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Topanga State Park – Trippet Ranch Trip Report: 8 March, 2014

March 10, 2014

A fine clear day for exploring the Santa Monica Mountains on Saturday. Despite the commotion in the parking lot where numerous students and Sierra Club Trail Crew were gathering, we started seeing local species within minutes of the start.

Northern Flicker hunting invertebrates on the ground (R. Ehler 3/8/14)

Northern Flicker hunting invertebrates on the ground
(R. Ehler 3/8/14)

Typical to the area in spring are the Lark Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. One of the latter even flashed us with a “crown” display, while most of the Yellow-rumped Warblers remained in the gray winter plumage. A pleasant sighting occurred just after 11:30 when a pair of leaf-gleaning Hutton’s Vireos gave us pause in one of the live oak groves. Luckily one was repeatedly singing which allowed us to identify it. Two expected species did not appear: Bewick’s Wren and Spotted Towhee – even to the diminished group that hiked out to the overlook portion of the nature trail. We were lucky in our timing, the warm breezes started about 11am and it became quite hot in the afternoon.  [Lucien Plauzoles]

Trippet Ranch Trip List
3/8/2014 No.
Cooper’s Hawk 1 Common Raven 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Oak Titmouse 15
Red-tailed Hawk 3 Bushtit 6
Band-tailed Pigeon 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Anna’s Hummingbird 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 18
Acorn Woodpecker 10 Hermit Thrush 1
Nuttall’s Woodpecker 4 California Thrasher 2
Downy Woodpecker 1 Orange-crowned Warbler 14
Northern Flicker 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 2 California Towhee 2
Black Phoebe 1 Lark Sparrow 3
Hutton’s Vireo 2 Song Sparrow 2
Western Scrub-Jay 1 Dark-eyed Junco 30
American Crow 6 Lesser Goldfinch 3
     Total Species 28

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