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King Gillette Ranch Reminder: 8am Saturday, 13 April 2019

April 11, 2019

Red-shouldered Hawk soaring (J.Kenney 3/13/10 King Gillette)

Join us for a morning of birding in the Santa Monica Mountains when we visit King Gillette Ranch, Calabasas, at 8 am, Saturday, the 13th of April.

King Gillette is sometimes overlooked because it is smaller than its better-known neighbor, Malibu Creek State Park.  That is unfortunate because it is a lovely side that offers a variety of habitats, including open fields stands of mature oaks and sycamores, riparian habitat, chaparral scrub land, and a pond, all within view of the adjacent mountains.

California Thrasher – between songs
(J.Kenney 3/13/10 King Gillette)

We expect to find such resident species as Acorn Woodpeckers, Nanday Parakeets, Red-tailed & Red-shouldered Hawks, Black Phoebes, Oak Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Bewick’s & House Wrens, Western Bluebirds, Lesser Goldfinch and several species of sparrows.  The pond usually attracts waterfowl such as Canada Geese and Mallards, perhaps Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks, as well as some herons & egrets.  In early April, spring migrants should be arriving and there is always the chance of an unusual species such as Lawrence’s Goldfinch.

Family guide:  1 – 2 miles of easy walking.  Bring water & snacks.  Dress in layers because it will probably be cold at 8 am when we meet.  Waterproof footwear is advisable since we may walk on wet grass.

Directions:  King Gillette Ranch, 26800 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas.

From Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Playa Vista & environs:
Go west on the PCH (Rt. 1) to the traffic light at Malibu Canyon Rd (by Pepperdine)
Turn right (north) and stay on Malibu Canyon Rd for about 6.5 miles to the intersection with Mulholland Hwy (traffic light).
Turn right onto Mulholland.
Turn right into the park and follow the entrance road.
Take the first right turn & park at the National Park Service Visitor’s Center.  We will meet there.

Phainopepla female
(L.Johnson 3/13/10 King Gillette)

From the Ventura Fwy:
Exit at Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Rd & go south toward Malibu.
At the traffic light at Mulholland, turn left (east).
Turn right into the park & follow the entrance road.
Take the first right turn & park at the National Park Service Visitor’s Center.  We will meet there.

Parking:  Parking at the NPS Visitor’s Center is free for 2 hours.  After birding around that area for an hour or so we will move our cars deeper into the park onto Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy land where a $7/per vehicle day use fee must be paid in cash.  CA State Park passes are not valid and there no kiosk or ticket machine so be sure to bring exact change.

For additional information, e-mail leader at: <smbaudubon [at]> or call 310-617-8904 and leave a message.  Be sure to leave your name and phone number so the leader can return your call.

Lewis’s Woodpecker – resting from his pursuits (J.Kenney 3/13/10 King Gillette)


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