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RFI - Central & Southern California

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  • Robert Grimmond
    Hi to all! We re due to be making our third trip to California at the end of this month. We ll be staying with my brother and his family in Clayton (Contra
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 10, 2001
      Hi to all!

      We're due to be making our third trip to California at the end of this
      month. We'll be staying with my brother and his family in Clayton (Contra
      Costa) for around a week at the beginning and end of the trip and travel
      around ourselves between 6th and 20th November. Our schedule will start at
      Monterey (whale watching trip), then we'll work our way to Santa
      Maria/Orcutt, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Ventura (trip to Santa Cruz Island for
      Island Scrub Jay), Death Valley, Jawbone Canyon, Maricopa, Carrizo Plain,
      San Luis Obispo, possibly Panoche Valley and, finally, Merced and San Luis
      NWRs. It will be a pretty tight schedule. We hope to get into San Francisco
      during our car-free periods, so with luck we'll get to Golden Gate Park
      again. My brother lives only a short walk from Donner Canyon in Mount Diablo
      State Park so I'll be able to get into that area as well.

      I've got the standard reference works, including John Kemper's and Brad
      Schram's but I'd very much appreciate current information on locating any of
      the following species (those marked with an asterisk would be lifers for
      me):

      White-winged Scoter

      Black Scoter

      Bufflehead* - I still don't have this on my ABA list, despite 5 trips to
      North America!

      Common Goldeneye

      Barrow's Goldeneye* - a visit to Lake Merritt in Oakland on the way down to
      Monterey might be possible. Are we likely to have any luck?

      Prairie Falcon*

      Pacific Golden Plover

      Mountain Plover*

      Mew Gull

      Thayer's Gull*

      Lewis's Woodpecker* - I've given up on Mines Road after two previous
      failures! I believe Pozo Road is a possibility but I've also seen references
      on mailing lists to Zaca Station Road and Farren Road in previous winters.
      Are they worth trying - if so how do I find them?

      Varied Thrush* - I understand this species is unpredictable in winter but
      are
      there any sites along our route that might be worth a try?

      Le Conte's Thrasher* - I know the standard response is that this species is
      very difficult outside of the breeding season but we're going to have a
      go! We'll try Jawbone Canyon, then Maricopa. Unfortunately I've not been
      able to locate a recording of the bird's call (I have the song) but I've
      seen it referred to as a rising, plover-like, 'tu-weep'. Can anyone offer
      any good comparison species? Do the birds sing at all in November?

      California Gnatcatcher* - I've seen a report that this species extends as
      far as the Simi Valley. Is this correct because we'll pass nearby on our way
      to Ridgecrest and Death Valley?

      'Bell's' Sage Sparrow

      I've not included birds such as Snow and Ross's* Geese since these should
      hopefully be straightforward at Merced.

      Any help will be much appreciated. I'll prepare the usual trip report in due
      course.

      Please reply to me privately.

      Thank you & regards,

      Rob

      Robert Grimmond
      Kent, UK
      kay.rob@...
    • Richard Carlson
      White-winged Scoter ... Black Scoter ... Bufflehead* - I still don t have this on my ABA list, despite 5 trips to North America! ... Take San Antonio exit off
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 10, 2001
        White-winged Scoter

        >Rare -- Try west end of San Mateo Bridge

        Black Scoter

        > Rare Try west end of San Mateo Bridge



        Bufflehead* - I still don't have this on my ABA list, despite 5 trips to
        North America!

        >Common at Mountain View's Shoreline Lake and adjacent Palo Alto Flood basin
        Take San Antonio exit off 101

        Common Goldeneye

        >Common at Mountain View's Shoreline Lake and adjacent Palo Alto Flood basin
        Take San Antonio exit off 101



        Barrow's Goldeneye* - a visit to Lake Merritt in Oakland on the way down to
        Monterey might be possible. Are we likely to have any luck?

        >Regular at Mountain View's Shoreline Lake Take San Antonio exit off 101



        Prairie Falcon*

        >Regular in Sunol Regional Park -- Take Welch road to near top

        Pacific Golden Plover

        > Try Moss Landing

        Mountain Plover*

        >> Good LUCK!!!

        Mew Gull

        > Common at San Jose Sewage treatment plant in Alviso
      • Steve Sosensky
        ... Rob, ... Somewhat early for these birds, but check the local lists and SoCal Birdbox when you re in Ventura. These can sometimes be found along PCH at and
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 10, 2001
          At 06:12 PM 2001-10-10 +0100, Robert Grimmond wrote:
          >Our schedule will start at Monterey (whale watching trip), then we'll work
          >our way to Santa Maria/Orcutt, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Ventura (trip to
          >Santa Cruz Island for Island Scrub Jay), Death Valley, Jawbone Canyon,
          >Maricopa, Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo, possibly Panoche Valley and,
          >finally, Merced and San Luis NWRs.
          >
          >I've got the standard reference works, including John Kemper's and Brad
          >Schram's but I'd very much appreciate current information on locating any
          >of the following species (those marked with an asterisk would be lifers
          >for me):

          Rob,

          >White-winged Scoter
          >
          >Black Scoter

          Somewhat early for these birds, but check the local lists and SoCal Birdbox
          when you're in Ventura. These can sometimes be found along PCH at and east
          of Mugu Rock, as well as in LA Co. at and east of Ballona Creek.

          >Bufflehead* - I still don't have this on my ABA list, despite 5 trips to
          >North America!

          Most large fresh water lakes, Saticoy Settling Ponds (see Schram's Ventura
          coverage)

          >Prairie Falcon*

          I saw one about a week ago at Silver Saddle resort at Galileo Hill. Best
          bet in SoCal is Antelope Valley along Ave. A and Gaskell Rd. between 100th
          W. and 200th W.

          >Pacific Golden Plover
          >
          >Mountain Plover*

          While in Ventura, try the sod farms on Casper and Arnold roads and Hueneme
          Rd. at Casper. Mt. Plovers can also be found in the above area of Antelope
          Valley, and on the east side in the area of Ave. M, Ave. N, 50th E. and
          100th E.

          >Mew Gull
          >
          >Thayer's Gull*

          better in the north this early.

          >Lewis's Woodpecker* - I've given up on Mines Road after two previous
          >failures! I believe Pozo Road is a possibility but I've also seen references
          >on mailing lists to Zaca Station Road and Farren Road in previous winters.
          >Are they worth trying - if so how do I find them?

          Saw one of these a week ago at Galileo Hill, too. In Ventura, try Canada
          Larga. If you come towards LA, also try Cheseboro Canyon off of US-101 in
          Agoura Hills.

          >Le Conte's Thrasher* - I know the standard response is that this species is
          >very difficult outside of the breeding season but we're going to have a
          >go! We'll try Jawbone Canyon, then Maricopa. Unfortunately I've not been
          >able to locate a recording of the bird's call (I have the song) but I've
          >seen it referred to as a rising, plover-like, 'tu-weep'. Can anyone offer
          >any good comparison species? Do the birds sing at all in November?

          I've pulled these in by playing the song in December at Maricopa.

          >California Gnatcatcher* - I've seen a report that this species extends as
          >far as the Simi Valley. Is this correct because we'll pass nearby on our way
          >to Ridgecrest and Death Valley?

          Forget this. If you want a good chance at seeing them, your choices are
          Forrestal Dr. on Palos Verdes Peninsula, or Upper Newport Bay (the only
          place I've had any luck).

          >'Bell's' Sage Sparrow

          Backbone Trail above Circle X Ranch in eastern Ventura Co. Take PCH to
          Yerba Buena Rd. (at Neptune's Net Restaurant). Go north. Continue past the
          Circle X HQ until you see a parking lot entrance on the left after a sharp
          left-hand hairpin turn. Park here and hike up the hill. If you get to the T
          in the trail, go right. Best in early morning.

          >I've not included birds such as Snow and Ross's* Geese since these should
          >hopefully be straightforward at Merced.

          If you miss Ross's Goose, there is one resident near the boat launch ramp
          on Balboa Lake in Van Nuys.


          Good birding,
          Steve <mailto:steve@...>, <mailto:mobile@...>

          Steve Sosensky, photographer www.sosensky.com
          10834 Blix Street #213 818-508-4946
          Toluca Lake, CA 91602 34*09'02" N, 118*22'47" W
          Audubon in So. California www.SoCalAudubon.org/socal/
          San Fernando Valley AS www.SanFernandoValleyAudubon.org/sfvas/
          AIM ID: SteveS310 Yahoo Messenger ID: SteveSosensky
          SoCal FRS: use channel 11 code 22
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