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C – San Fernando Vly


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MAP OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY BIRDING REGIONS
Blue – Antelope Valley        Green – San Gabriel Mountains
Orange – San Fernando Valley          Violet – Northern Santa Monica Bay
Yellow – Central & Eastern L.A. County     Aqua – South Bay & Palos Verdes Penn.
Airplane – LAX International Airport          Anchor – Harbor for boat to see Island Scrub-Jay

Adjust map size to see all locations.   Click markers for site description.

Region C – San Fernando Valley

Adjust map size to see all locations.  Click markers for site description.

C1.  O’MELVENY PARK
Highlights: Chaparral & riparian birds, migrants in season, owls, raptors, sparrows, Canyon Wren, Mountain Lion (rare).
Habitat: Trees, brush, chaparral, grass lawn, creek, hills.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, spring.  Morning, early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road, interpretive center, flush toilets, picnic tables.
Parking: Free in paved lot, street parking.
Disabled Access: Some paved paths, hilly hard packed dirt paths.
General Location: 25 miles NW of downtown LA in northern San Fernando Valley.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 north 17.5 miles, #118 Fwy 1.5 miles west to Balboa Blvd exit, right (north) 2 ¼ miles to Sessnon Blvd, left ½ mile to park entrance on right.

C2.  BEE CANYON PARK
Highlights:
Common local birds, migrants in season, occasional vagrants.
Habitat: Trees, brush, grass lawn adjoining creek flowing out of O’Melveny Park through suburban residential area.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, spring.  Morning, late PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road, no other facilities.
Parking: Free on street.
Disabled Access: Grass lawn.
General Location: 25 miles NW of downtown LA in northern San Fernando Valley.  Park is just downhill from O’Melveny Park
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 north 17.5 miles, #118 Fwy west 1.5 miles to Balboa Blvd exit, right (north) 2 ¼ miles, left on Sessnon Blvd ½ mile, park is on left.  Park anywhere on street.

C3.  WILSON CANYON
Highlights:
Wintering woodpeckers and sparrows, migrants, Rufous-crowned Sparrow on grassy hillsides near the dam.   Overlooks parrot roost in trees of Olive View Hospital below, in early AM or late PM.
Habitat: Small marsh, riparian oak groves, chaparral areas.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, Spring.  Morning, early PM, late PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road to parking, pit toilet, dirt trails.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Most trails are dirt fire roads.
General Location: 25 miles NW of downtown LA, just off #210 Fwy in north San Fernando Valley.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 21.5 miles, #210 Fwy east 2 miles to Roxford St exit, left (north), as road turns east it becomes Olive View, continue past Oliveview Hospital to a paved driveway on the left with a sign for Wilson Canyon, uphill about ½ mile to parking lot overlooking a small dam.

C4.  VETERAN’S PARK
Highlights:
Fall sparrows, Wintering woodpeckers, spring migrants, parrots.  All four sapsucker species recorded here in several winters.
Habitat: Eucalyptus groves, conifer groves, brush, grassy lawns.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, Spring.  Morning and early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road, Frisbee golf course, flush toilets, picnic tables, phone, potable water.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Paved roads & sidewalks, grassy lawns.
General Location: 25 miles NW of downtown LA, just off #210 Fwy in north San Fernando Valley.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 21.5 miles, #210 Fwy east 4 miles to Hubbard St exit, left (north) to Gladstone (1st light), left 3 blocks to Sayre St, right (northeast) 1.5 miles to park entrance.

C5.  HANSEN DAM RECREATION DAM
Highlights:
Chaparral, riparian & water birds, migrants & wintering birds, owls, raptors, sparrows, Rock Wren, Hutton’s Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat.
Habitat: Trees, brush, chaparral, grass lawn, lake, creek, hills.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, spring.  Morning, early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road, interpretive center, flush toilets, picnic tables.
Parking: Free in paved lots.
Disabled Access: Some paved paths, hard packed dirt paths.
General Location: 13 miles NW of downtown LA in northern San Fernando Valley.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 north 16.7 miles, #118 Fwy 4 miles east to #210 Fwy East, 2 miles to Osbourne / Foothill exit, right on Foothill Blvd. then 0.7 mile to Osbourne St. Turn left, then left again at Dronfield and into the park.  At end of 1st block, jog right then left to the lower parking lot.  Bird the park here.  Follow paved path downhill to eventually reach a rocky wash near some baseball fields.  Check the wash.  To bird the large lake below the dam, return to Foothill Blvd. and enter park on right.  Lake is downhill from parking lots.

C6.  RESEDA PARK
Highlights: Many ducks, gulls, blackbirds, migrants in trees.  Most ducks are Mallards, but wild Ducks and Geese also show up, such as Wood, Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Canada, Snow, and there are often Tricoloreds among the Brewer’s Blackbirds.
Habitat: Freshwater pond, large trees, grassy lawn, LA River channel.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, Spring.  Morning and early PM.  A popular park for picnicking and lawn games.
Monthly Birdwalk: None
Facilities: Paved road, flush toilets, picnic tables, phone, potable water.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Entirely flat grassy lawn or cement pathways.
General Location: 17 miles NW of downtown LA, in central San Fernando Valley, just NW of intersection #10 & 101 Fwys.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 10.5 miles to #101 Fwy, 4 miles west to Reseda Blvd, right (north) 1 mile, park is on NE corner Reseda and Victory Blvds., park on street or turn right to small lot north side of Victory.

C7.  SEPULVEDA BASIN WILDLIFE AREA AND BALBOA LAKE
Highlights:
Water, riparian and field birds.  Migrants in season.  Wintering raptors, sparrows and (often) vagrants.
Habitat: Freshwater lake.  Riparian area, stream, fields, brush, grassy lawns among trees.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, Spring.  Morning and early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: 1st Sunday 8am, 2nd Saturday 8:30am, meet in Nature Center parking lot. Led by San Fernando Audubon Society.
Facilities: Paved road, flush toilets, picnic tables, phone, potable water.  Also archery, golf, cricket, fishing on Balboa Lake.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Hard packed level dirt trails in Nature Center.  Paved roads, bike paths and grassy lawns in rest of park.
General Location: 17 miles NW of downtown LA, in central San Fernando Valley, just NW of intersection #10 & 101 Fwys.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 10.5 miles to Burbank Blvd, left (west) ½ mile, right on Woodley Ave ½ mile to park entrance on right, ½ mile to nature center near end of road.
Nature Center: Freshwater pond, riparian area, fields, several miles of trails.

C8.  BALBOA LAKE – SEPULVEDA BASIN
Highlights:
Water, riparian and brush birds.  Migrants in season.  Ducks on lake, long-term resident Ross’s Goose, Tricolored and Yellow-headed Blackbirds often around the lake and golf course.
Habitat: Freshwater lake.  Riparian area, fields, grassy lawns among trees.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, Spring.  Morning and early PM.
Facilities: Paved road, flush toilets, picnic tables, phone, potable water.  Also golf, fishing on Balboa Lake.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Paved roads, bike paths and grassy lawns. Hard packed level dirt trails south & NW of lake.
General Location: 17 miles NW of downtown LA, in central San Fernando Valley, just NW of intersection #10 & 101 Fwys.
Directions: From Wildlife Area (C7 above), return to Woodley, turn right, ¼ mile to golf course entrance on left, pass golf course to the lake & park anywhere you like.  Geese tend to be near east side boat ramp intersection or on golf course.  Blackbirds and migrants can be anywhere.  Check trails at S. and NW end for interesting brush birds like nesting Yellow-breasted Chat or Blue Grosbeak.

C9.  LOS ANGELES RIVER – SEPULVEDA BASIN
Highlights:
Water, riparian and field birds.  Migrants in season.  Wintering raptors, sparrows and (often) vagrants.
Habitat: Riparian area, fields, creek and river.
Warning:  Homeless people in area. Robberies have occurred.  Don’t bird alone.
Best Season/time: Fall, winter, spring.  Morning and early PM.
Facilities: None
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Hard packed level dirt trails, uneven in places.
General Location: 17 miles NW of downtown LA, in central San Fernando Valley, just NW of intersection #10 & 101 Fwys.
Directions: From Wildlife area (C6 above) walk to south end of lake and pass through pedestrian tunnel under Burbank Blvd.  Follow trail to right, eventually arriving at L.A. River.  There is also a small parking area on Burbank Blvd., north side just west of #405 Fwy., and street parking on Woodley Ave.

C10.  LOS ENCINOS STATE HISTORICAL PARK
Highlights:
Hooded Mergansers & Ring-necked Ducks in the small pond.
Habitat: Pond, lawn, trees, palms, bushes.
Tip:  If all you want is the ducks, park on La Maida St. on E side and look through the fence.
Best Season/time: Winter.
Facilities: Flush toilets in the park
Parking: Free in park or on street..
Disabled Access: Hard packed level dirt trails, uneven in places.
General Location: 17 miles NW of downtown LA, in central San Fernando Valley, just WSW of intersection #10 & 101 Fwys.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 9.5 miles to #101 Fwy west, 2.6 miles to exit 21 Balboa Blvd. left (south) 0.7 mile to Moorpark St. Park entrance is on right near end of block. For pond only, continue on Moorpark to end of block, turn right on La Maida St and drive almost entire block until you see pond on right through chain-link fence.

C11.  BETTE DAVIS PARK
Highlights:
Migrants in willows, shorebirds & ducks in LA river.
Habitat: Park with grass & trees.  Access to LA river by Riverside Drive.
Best Season/time: Fall, spring.  Morning, early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None.
Facilities: Street parking, flush toilets, picnic tables
Parking: Free on streets.
Disabled Access: Level grass and dirt trails.
General Location: 12 miles N of downtown LA, NW of intersection #5 & 134 Fwys.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #405 Fwy north 10 miles, #101 Fwy east 10 miles to Riverside Dr. exit, left ½ mile to park on left, park on Buberta or Rancho Ave.

C12.  DESCANSO GARDENS
Highlights:
Common local birds, ducks, spring migrants, winter vagrants.
Habitat: Many trees, brush, pond, grass, plantings, extensive gardens.
Best Season/time: Spring for migrants.  Fall & winter.  Morning, early PM.
Monthly Birdwalk: None.
Facilities: Paved road, interpretive center, flush toilets, phone.
Parking: Free.
Disabled Access: Paved sidewalks, hard packed dirt trails, some uphill.
General Location: 12 miles N of downtown LA in La Canada-Flintridge, SE of intersection #2 & 210 Fwys.
Directions: From intersection #10 & 405 Fwys, #10 east 9.5 miles, #110 north 4.3 miles, #5 left (west) 2.1 miles, #2 Fwy north 9 miles to Verdugo Blvd exit, right ¾  mile to Descanso Dr, ¼ mile south to garden.
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[Chuck Almdale]

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