Los Angeles County (7-5-2001)
- Los Angeles County Birders, CALBIRDERS, County Listers:
Sorry for this belated report and for cross-posting, but there are those
who subscribe only to one of the three lists and not the other two.
CALBIRD now has already 215 members, far below the 420 I counted once at
Hansen Dam 7-5-2001, see
Here the singing Blue Grosbeaks and Yellow-breasted Chats were an easy
find. I saw two Bell's Vireos but counted a total of 6 by sound in the
north-west corner of the pond. There were a number of Great-tailed
Grackles, and to think that just a couple years ago I tried hard to find
a Great-tailed Grackle in Los Angeles County! There was also one
Western Kingbird, one male Black-chinned Hummingbird, and a few Western
Bluebirds here. The only Brown-headed Cowbirds I found here were the
ones in the traps.
San Gabriel Mountains, State Route 2:
I began the trip by purchasing my $5 pass at the Shell Station just
south I-210 at the south-west state of State Route 2. If I hadn't had a
copy of ABA's Birding Guide to Southern California, I would not have
known the need to purchase a pass or where to purchase one. Along
Highway 2 you will see many signs reminding you that you need to
purchase a pass, but strangely no sign tells to where to purchase a
pass. An on-site self service pay station would be the preferred way.
For details see
First stop was at Switzer Picnic Area (MP 34.19....ABA Guide says MP
34.2). Here I found Nuttall's Woodpecker, Western Wood-pewee,
Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Steller's Jay, Mountain Chickadee, one singing
Canyon Wren, Hutton's and Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warbler, Western
Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Purple Finch.
Colby Canyon Trail, MP 34.5:
Here the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that Jim Lomax had reported earlier only
to County Listers were an immediate and easy find. Also present were
Olived-sided Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Steller's Jay. It
started raining here. The rain followed me all the way to the summit of
Mount Wilson, and did not cease until I reached the Dawson Saddle at MP
69.5 (ABA Guide says MP 69.1).
Dawson Saddle MP 69.5, elevation 7, 901 feet:
There is a metal shed along the north side of the road. Here a mixed
flock of Cassin's and Purple Finches foraged on the ground and there
were flying Violet-green Swallows overhead. About 200 feet behind this
shed I found a single female Williamson's Woodpecker. Along the south
side of the road I found two Hairy Woodpeckers and two White-headed
Woodpeckers. Along the trail heading up the hill to the south a few
hundred feet to the east of the shed, I found Olive-sided Flycatcher,
Clark's Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Pygmy Nuthatch, Western
Bluebird, Western Tanager, Green-tailed Towhee, and Chipping Sparrow.
Lancaster 15th Street West and H Avenue:
I learned of this location through Jim Lomax's post to County Listers.
None of the previously reported Western Sandpipers, American Avocets, or
Common Snipe Jim had reported were present. What I did find however
were about 6 Black-necked Stilts, a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds
containing a single male Tricolored Blackbird, a single
female/immature-type Yellow-headed Blackbird, an eclipse-plumaged pair
of Cinnamon Teal, a male Black-chinned Hummingbird, and two Horned
Lancaster north-east of State Route 14 and H Avenue:
There are two large ponds here (even shown in the Southern DeLorme Guide
page 79, C5).
Here there were a single Western Grebe, a single Great Egret, additional
Black-necked Stilts, another male Black-chinned Hummingbird, two Least
Sandpipers, and one Western Kingbird. I would imagine shorebird
activity is on the increase by now.
Mike Feighner, Livermore, CA, Alameda County