from about 15 ft. away in a flowering Nicotiana glauca with several ANHU, SL.

Anna's Hummingbird  14  (f)  feeding on flowering Nicotiana; chasing, vocalizing, SL, SFR.

Acorn Woodpecker    2 -3  vocal, using bird bath, SL.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1   calls, SL.

Northern Flicker  1 (m)  fly, call, landed in sycamore, SFR.

Western Scrub-jay  8   active in pines; vocal, SL; SFR.

Common Raven  1  flying north, SFR.

Oak Titmouse   2   calls, pines, SL.

Rock Wren  2   in dry stream bed with rocks, SFR.

Bewick's Wren   6   vocal, streamside, chaparral, SL, SFR.

Wrentit    8   song, calls,   a pair foraging quickly in dense chaparral, SFR (photo).

Wrentit   east side of old San Francisquito Canyon Road, October 1, 2011

                                                                                                © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Northern Mockingbird  1  perched in leafless tree, SFR.

European Starling   4    vocal, using bird bath, SL.

Spotted Towhee   1  calls, upslope chaparral, SFR.

California Towhee    8   vocal, active in dense chaparral, SL, SFR.

Lincoln's Sparrow   2   one foraging on pavement (photo); one calling from riparian roadside, SFR.

Lincoln's Sparrow   old San Francisquito Canyon Road, October 1, 2011

                                                                                                   © 2011 Callyn Yorke

White-crowned Sparrow   2  calls, roadside riparian, SFR.

Brewer's Blackbird  2  fly, calls, SL.

House Finch   20    vocal, riparian, gardens, bird bath, chaparral, SL, SFR.

Lesser Goldfinch   6  using bird bath, SL.

American Goldfinch  5  using bird bath, SL

Lawrence's Goldfinch   2   using bird bath, SL.







JUNE 12, 2011  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO, CA  (49 Species)

Weather: Overcast; 54F to 59F; winds WSW 2 - 5 mph.

Time: 0705 - 1030 hrs.

Area Covered: 1) DWP residential entrance at Stator Lane and San Francisquito Canyon Rd. (SL). Except for passing autos (1-2 autos per 10 seconds), the area was undisturbed and conditions good for finding and identifying birds. I walked around the entrance, surveying  a slow-flowing creek (much algae),  Cottonwood - Willow riparian, exotic pines, Eucalyptus, deciduous trees and shrubs, ruderal roadsides and hillside chaparral. Most of the bird species found today were in this vicinity. Continuing north on the southern section of old San Francisquito Canyon Road (SSF), which is barricaded at the north and south entrances, I walked slowly on the fragmented roadway through the canyon. Here, patches of riparian (Mulefat, Cottonwood, Willow) are interspersed with hillside chaparral; a few mature Coast Live Oak occur along this road in the central and northern sections. I returned to my vehicle after walking up the road about 0.5 miles, then drove to the north entrance to survey the remaining northern portion of the road (NSF). The latter area produced several new species for the day-list, including, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Flicker, Black-chinned Hummingbird, CaliforniaThrasher, Oak Titmouse, American Crow, Wilson's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and Lawrence's Goldfinch.

My survey today initially included two brief stops along San Francisquito Canyon Rd. about 100 yards north and 200 yards south of the "Place to Shoot target range facility," where I listened to bird vocalizations for a few minutes outside of my vehicle on the east roadside. This part of the canyon supports a well-developed (post-fire) riparian habitat that may support such LACO rarities as Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Least Bell's Vireo (0648-0701 hrs.). However, as with previous surveys in this area (see previous reports,) nothing from the latter two species was heard this morning.


California Quail   2 SL; 4 SSF; 2 NSF.

Turkey Vulture  2  soaring above the hills, SSF.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring above the hills, NSF.

American Kestrel  2  (ad)  calls; one f perched in tall dead tree, NSF.

Killdeer  1  in creekbed; calls, SL.

Eurasian Collared Dove   4  calls; flying, SL.

Mourning Dove  1 SSF; 1 NSF.

Black-chinned Hummingbird  3 (m,f)   roadside chaparral, riparian, Tree Tobacco, NSF.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (m) perched on top of tall deciduous tree, SL.

Acorn Woodpecker  2  call, fly, pines, SL.

Red-breasted Sapsucker 1? seen briefly flying sw at about 70 ft. NSF.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  3   calls, flying, drumming, SL, SSF, NSF.

Northern Flicker  2   fly, call, NSF.

Black Phoebe  1  sally-flycatching at edge of lawn, SL.

Ash-throated Flycatcher  1 vocal, SL; 2  SSF; 2 NSF.

Loggerhead Shrike  1  calls, SSF.

Western Scrub-jay   2 SL; 2 SSF; 2 NSF.

American Crow  1  call, fly, NSF.

Common Raven   5   call, fly; interacting on hill-top; soaring, SL, SSF, NSF.

Violet -green Swallow  1  flying low, back and forth over stream, SL.

Cliff Swallow  30  a nesting colony under abandoned road bridge (NSF); foraging widely in area, vocalizing as I approached.

Oak Titmouse  2  active, vocal in large oaks, NSF.

Bushtit   6  (ad, imm)  active in roadside shrubs, SSF.

Rock Wren  3  vocal, active around large rock outcrops, SSF, NSF.

House Wren  1  active, vocal, SL;  2 SSF;  2 NSF.

Bewick's Wren   3  active, vocal, SSF;  2 NSF.

American Robin  1 singing (unseen) SL.

Western Bluebird  1  flying, SL.

Wrentit  5  singing, SSF, NSF.

California Thrasher  1  singing, riparian-chaparral edge, NSF.

European Starling  15-20  active, vocal, SL.

Phainopepla  4  active in tall pines and Cottonwoods, SL; 2 SSF; 2 NSF.

Yellow Warbler  1  active in tall Eucalyptus, SL;  1   singing in dense riparian area, NSF.

Common Yellowthroat  1  singing in riparian area, NSF.

Wilson's Warbler  1 singing in dense riparian area near YEWA, NSF.

Yellow-breasted Chat   1 (m)  active in dense riparian, swampy area singing loudly and continually, using at least 4 distinct phrases (including whistled and harsh scold notes), some phrases separated by 2 to 5 seconds. I listened to this individual for about 15 minutes but did not obtain visual contact with it, NSF. This is the first record I know of for YBCH at this location.

Spotted Towhee  4  singing, calls, active in roadside chaparral, SSF;  4  NSF.

California Towhee  2  calls, SL;  4  SSF;  2 NSF.

Song Sparrow  2   much vocalizing everywhere; esp. in dense riparian along creek, SL;  2 SSF;  2 NSF.

Rufous-crowned Sparrow  1 (m) singing continuously from w-facing, rocky slope grown to Salvia, Eriogonum, and Eriodictyon. I listened to this individual for several minutes but it stayed out of view the entire time. RUCS appears to be resident at this location in very small numbers (e.g. < 10 individuals - see previous survey notes).

Western Tanager  1 (f) active in Eucalyptus, SL.

Black-headed Grosbeak  1 SL;  2 SSF; 2 NSF; all vocalizing continuously.

Brewer's Blackbird  6  SL; chased by young Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Bullock's Oriole  3  (m,f) tall trees, vocal, active, SL; 2 SSF; 2 NSF.

Brown-headed Cowbird  10  (m,f) vocal, imm chasing BRBL; flying, all areas.

House Finch  4 (m,f) vocal, active at all levels in vegetation; 4 SSF;  4 NSF.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  flying, call, SL; 4 dense riparian, vocal, NSF.

Lawrence's Goldfinch  2-3  vocal, active in dense riparian edge, NSF.

House Sparrow  2   vocal, gardens, SL.





MARCH 13, 2011  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO, CA (36 Species)

Weather: Fair; 54F to 75F; winds WNW 0-1 mph.

Time: 0935-1218 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: Old San Francisquito Canyon Rd. from Stator Lane (DWP residence) to the northern terminus and back, including the San Francisquito Dam ruins.  Initially, we surveyed the DWP entrance at Stator Lane, including lawns, gardens, riparian (budding Willow and Cottonwood), mature pines and Eucalyptus (DWP). We then walked about 1 mile north along the old, abandoned San Franciquito Canyon Rd. through canyon chaparral and riparian habitats; the latter best developed at the south and north ends of the old, washed out roadway (SFR). Three other couples, two with leashed dogs, the other throwing objects in the stream retrieved by the dogs, were encountered during our survey. Otherwise, conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations along the old road, though less so at the noisy intersection of Stator Lane (entrance to the DWP residential area). Several Side-blotched Lizards (Uta stansburiana) were found on the roadway; Pacific Chorus Frogs (Hyla regilla) were calling from the slower sections of the otherwise swift-flowing stream. One bird species of seasonal/distributional interest, Yellow Warbler (photo) was found during our survey. We used binoculars and a DSLR camera for the survey.


Mallard 2 (m,f)  a pair flushed from the stream near the bridge, SFR.

California Quail   3 +?  calls, riparian near DWP.

Turkey Vulture  4 soaring low over w hills, SFR.

American Kestrel  2 (m,f)  male flying through canyon with small prey; f perched on dead Cottonwood, SFR.

Mourning Dove  2  calls, DWP.

Anna's hummingbird  2 (m) perched atop tall shrubs; calls, DWP, SFR.

Acorn Woodpecker  2  one seen entering hole in tall pine, DWP.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  3 (m,f)   fly, call; foraging in dead Cottonwood,  DWP,SFR.

Downy Woodpecker  1  calls, dense willows at north end of SFR.

Northern (RS) Flicker  2  calls, fly, perched atop tall Cottonwood, SFR.

Black Phoebe  1  streamside near bridge, calls, SFR.

Western Scrub-jay   8  calls, fly, DWP, SFR.

American Crow  2  fly, call, SFR.

Common Raven   4  2 pair, soaring over hillsides, SFR.

Oak Titmouse  10  calls, active in Cottonwoods, DWP, SFR.

Wrentit    6  singing in chaparral, DWP.

Bushtit    18   small flocks, 4-8 birds, riparian, DWP, SFR.

Rock Wren  3   song, calls from canyon walls, SFR.

Bewick's Wren  3  call, song, chaparral, bottom of canyon, SFR.

House Wren   10  much singing throughout riparian areas (photo).

                                                                                                                                                               © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Ruby-crowned Kinglet  7  in oaks, Cottonwood and other trees and shrubs throughout, DWP, SFR.

Hermit Thrush  1  in dense willows at n end of SFR; calls.

Northern Mockingbird  1  singing, n end of SFR.

European Starling   4  calls and song,  one in nest cavity of  a tall pine near ACWO, DWP.

Yellow Warbler  1   foraging in willows at s end of SFR; calls (photo)

                                                                           © 2011 Callyn Yorke

Yellow-rumped Warbler    20 (1Myrtle) (m,f;)  active in shrubs and trees throughout, DWP, SFR.

Common Yellowthroat  1  singing in dense willows at n end of SFR.

California Towhee   6  edge of lower canyon and riparian, calls, SFR.

Spotted Towhee   7    singles and pairs at edge of riparian-chaparral, calls and song, SFR (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                       © 2011 Callyn Yorke


Song Sparrow  8  singing (two dialects heard) in riparian areas, SFR (photo).

                                                              © 2011 Callyn Yorke


White-crowned Sparrow   6  (ad) imm riparian and edge of chaparral, SFR.

Red-winged Blackbird   6  singing in willows next to Stator Ln. entrance, DWP.

Brewer's Blackbird    5  flock landing in tall, leafless tree, DWP.

House Finch   12  riparian areas, n, s  SFR; calls and song.

Lesser Goldfinch   8   foraging in budding Cottonwood and Willow, n and s SFR; calls.\

House Sparrow   6  calls, song, DWP.









JANUARY 29, 2011  Old San Francisquito Canyon Road, LACO, CA (35 Species)

Weather: Fair, 43F to 65F; winds ESE 2-3 mph.

Time: 0830 - 1130 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I

Area Covered: 1) DWP residential area (posted No Trespassing) entrance at Stator Lane and San Francisquito Canyon Rd (DWP: 0830- 0945 hrs.). We surveyed the creek, riparian, lawns, gardens and mature Couter Pine. A backyard feeding station (partly obscured from the roadway entrance) was attracting  California Quail, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and House Finch. Mature conifer and deciduous trees in the DWP residential area was also attractive to several other species, e.g. Acorn Woodpecker, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Anna's Hummingbird and Cassin's Kingbird. This area had the greatest bird species diversity of the three areas we surveyed this morning.   2) The southern 0.5 miles of the old (closed) section of San Francisquito Canyon Rd., beginning at the new bridge at Stator Lane. We surveyed the canyon, chaparral, roadside ruderal and patches of mulefat along a swift-flowing, shallow stream (SSFR: 0945 - 1025 hrs.). 3) The northern 0.5 miles of the old (closed) San Francisquito Canyon Road (NSFR: 1030- 1130 hrs). We walked along the paved and washed out roadway through a dense willow riparian woodland paralleling a swift, shallow stream. Habitats here included Great Basin Sage, scattered Coast Live Oak and open, disturbed shrubland and canyon chaparral. Bird species added to our day-list here were: Accipiter sp. American Kestrel., California Thrasher and Lesser Goldfinch. A few other people were hiking in this area; conditions along the closed road were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Noise from passing autos was bothersome only around Stator Lane.


California Quail  10  at backyard feeding station, DWP.

Accipiter sp.  1 flushed from dense willows, NSFR.

Red-tailed Hawk  1 (ad) soaring above hilltop, SSFR; 1(ad)   soaring north of survey area, NSFR.

American Kestrel  1  flying, calling, over willows, NSFR.

Mourning Dove  12  at feeding station and in nearby riparian-chaparral, DWP.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2 at feeding station, DWP.

Anna's Hummingbird  2 (m,f)   riparian area along creek, calls, DWP

Selasphorus sp. 1 (f)  calling incessantly on mulefat at edge of creek, DWP.

Acorn Woodpecker  1  flying through residential area, DWP.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, DWP;  1 (f) in dead Sycamore, SSFR, calls.

Northern Flicker  1  flying near DWP; 1 calls, NSFR.

Black Phoebe  1  sally-flycatching over lawn, DWP;  2  over willow woodland, calls, NSFR.

Say's Phoebe  1  calls, SSFR.

Cassin's Kingbird  2   a pair near the crown of a leaflessl Sycamore, calls, DWP.

Western Scrub-jay   6  flying around, calls, DWP;  2  riparian, SSFR;  4  oaks and riparian edge, NSFR.

American Crow  2  flying over DWP, calls.

Common Raven  4  calls in DWP; flying over SSFR.

Oak Titmouse  1  calls in riparian, DWP; 2  calls, NSFR.

Bushtit  4  dense riparian, DWP;  10  willow wooddland, calls, NSFR.

Bewick's Wren  3  calls and song, riparian, DWP;  4 calls, song, chaparral, riparian edge, SSFR;  2 song, GB sage, NSFR.

Ruby-crowed Kinglet  2  riparian, DWP;  1  mulefat, SSFR; 1 willow thickets, NSFR.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1  calls from dense shrubs in sunlight at base of canyon, SSFR.

Wrentit  1  song, chaparral canyon, SSFR;   2  song upslope (west-facing), NSFR.

Northern Mockingbird  1  upslope (shaded) chaparral, SSFR.

California Thrasher  1  singing, canyon chaparral, NSFR.

European Starling  20  singing in trees, DWP.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  2 calls, riparian, DWP.

Common Yellowthroat  1  calls, riparian, DWP.

Spotted Towhee  2  calls, song, disturbed chaparral, SSFR.

California Towhee  2  riparian, roadside shrubs, DWP;  2  riparian, calls, SSFR.

White-crowned Sparrow  10  feeding station, DWP;  3  riparian-chaparral edge, SSFR.

Song Sparrow  1  calls, song  riparian, DWP.

Dark-eyed Junco   12  feeding station and adjacent riparian, DWP.

House Finch  5  feeding station and riparian, DWP.

Lesser Goldfinch   10  calls, song, willows, NSFR.






January 12, 2011   Spunky Saddle Plantation, Bouquet Reservoir, Falls Campground and Green Valley, LA County (19 Species)

Weather: Fair, 38F to 43F; winds ENE 5 - 15 mph. Small patches of snow on north-facing slopes.

Time: 0827-0851 (SS); 0915-1000 hrs. (FC); 1015-1030 hrs. (GV). Remaining time intervals in transit on Spunky Canyon and Bouquet Canyon Roads.

Areas Covered: 1) USFS Spunky Saddle Plantation (SS): I walked from the roadside parking area uphill (south) through a plantation of Coulter Pine and Cedar, bordered by chaparral hillsides. Several large brush piles had been recently burned in the plantation. Birdlife seemed scarce compared with my previous survey (see Oct. 31 notes).   2) Bouquet Reservoir: I stopped briefly along the roadway overlooking Bouquet Reservoir; no waterbirds were seen on or surrounding the lake, which is at a relatively high water mark.  3) USFS Falls Campground (FC): I parked at the south entrance to the (closed) USFS campground, and walked upstream to the first group of  graffiti-covered boulders. A relatively fast flow rate in the stream was audible throughout the canyon. Birdlife was relatively scarce; few species were vocalizing. No other people were present in the survey area, however there was a lot of trash scattered throughout the area. My next stop was at the Bouquet Reservoir Dam; no birds were found on or adjacent to the lake, now with whitecaps from increasing ENE winds. Back home in Green Valley (GV) I observed birds in and around my yard, including those visiting the feeder in my neighbor's yard.


Acorn Woodpecker  3  in a tall Sycamore, FC.

Northern Flicker  1  calls from the sw corner of the plantation, SS.

Western Scrub-jay  3  SS;  2 FC; 2 GV.

Common Raven  1  flying over Bouquet Canyon Rd.

American Crow  4  in vacant lot, GV.

Oak Titmouse   3  calls in oaks, riparian and chaparral, FC.

Bushtit   6  calls in riparian area near homesteads, FC.

House Wren  1  flying to pile of ashes and back to trees, SS.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1  calls in oaks, FC.

California Thrasher  1  singing in chaparral, north-facing slope, SS.

European Starling  5  in tall Sycamores, FC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  1  calls in riparian-oak woodland, FC.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls in dense chaparral at edge of oak woodland, FC.

White-crowned Sparrow  1  calls from edge of chaparral and plantation, SS; at feeder, GV.

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)   6  chaparral and oaks, FC.

Purple Finch  1  calls from top of pines, SS.

House Finch  4  riparian, FC;  at feeder, GV.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  calls in yard, GV.

Pine Siskin  5  at feeder, GV.



October 31, 2010   Spunky Saddle Plantation, Bouquet Reservoir and Falls Campground, LA County, CA  (23 Species)


Weather: Fair, 54F; winds WNW 2 mph. Showers early yesterday morning.

Time: 0850-0940 hrs. (Spunky Saddle); 0940-1000 hrs. (Bouquet Reservor); 1000-1045 hrs. (Falls Campground).

Areas Covered:  1)  Spunky Saddle Plantation (SSP) : I parked alongside Spunky Canyon Rd. (Elevation 3,421 ft.), climbed over a relatively new, partly downed wire fence and uphill through a stand of mature Coulter Pines, mixed with Arizona Cypress and mostly native chaparral shrubs in the understory (photo). Many brush piles are found throughout the plantation, left by the USFS. The best birding was along the southwestern boundary of the plantation overlooking a ravine of dense chapparal bordered by open areas with brush piles. Except for a dirt-biker, entering an adjacent roadway (6N09) and proceeding northward into the hills, the survey area was quiet and undisturbed by human activities. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Two First-of-the Season species in this area were found this morning: Fox Sparrow and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

Green Valley & Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County, from the Spunky Saddle Plantation, viewing west.  31 October, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke

2) I drove northeast on Spunky Canyon Road, stopping three times at roadside pull-outs to view Bouquet Reservoir with a10x42 binocular. No birds were seen on or at the edges of the reservoir.

3) Continuing east on Spunky Canyon, then turning south on Bouquet Canyon Rd., I drove to the southern entrance of the USFS Falls Campground (FC), which has been abandoned for many years, and walked from the small parking area adjacent to homesteads, upstream to a cluster of large, graffiti-covered boulders. Stream flow was strong and loud; riparian habitat well developed, including tall Sycamore, Coast Live Oak, Willow, Equisetum, Toyon (fruiting), poison oak, and many other elements of riparian, oak and chaparral vegetation. No other people were present during my survey; conditions were fair to poor for identifying bird vocalizations due to noise from the stream and traffic on Bouquet Canyon Road (Elev. 2,531 ft.).


Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) buzzed me in dense riparian at streamside, FC.

Nuttall's Woodpecker  1  calls, SSP.

Northern Flicker  1  calls, SSP.

Western Scrub-jay  4 SSP;  3  FC.

Common Raven  2  flying w, SSP.

Oak Titmouse   3  in pines, SSP;  2  riparian, FC; calls.

Bewick's Wren  2  calls and song, SSP.

House Wren  1  singing, SSP.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3 in pines   SSP;  3 in willows  FC; calls.

Hermit Thrush  4  feeding on Toyon berries; on ground; calls, FC.

Wrentit    3  singing on chaparral slope, SSP.

Orange-crowned Warbler  1  in willows, calls, FC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   2  in pines, SSP;  2  in willows and on ground, FC.

Spotted Towhee  1  calls from chaparral, SSP.

California Towhee  1  calls from edge of chaparral, SSP.

Fox Sparrow  1 ( large-billed Calif. subsp?.) in brush pile with GOSP, SSP.

Song Sparrow  1  calls from  Willow seepage near boulders, FC.

Golden-crowned Sparrow  5  brush piles beneath pines, with WCSP and FOSP; calls and song, SSP.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  SSP  calls and song in brush piles and edge of chaparral.

Dark-eyed Junco  5  in pines, calls and song, SSP.

Purple Finch  1  calls in pines, SSP.

House Finch  3  calls, riparian, FC.

Lesser Goldfinch  3-4  calls, flying; pines, SSP.





MAY 23, 2010   (San Francisquito Canyon Road; Camp Cisquito Road; Old SFC Road; DWP residential area at Stator Lane  53 Species)

                                                       Old San Francisquito Road, viewing south. Fire break trail above.   May 23, 2010


                                                                                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather: Partly cloudy, 40 to 43F; winds variable WNW 2-10 mph, gusting to 25 mph.

Time: 0605 - 1050 hrs.

Area Covered (see detailed descriptions of July 3, 09) I drove from Green Valley to site # 1(0605-0620 hrs) on San Francisquito Canyon Road, about 1.2 miles south of Spunky Canyon Road. From the roadside, I surveyed adjacent hillside chaparral, riparian and ruderal fields, using a 10x42 binocular. Except for one barking dog in a nearby residence, conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Traffic was light to moderate throughout the survey along San Francisquito Canyon Road. I then drove S on San Francisquito Canyon Road to the turn-off for Camp Cisquito, site #2 (0630-0720 hrs). Driving slowly along this unpaved road through Coast Live Oak - Riparian - Chaparral and open weedy areas, I lowered the windows to listen for bird vocalizations. On an uphill stretch of the road at about 1.4 miles from San Francisquito Canyon Road, I stopped to observe birds in a riparian canyon with an audible stream flow. At this location, several species of bird were vocalizing, including one that sounded very much like a Red-eyed Vireo (see notes below).  I continued driving back down the same road, stopping twice to listen for bird vocalizations, before exiting and turning S on San Francisquito Canyon Road.  My next two stops were on the north and south sides of a shooting range ("A Place to Shoot") on San Franscisquito Canyon Road, Sites # 3 & 4 ( 0729 - 0827 hrs). I birded on the east roadside, surveying a large, well-developed riparian (primarily Cottonwood and Willow) strip along a small stream, surrounded by hillside chaparral and open, weedy fields. By this time, high-speed auto traffic had increased to a moderately noisy level, reducing my ability to identify bird vocalizations beyond 200 yards. Nevertheless, several new species were added to the day list at these two locations, including Northern Flicker, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Pacific Slope Flycathcer and Warbling Vireo. My last stop for the survey was at the north end of the barricaded "Old San Francisquito Canyon Road" Site # 5       (0829 -1050 hrs.). I walked along the entire length of this roadway, which is now closed to auto traffic after being partially destroyed by floods several years earlier (see map of my April 8, 2009 survey). Habitats surveyed included hillside and canyon chaparral, open, ruderal fields, riparian, oak woodland, and the DWP Stator Lane residential area at the southern end of the roadway. The latter location includes watered lawns, mature Coulter Pine, Eucalyptus, Sycamore and a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs attracting many species of bird that are relatively difficult to observe elswhere in the area. As I entered the residential area, two residents (Ken and Richard Densmore, father and son) approached me and asked what I was doing. They seemed interested in my efforts to find birds (coincidentally, they were busy constructing a bird feeder for their home near the entrance) and gave me permission to walk around the area, advising me that DWP residents value their privacy. I spent only about 15 minutes inside the residential area, enough time to see most if not all of the birds. Significantly, within the DWP residential area, I added  several new species to the day-list, including, Tree Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Black Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Tanager, Lawrence's Goldfinch and Red-winged Blackbird. I walked back to my car along the same route, stopping frequently to listen for birds, especially in the southern canyon and northern willow thickets. Rock Wren, California Thrasher, Common Raven, Common Yellowthroat, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Lesser Goldfinch were added to the list. Overall, Site # 5 yielded the greatest diversity of bird species (50/53) found in today's survey.



1) California Quail   6 (1); 3 (5); calls.

2) Red-shouldered Hawk  1 (ad)  (2) flying through oak woodland near Camp Cisquito.

3) American Kestrel   1 (m)  (5) perched on snag next to roadway.

4) Turkey Vulture  2  (5) flying over hillsides; DWP residents pointed out TV roost in tall Coulter Pines with abundant uric acid stains below.

5) Eurasian Collared Dove  4 (5) 2 pair, one in DWP; calls.

6) Mourning Dove  1 (3) 2 (5) fly, calls.

7) Anna's Hummingbird  4 (m,f)  (5) roadside willows; calls and chasing.

8) Costa's Hummingbird  1  (5) edge of willow thicket at north end of road; distinctive display filght sounds (unseen).

9) Acorn Woodpecker  3 (1); 1 (5) using trees and utility pole (one as a granary); calls.

10) Nuttall's Woodpecker   2 (ad, imm) (5)   adult female feeding young in nest cavity near top of willow snag; starling on nearby branch; dry, low-pitched calls from adult while around the nest.

11) Northern Flicker   2  (2) drumming on Sycamore snag; calls; 2 (5).

12) Western Wood Pewee  2 (5) middle level in Sycamore and oaks; calls.

13) Willow flycatcher  2  (3 &4) active along edge of willow thicket; calls.

14) Pacific Slope Flycatcher  1  (4) calls from edge of willow thicket

15) Black Phoebe  3 (5) low perches; feeding fledgling in DWP residential area.

16) Ash-throated Flycatcher    8 ( one or two calling in each area).

17) Cassin's Kingbird  1  (5) calls from tall pines; flying around, DWP Stator Lane.

18) Warbling Vireo  2 (4) calls and song from dense riparian strip along streamt.

19) Red-eyed Vireo ? 1 (2) moving quickly while constantly singing in willows and adjacent oaks in a deep, inaccessible riparian ravine below the roadway; no clear views; song distinctive musical phrases uttered about one per second, continuously; definitely not the song of Bell's, Hutton's or Warbling Vireo, which were all studied and listened to from recordings of vireos downloaded from Birds of North America Online (Cornell University). By process of elimination (I am familiar with Bell's, Warbling and to a lesser extent, Hutton's Vireo) I arrived at the conclusion this bird was most likely a Red-eyed Vireo. There are a few spring records for REVO in Southern California deserts but apparently none from this area.

20) Western Scrub-jay  1 (1)  3 (5); flying; calls.

21) American Crow  3 (1);  2 (5) on ground and flying; calls.

22) Common Raven  2 (5) a pair flying high over hills; calls.

23) Tree Swallow  1  (5) landed in tall pine near Violet Green Swallows, DWP Stator Lane.

24) Violet-green Swallow   6 (5) circling and landing in tall Coulter Pine near chaparral hillside, in and around DWP Stator Lane and adjacent area.

25) Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2 (5) pair flying low and fast along streambed near Cliff Swallow colony under bridge.

26) Cliff Swallow   12  (5) colony evidently nesting under old bridge over a slow-flowing stream; calls.

27) Oak Titmouse  2 (1) calls from oak woodland;  1 (5) calls.

28) Bushtit  6 (2) oak woodland and riparian;  3 (5) riparian; calls.

29) Rock Wren  2 (5) singing near canyon walls.

30) House Wren   1 (1);  3 (2);  2 (3 &4);  3 (5) song and calls; one with insect in beak.

31) Bewick's Wren  1 (1)  2(2)  2 (3 &4); 2 (5) calls and song.

32) Wrentit    2 (1) singing in chaparral;  3 (2) singing; 2(5) singing on hillside.

33) Northern Mockingbird  1 (5) in tall tree, DWP Stator Lane.

34) California Thrasher  1 (5) singing in open chaparral, north end.

35) European Starling  2 (1); 3 (5) one staying close to an active Nuttall's Woodpecker nest.

36) Phainopepla  1 (m) (4) calls;  2 (m) (5) in Sycamore; flying, calls.

37) Orange-crowned Warbler   2 (2) singing in oaks alongside riparian ravine.

38) Yellow Warbler  3 (5) singing in willow thickets.

39) Wilson's Warbler   2 (2) singing in oaks, chaparral and riparian; 1 (5) singing in willow thicket.

40) Common Yellowthroat   2 (m,f) (5) singing and moving around low in edge of willow thicket, north end of roadway.

41) Western Tanager  1 (m) (5)   in maple tree, west end of DWP Stator Lane.

42) Spotted Towhee  1 (1);  2 (2)  2 (3 &4);  2 (5); calls and song.

43) California Towhee  1 (1);  3 (2)  3 (3 &4)  3 (5) calls and song.

44) Song Sparrow  2 (1);  2 (2)  3 (ad, imm) (3&4)  2 (5) song and calls in riparian areas.

45) Rufous-crowned Sparrow  2 (5) singing about half-way up steep chaparral slope on E side of canyon; making low, short flights.

46) Black-headed Grosbeak  2 (1); 2 (2) 3 (3&4); 3 (5) continuous singing; calls.

47) Red-winged Blackbird 1 (m) (5) singing on snag at edge of stream near DWP entrance.

48) Brown-headed Cowbird  1 (4)  calls.

49) Bullock's Oriole  1 (1);  2 (3&4);  3 (5) calls and song in riparian and DWP pines.

50) House Finch   2 (3);  4 (5) calls and song.

51) American Goldfinch  2 (m,f) (5) willow thicket and adjacent Sycamore; calls and song.

52) Lesser Goldfinch  2 (m,f) (5) open field next to stream; calls.

53) Lawrence's Goldfinch  2 (m,f) (5) in pines, DWP near entrance; calls.
















                                          GREEN VALLEY

                                   April 18, 2010  (31 Species)


Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus)  Green Valley, April 18, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

©   2010 Callyn Yorke                                                                                                     Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii) Green Valley, April 18, 2010 

Golden-crowned Sparrow ( Zonotrichia atricapilla) Green Valley, April 18, 2010       


                                                                                                                                                               © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather:  Fair with increasing cloudiness by 1500 hrs. Winds 2-10 mph. Temp 49-72 F.

Time:  0630 - 1930 hrs.

Observers: Merissa, Ethan and I.

Area Covered: We observed birds intermittently throughout the day, in and around the neighborhood from our backyard deck at home. Habitats surveyed included: Coast Live Oak Woodland, Chaparral (Chamise, Ceonothus, Eriodyction, Arctostaphylos) mature native plantings       ( e.g. Ceonothus, Sambucus, Populus, Plantanus, Rhus, and Vitis), two small ponds and weedy second growth (Elev. 3,000 ft.). Conditions were generally good for identifying bird vocalizations. Neighbors on S side had three feeders (two 4-station hummingbird feeders and one suspended seed dispenser) attracting many birds throughout the day. Live oaks releasing large quantities of pollen, coated the deck and table with a yellowish dust. Two species were added to the yard list: Hooded Oriole (photo) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


1) Mourning Dove   4  flying around and landing in dead pine; calls; some antagonistic behavior.

2) Great Horned Owl   1  calling early AM (EY).

3) Black-chinned Hummingbird  1 (m)  visiting feeder.

4) Anna's Hummingbird  8 (m,f)  visiting feeder; calls and antagonistic behavior.

5) Rufous Hummingbird  1 (m)  visiting feeder.

6) Selasphorus sp.  1  (m  imm) visiting feeder.

7) Acorn Woodpecker  4  flying around utility poles and landing on top; calls.

8) Nuttall's Woodpecker   1  calls, PM.

9) Northern Flicker   1   calls,  AM.

10) Hairy Woodpecker   1  calls,  late AM.

11) Ash-throated Flycatcher   1  calls, PM.

12) Western Scrub-jay    6  visiting feeders; calls.

13) American Crow   8  flying over; calls.

14) Oak Titmouse   1  calling repeatedly, AM.

15) House Wren   2   calling repeatedly, AM.

16) American Robin  1  calls, AM

17) Western Bluebird   1 (m)   on utility wire and dead pine.

18) European Starling  2  flying; calls.

19) Yellow-rumped Warbler   2   in oaks and sycamore.

20) Spotted Towhee   1   singing, early AM.

21) California Towhee   2  singing; calls, early AM; visiting feeder.

22) White-crowned Sparrow   2  visiting feeder.

23) Golden-crowned Sparrow  3 (ad, imm)    foraging beneath feeder; singing repeatedly in oaks, AM. (photo).

24) Dark-eyed Junco  2   foraging beneath feeder; calls.

25) Black-headed Grosbeak   3   (f) visiting feeder; song (good comparisons with RBGB, see below).

26) Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1 (f ) visiting feeder; distincly striped, slate-colored crown; pale bill; (too quick for a photo).

27) Bullock's Oriole   4  (m,f) visiting Hummingbird feeders; calls and song; (photo)

28) Hooded Oriole   3  (m,f)  visiting Hummingbird feeders; calls and song. (photo).

29) House Finch   10  (m,f)  visiting feeders; calls and song.

30) Lesser Goldfinch   3  (m,f) flying; calls.

31) House Sparrow   4 visiting feeder; calls.







APRIL 8, 2009  (34 Species)                                                       © Callyn D. Yorke







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