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Walker Ranch Trip Report: Sat. 7 April, 2012

April 14, 2012

Pocket Gopher, most likely Botta's - Thomomys bottae. (C.Bragg 4/7/12)

A shame we didn’t have more people out for this trip – the weather was perfect and the warblers were moving through.   We started the day with a UFO (Unidentified Furry Object) that we suppose was a vole.  [Later examination makes me think it is a pocket gopher. – Ed.]   Down in the many many oak trees we found many many Acorn Woodpeckers, more Nuttall’s Woodpeckers heard than seen, and a few flickers.  

Acorn Woodpeckers were everywhere. (C.Bragg 4/7/12)

Walker Ranch is well-known among local birders as one of the few places where you can find Western Scrub-Jay and Steller’s Jays in the same trees.   The chaparral-loving ‘scrubbies’ are usually found at lower altitudes than the Steller’s, which are more commonly found in conifers.  Upstream in the early morning, Mountain Quail come down to drink, and can often be heard calling.

Warblers abounded (see list below).

The Nashville Warbler was probably the most notable; although most people saw only one or two, the other Chuck saw a larger group when he wandered off through the picnic area.   There were at least a dozen or so Black-throated Gray Warblers, and one of them was incautious enough to be photographed.   [Check out the difficult-to-see yellow loral spot! – Ed]

Black-throated Gray Warbler dressed in his breeding best. (C.Bragg 4/7/12)

House Wren loudly singing. (C.Bragg 4/7/12)

House Wrens did most of the singing and seemed to be everywhere.   All in all we didn’t walk very far because there were birds everywhere!
[Chuck Bragg]

 
To give you an idea of the racket these small (4.75″) birds can make, here’s a link to a YouTube video of a House Wren in his house, and singing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8wjCGQhhRI

Read more about Pocket Gophers – beloved by gardeners everywhere – at:
http://acwm.lacounty.gov/scripts/gophers.htm

Placerita Canyon S.P.

Date

Walker Ranch section

4/7/12

California Quail 5
Turkey Vulture 10
White-tailed Kite 2
Cooper’s Hawk 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Rock Pigeon 2
Band-tailed Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 10
White-throated Swift 6
Anna’s Hummingbird 3
Allen’s Hummingbird 3
Acorn Woodpecker 30
Nuttall’s Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker 4
Hammond’s Flycatcher 3
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1
Black Phoebe 2
Warbling Vireo 4
Steller’s Jay 3
Western Scrub-Jay 8
American Crow 8
Common Raven 6
Oak Titmouse 10
Bushtit 15
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Bewick’s Wren 3
House Wren 25
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10
Wrentit 3 Heard
Western Bluebird 8
Hermit Thrush 6
Northern Mockingbird 1
Phainopepla 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 20
Nashville Warbler 10
Yellow Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler-Audubon 60
Black-throated Gray Warbler 20
Wilson’s Warbler 1
Spotted Towhee 6
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 1
California Towhee 8
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow 3
Dark-eyed Junco 10
Black-headed Grosbeak 12
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Bullock’s Oriole 6
Purple Finch 2
House Finch 10
Lesser Goldfinch 2
Total Species 55

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