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Mt. Piños Birds & Butterflies Reminder: Sat & Sun, 9-10 June, 2018, 8AM

June 6, 2018

Mt. Piños is a great area for mountain birds such as Clark’s Nutcracker, White-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Quail, singing Green-tailed Towhees and Fox Sparrows, Pygmy & White Breasted Nuthatches, Cassin’s & Purple Finches, Lawrence’s Goldfinches and the ever-elusive Calliope Hummingbird.   We’re always on the lookout for one or more of the released California Condors who are again fully licensed to fly.   We will bird early, then look for butterflies.   If the wildflowers are out in force, we’ll have a good chance of finding the Calliope.   We may also drive over to Mt. Abel to take a look at “Shirley’s Seep” – an oasis for thirsty birds in dry years – located about 1/2 way up the road.

Lawrence’s Goldfinch male at Shirley’s Seep (J. Waterman 6-11-17)

This trip is scheduled as a day trip, with Saturday birding from 8am until mid-afternoon. Some of us will be camping Friday and/or Saturday night at McGill Campground located about 1/2 way up the Mt. Piños road, and which opens on Memorial Day weekend.   Mt. Piños Campground, about a mile farther up the road, will probably also be open. Both campgrounds feature new toilets.  Sunday (10th) usually involves breakfast, some birding around the often-birdy camping area, and eventually breaking camp and returning home.  Sometimes we return to the Iris Meadow area at the top of the road, or to one or two other locales if we feel we missed something.

Our famous leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird (Maja Block)

Family Guide: Lots of driving; maybe lots of walking;  days can be sunny & hot or cloudy & cool. Small patches of snow may still be present. Dress in layers, bring food and water.
Mountain Adventure Pass Not Needed: The Forest Service Ranger Station for the Mt. Piños area (661-245-3731) says we do not need a pass for this area for this time of year, only during snow season which is now officially over.
Call the leader no later than Thursday, 6/07 if you’re coming. If they don’t know you’re coming, they won’t wait for you if you’re late.

The parasitic Snow Plant are usually still emergent (L Johnson 6/11)

[Directions] Allow 90 minutes travel time from downtown Santa Monica.
I-5 north to the Frazier Park exit.   West on Frazier Mountain Road for about 6 miles.   The name then changes to Cuddy Valley Road.   Continue northwest about 6 miles to the intersection of Cuddy Valley and Mil Potrero Roads.   Park in the large pull-off area about 100 yards past this intersection.   (Do not expect us to meet you at the top of Mt. Piños!)   We will briefly bird around this area, then continue up the mountain or drive over to Mt. Abel.   Even if you are not camping, this is an all-day trip, so gas up your car, wear layers and bring food and water.   If you are camping, McGill & Mt. Piños campgrounds have no water, but do have wonderful new bathrooms.
FRS radio: Bring it if you have one, tuned to Channel 11, privacy channel 22.
Meet at 8:00 a.m., Saturday June 9.
Leaders: Mary Prismon & Jean Garrett 310-472-7209
EMAIL: Mary <goldcrownking[at]msn[DOT].com>
[Chuck Almdale]

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