The significant amount of rain received in Southern California during this past winter was much in the news, and celebrated or bemoaned, depending on your point of view. The paucity of precipitation over the last several years left many Angelenos with distant memory of what a real rainstorm feels like, me included. Images of rain swollen rivers, landslides, road closures and flooded streets were dramatic reminders of the type of winter that had not been experienced for quite some time. In the aftermath, the much heralded “Super Bloom” of wildflowers brought people to the outdoors in droves.
On December 31, 2018 to January 4, 2019 eight Los Angeles Audubon staff and program alumni received the opportunity to participate in a backpacking trip with Outward Bound California in the Joshua Tree National Park backcountry. Both Outward Bound California and Los Angeles Audubon worked together to grant scholarships to all participants. Some of the scholarship recipients were part of the Baldwin Hills Parklands Conservation Certificate Program and others were alumni of the Baldwin Hills Greenhouse Program. Five of the participants that were part of the Baldwin Hills Parklands Certificate Program were Jamie, Racine, Alex, Felistus, Edgar, and Maya. The remaining two, Ingrid and Behtsabe, were Greenhouse Program Alumna. Almost all of us were new to backpacking. Edgar Pedroza and Ingrid Carrillo are currently Los Angeles Audubon staff members and they are also the writers of this reflection. They share their story in the style of a journal where they express their experience through both perspectives.
March and April in southern California encompass a great deal of change in the avian world. Passerine migration transforms from a trickle to a flood, wintering birds are leaving on their various schedules and breeding activity is pervasive.
From the first early arriving passerines to the waves of birds encountered in April and May, spring migration is a remarkable event to witness. While the quality and quantity of birds can vary from day to day—often due to factors we’ve yet to understand—this is a fantastic time to take to the field.
Shorebirds can briefly be seen in their breeding colors. Loons and scoters are streaming northward along the coast. The weather is generally pleasant and the landscape is lush. It could well be argued that this time of year offers more for birders than any other.
As usual, given the diversity of habitats in Los Angeles County, the variety of birds present in March and April was substantial. Wintering vagrants gradually began to disappear as spring progressed, and there were a few new discoveries to keep things interesting. Typically for this time of year, reports of new vagrants were comparatively scarce.
Inside this Issue
Monthly Programs–To Be Announced
Brown Booby | Neotropic Cormorant | Yellow-crowned Night-Heron | Zone-tailed Hawk | Tropical Kingbird | Black-and-white Warbler | Palm Warbler | GRACE’S WARBLER
Black Scoter | American Oystercatcher | Black-legged Kittiwake | Neotropic Cormorant | Zone-tailed Hawk | Tropical Kingbird | White-throated Sparrow | Harris’s Sparrow | Black-and-white Warbler | Palm Warbler | Summer Tanager
American Oystercatcher | Zone-tailed Hawk | Tropical Kingbird | White-throated Sparrow | Harris’s Sparrow | Palm Warbler | Summer Tanager
White-winged Scoter | Inca Dove | Yellow-bellied Sapsucker | Northern “Yellow-shafted” Flicker | Tropical Kingbird | White-throated Sparrow | Harris’s Sparrow | Dark-eyed “Gray-headed” Junco | Orchard Oriole | Black-and-white Warbler | Palm Warbler | GRACE’S WARBLER | Black-throated Green Warbler
This is the Los Angeles Rare Bird Alert for March 29.
One to two INCA DOVES have been seen in Lake Los Angeles on 169th Street south of Mossdale from March 17-25. Remember to be respectful of residents.
The continuing AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER at Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro was reported through March 23.
Another AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER was at the Cabrillo Beach Pier on March 27 and one was at Malibu Lagoon on March 28.
A NEOTROPIC CORMORANT was at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas from March 24-27.
The YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued in the trees south of the restrooms just north of the wildlife area in the Sepulveda Basin. It was reported through March 24.
A NORTHERN “YELLOW-SHAFTED” FLICKER continued at Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park in Harbor City through March 28. It has been around the southwest campsite and picnic area.
The TROPICAL KINGBIRD continued around the pond at Entradero Park in Torrance through March 27.
A HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER continued at El Dorado Park in Long Beach through March 27. It was last reported by the east fence of the archery range.
The EASTERN PHOEBE at Apollo Park near Lancaster was seen through March 25. It has been frequenting the northeast corner of the park of late, sometimes well outside the boundary fence.
The RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Clark Library in the West Adams district of Los Angles was seen through March 22. It has been searched for and not seen since. Presumably it has left the area.
A continuing CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was at Madrona Marsh in Torrance on March 26 near the entrance gate. A HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER continued near the Chevron Corner through March 26.
A “RED” FOX SPARROW was at La Mirada Park on March 19.
A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was in the southeast part of Arlington Gardens in Pasadena through March 27.
The HARRIS’S SPARROW continued at College Park in Claremont through March 27. It was last seen at the Claremont train station parking lot in the bushes directly across from the baseball fields
Continuing at Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena were a DARK-EYED “GRAY-HEADED” JUNCO (through March 24) and HARRIS’S SPARROW (through March 23). They have been on the west side around the athletic field adjacent to the lower parking area.
Continuing (though not reported since early December) was an adult male BALTIMORE ORIOLE at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas on March 25. It was by Group Picnic Area 1 in the far northeast section of the park.
An adult male SCOTT’S ORIOLE was along Haines Creek in Big Tujunga Wash on March 24. Access is from the end of Tujunga Valley Street or from Oro Vista Park.
The male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER continued at the El Dorado Park Golf Course in Long Beach through March 26. Use the Studebaker entrance. The bird has been between Studebaker and the south end of the duck pond. Check the area north of the clubhouse, along the fence and in the oaks between the golf course and parking lot.
A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER continued through March 22 near Foster Road west of the parking lot at La Mirada Park in La Mirada.
Another BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER was along the LA River adjacent to the Los Felix Golf course on March 23.
The LUCY’S WARBLER continued at North Weddington Park in North Hollywood. It is being seen in the far north section near the fence along the drainage channel (often on the far side of the channel) and was reported through March 23.
A PALM WARBLER was along the San Gabriel River in Pico Rivera on March 24. It was just north of Washington Blvd. on the east side of the river.
A BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER was at Alondra Park Reservoir from March 24-27. It was on the east side of the parking lot on Redondo Beach Blvd. and north of the west end of the aquatic building.
The PAINTED REDSTART at Brookside Park in Pasadena continued through March 22. It was in its usual haunt-- the large dead pine on the hill behind the aquatic center.
An adult male SUMMER TANAGER continued at Veteran’s Park in Sylmar through March 24. It was last seen near the north restroom number 3.
Another adult male SUMMER TANAGER continued at Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center Park in West Hills through March 28. It has been on the south side of the park, in the area southeast of the bridge crossing the ravine.