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Placerita Canyon Field Trip Report, April 13.

April 19, 2013

We had a good group (around 20) of birders for this trip. The weather was just about perfect too. The only exoskeletal life forms in the pomade were a couple of adults (with an enormous group of boy scouts) who were repairing a park kiosk with power tools. By power tools I mean a huge yellow pickup truck with an air compressor to drive the nail guns and so on. They managed to pack a dozen cars into the picnic area too. All this to fix about a dozen square feet of kiosk roof.

Acorn Woodpecker [Scott Baker]

Fortunately we were able to leave the noise behind as we went up the Waterfall Trail and the birds came out to see us. We had a lot of the usual suspects, foremost in number being Acorn Woodpeckers, followed closely by vocalizing House Wrens and Oak Titmice. The birds were apparently trying to drown out the people noise.

Bullock’s Oriole [Scott Baker]

The highlight of the walk had to be sighting 7 (seven!) different warblers! This is not the most you can see, but asking for more on one trip is just rude. We had to search carefully because most of them were Yellow-rumps, and one flitting warbler looks a lot like another until you pay attention. The biggest surprise was probably the Hermit Warbler – a gorgeous male in full breeding plumage. Those of us partial to Townsend’s Warblers had to wait until nearly the end of the trip to find one, and it was the lucky seventh species.

Warbler Collage. Clockwise from upper left: Hermit, Nashville, Black-throated Grey, Townsend’s [Scott
Baker]

After the walk we adjourned to the picnic area down at the Nature Center where a Cooper’s Hawk posed in a nearby tree as we ate our lunches.

Recommendation: go to Placerita on a weekday if you can to avoid the crowds.

Bird List:

Turkey Vulture
White-tailed Kite
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mountain Quail [H]
California Quail
Mourning Dove
White-throated Swift
Anna’s Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird ♀ [probable]
Acorn Woodpecker
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Grey Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay
Common Raven
Western Warbling-Vireo
Phainopepla
Western Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
White-breasted Nuthatch [H]
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren
Bushtit
Violet-green Swallow
Wrentit [H]
Oak Titmouse
Lesser Goldfinch
Purple Finch [H]
House Finch
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Grey Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Hermit Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
California Towhee
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak
Bullock’s Oriole
Brown-headed Cowbird

51 species

Special thanks to Scott Baker for all the photos!

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