Re: [CALBIRDS] RFI for Pinyon Jay LA area for an out of town birder
- If you don't see Pinyon Jays at Black Rock Campground (see below), try nearby La Contenta Rd, a graded dirt road to Lower & Upper Covington Flat picnic area. From the intersection of 29 Palms Hwy (Hwy 62) and Old Woman Springs (Hwy 247) in Yucca Valley, go east about 2.8 miles to Yucca Mesa Rd (on the left). Turn right (this may also be Yucca Mesa, or may be La Contenta). In about 1 mile this will cross Yucca Trail/Alta Loma Rd and (according to the map) continues south as the graded dirt road. Stick to the left when it forks, following the signs towards the picnic area. Last spring we found a large flock of PJ's about 4 miles along this road from Yucca Trail. We didn't see any after we reached the area that was severely burned out.
From Black Rock Campground, go back towards town, but turn off on Palomar Rd and continue due north (downhill) to Yucca Trail. Turn right, and continue east about 1.1 miles to La Contenta. Turn right and you are now on the graded dirt road.
Don't try the short cut (ha, ha - yeah, right!) shown on maps between Black Rock and La Contenta that runs past Machris Park, unless you have time to waste, high clearance, like getting bogged in the sand and maybe want to camp overnight.
Alternatively, the Pines to Palms Hwy #74 as it runs through Garner Valley southeast of Lake Hemet on the south side of Mt. San Jacinto is moderately reliable for PJ's. And I once saw a Williamson's Sapsucker in the woods north of the Hurkey Creek Campground, near the graded dirt road accessible just east of the campground, but that was in late April..
At 08:57 PM 12/10/2002 -0800, Steve Sosensky wrote:
>>My sightings of the Pinyon Jays have been in the Lone Pine - Bishop area.
>>Does anyone know of other places where they maybe seen closer to LA or in
>>that area during the last weeks of December?
>A couple of weeks ago, I was at Black Rock Campground, the part of Joshua
>Tree NP that is accessed via Joshua Tree Lane in Yucca Valley. There were
>plenty of Pinyon Jays there. Also present were Gambel's Quail, Rock and
>Cactus Wrens, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, and Black-throated Sparrows.
>Scott's Orioles have left for the winter.
>Steve Sosensky, photographer