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L.A. River Field Trip Report: Aug. 27, 2016

August 29, 2016
Greater Yellowlegs L.A. River J. Waterman 8/27/2016

Greater Yellowlegs,  Lower Los Angeles River.  Joyce Waterman 8/27/2016

For the second year in a row we enjoyed a “Coastal Eddie” overcast as we birded the lower Los Angeles River area for rarities and early migrants. Dick Barth, who regularly scouts the area starting mid-summer, was our guide to the latest arrivals and the encyclopedic resource to the history since he started perusing the long-legged species of the concrete channel in the 90’s. We started at the Willow Street bridge over the I-710 with 18 participants at 7 AM. This is the non-concreted area where we can see some ducks, and this year a White Pelican!

Amer. White Pelican L.A. River J. Waterman 8/27/2016

American White Pelican, Lower Los Angeles River.
Joyce Waterman 8/27/2016

We also had comparative looks at Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs. This reporter/leader will not reveal his ignorance about the ID of eclipse plumage Blue-winged Teal vs. Cinnamon Teal, nor, of course, Northern Shoveler. (And this, despite a careful lesson from Dick Barth at Malibu Lagoon in 1996!)

After an hour-plus of walking up and down the riverbank we drove to DeForest Park upriver, where we concentrated on the quick-moving warblers et al. in the tall trees adjacent to the riverbank walkway.

Having gulped down an early lunch, some of the hardiest transited upstream to Firestone Blvd and down a bit to Southern Avenue where the Baird’s Sandpiper made its “obligatory” appearance only 100 feet below us. However, the excitement quotient was possibly exceeded by the close-UUUUUPPP! arrival of a Peregrine Falcon on a telephone pole directly above our cars as we arrived at the bank parking spot.

Baird's Sandpiper and 3 Least Sandpipers L.A. River Thos. Hinnebusch 8/27/2016

Baird’s Sandpiper and 3 Least Sandpipers, Lower Los Angeles River
Thomas Hinnebusch 8/27/2016

It was another exceptional outing with Dick Barth’s expertise and more species than one is likely to see anywhere else in a morning in L.A. County in the middle of summer. I have posted the species results on eBird for each of the three sites. Email me if you cannot find the lists.

Request from a number of birders to CalTrans: No more surprise-closed off-ramps!
[Lucien Plauzoles]

Trip List 8/27/16 – 3 Locations
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  12
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)  2
Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)  6
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  1
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  3
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)  1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea hernias)  2
Snowy Egret (Egret thula)  3
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 1
Turkey vulture (Catharses aura) 1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  3
American Coot (Fulica americana)  5
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)  80
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)  15
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)  13
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  8
Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)  3
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutia)  20
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri)  60
Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)  4
Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  30
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  13
Willet (Tringa semipalmata)  2
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius ) 1
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)  7
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  7
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)  24
California Gull (Larus californicus)  20
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne cassia)  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  8
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)  2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  2
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi)  3
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  1
Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus satin)  1
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 1
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  6
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  9
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  11
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  20
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  18
Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata)  2
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens)  1
Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi)  1
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  14
Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)  3
Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)  11
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)  3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  4
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)  3
Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus)  1
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)  8

57 species at three locations


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