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Butterbredt Spring Weekend Campout Reminder: 29-30 April, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

April 24, 2017
Hoary Bat (R. Seidner 4/27/12)

Hoary Bat in repose (R. Seidner 4/27/12)

On Saturday and Sunday, 29-30 April, we will hold our annual spring camping weekend at the Butterbredt Spring Wildlife Sanctuary and the riparian habitat of Kelso Creek, surrounded by the high desert.   Birds we will see are desert residents – hummingbirds, roadrunners, owls, thrashers, and orioles for example – spring migrants (some years we see all eleven western warblers at the spring –  nine were recently reported), and specialties such as Piñon Jays and Golden Eagles.   Our host reports getting a lot of rain this winter and has some very interesting birds nesting on his property, plus plenty of butterflies, green grass and wildflowers.   Travel will be on graded dirt roads, passable by almost any car. We will camp in a spot close to Kelso Creek and north of Kelso Valley.   Refill your gas tank in Mojave and bring water for cooking and washing.

Family guide: A great camping trip. In fact, we encourage families to attend this camping trip.  This is the desert, so please be careful of common desert hazards and equipment: driving off-road, thorny cacti, loose rock and sand, insufficient water, basic camping and emergency supplies.  We are invited to stay at Sageland Ranch, home of one of our long-time chapter members.   There will be camping space for all, but in order to reduce demands on our host, please bring water for cooking and washing. Plus your own food, of course, assuming that you wish to eat. Some firewood would be greatly appreciated too.   You can cook on the main campfire or on one of the barbecues.

Sphinx Moth at Beavertail Cactus flower (R. Seidner 4/27/13)

Sphinx Moth at Beavertail Cactus flower
(R. Seidner 4/27/13)

Participants must phone or email the leader to sign-up for this trip.
Leader:  Jean Garrett   (310-472-7209)   <jeangarrett2001[AT]>

They will need to sign a release form which will be available at the beginning of the trip.   Leave your name and telephone number with the contact person in case of cancellation due to bad weather.

Links to Trip Reports: April 2015, April 2013, April, 2012, May 2010

The rock admiration society (R. Seidner 11/3/12)

The rock admiration society, Kelso Valley Chapter
(R. Seidner 11/3/12)

[Directions] From Santa Monica:
San Diego Freeway north to Highway 14 which goes east and north through the Antelope Valley to the town of Mojave, where you should refill your gas tank. From Mojave continue on Highway 14 about 20 miles to the Jawbone Canyon turnoff. Take Jawbone Rd. for 6.2 miles and take the right fork. Go another 5.7 miles to the Butterbredt Sign, turn right and go another 0.9 miles to the spring. Travel time is about 2½ – 3 hours from Santa Monica. If you have an FRS radio, bring it along tuned to Channel 11, privacy channel 22.
Meet at the spring at 8:30 a.m.
Late-comers should be able to find us in the vicinity of the main grove until at least 9:00.
[Jean Garrett]
Link to Google Map of probably route

Butterbredt Spring gate (L. Johnson 4/26/13)

In those halcyon days of yore, this was the Butterbredt Spring gate
(L. Johnson 4/26/13)

Winter is Coming For These Argentine Ant Invaders | Deep Look Video

April 22, 2017

Argentine ants are spreading across the globe, eliminating local ants with their take-no-prisoners tactics: invade, dismember, repeat. But this ruthless killer seems to have met its match in the winter ant, a California native with a formidable secret weapon.

This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

What A Fish Knows – Evening Meeting: Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.

April 21, 2017

It turns out that they know a lot!

The cover features a pufferfish

The cover features a pufferfish

In this dynamic, illustrated presentation, Jonathan Balcombe combines science with story-telling to explore the colorful lives of the least understood and most exploited vertebrates on Earth. Balcombe explores fish perceptions, cognition, emotion, social behavior, and cooperation, and wraps it in the context of our evolving relationship to fishes and their vital aquatic habitats.

Link to our September 2016 review of “What a Fish Knows.”

Jonathan Balcombe is a biologist, author, and a life-long animal advocate. He has a PhD in ethology from the University of Tennessee, where he studied communication in bats. He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters ranging from turtle nesting behavior to the ethics of animal dissection. His 2006 book Pleasurable Kingdom is the first in-depth examination of animals’ capacity to enjoy life. [Facebook page]

Jonathan Balcombe, Author

Jonathan Balcombe, Author

His subsequent books Second Nature, and The Exultant Ark also present animals in a new light and presage a revolution in the human-animal relationship. His latest book, the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows, explores the private lives of the planet’s most misunderstood and exploited vertebrates. Balcombe is Director for Animal Sentience with The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, based in Washington, DC. In January, he and his colleagues launched Animal Sentience, the first scholarly journal of animal feeling. A popular commentator, he has appeared on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the BBC, the National Geographic Channel, and in several documentaries, and has contributed features and opinions to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Nature, and other publications. He recently moved to Florida, where in his spare time he enjoys biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the lizards on his patio.

Pufferfish in his sand 'bower' (Kimiaki Ito, National Geographic)

The pufferfish in his sand ‘bower’ (Kimiaki Ito, National Geographic)

Our meetings are at Christine Emerson Reed Park, 1133 7th Street. (between 7th St. & Lincoln Blvd., California Ave. & Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica. Previously known as Lincoln Park. If you’re coming from outside Santa Monica, exit the #10 Fwy at Lincoln Blvd., turn north  and drive 5 blocks north to Wilshire Blvd.

Link to Google Map
Meeting Room:
Mid-park in Joslyn Hall, accessible from Lincoln Blvd, California Ave. and 7th St.  Its glass wall faces north towards St. Monica Church on California St.  If you’re walking from Lincoln Blvd., it’s located directly behind (west) of the large Miles Playhouse building. Not accessible directly from Wilshire Blvd.

Meetings begin at 7:30 sharp with a little business, and then our main presentation. Refreshments are served afterward. Please leave your coyote at home, however much they whine to come.

Parking: The entire block between Wilshire and California Ave, 7th and Lincoln, on the sides closest to the park, is metered. Meter enforcement ends at 6PM, so free parking for the meeting!  We had almost 50 attendees in February and we know of only two people who couldn’t find parking. However, the local natives are engaged in a survival-of-the-fittest scramble for free parking, so the after-6pm free parking spaces disappear quickly.  We suggest that you arrive no later than 7:15 pm.

If all those spaces are filled, go south of Wilshire, not north of the park, as resident-only permit parking zones abound to the north. The east side of Lincoln Blvd. is also by permit parking only. We found plenty of spaces on 7th St. or Lincoln south of Wilshire. Most of those seem to be “until 6PM” meters also. Wherever you park, please read parking signs carefully and avoid a big fat $40+ parking ticket.  [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Lagoon Field Trips: Sunday, 23 April, 8:30 & 10am.

April 20, 2017
Artist's perspective of west channels view from SW corner (RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

Artists 2012 perspective of finished project
(RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

Lagoon looking east - compare to Artist's Perspective (R. Ehler 7/27/14)

Channel & Lagoon looking east July 2014
(Randy Ehler )

Some of the wintering birds have left, but many remain, and our breeding birds are arriving. The air may be filled with swallows. Grebes, loons, pelicans, ducks, egrets, hawks, shorebirds, flycatchers, orioles, finches, ad infinitum.


Some of the great birds we’ve had in April are: Brant, Clark’s Grebe, Osprey, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, Sora, Snowy Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Royal, Elegant & Forster’s Terns, Eurasian Collared & White-winged Doves, Tree & Violet-Green Swallows, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned & Wilson’s Warblers, Lazuli Bunting and Lesser Goldfinch.

Adult Walk 8:30 a.m. – Beginner and experienced, 2-3 hours.  Species range from 40 in June to 60-75 during migrations and winter.  We meet at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo below) next to the parking lot and begin walking east towards the lagoon.  We always check the offshore rocks and the ocean.  When lagoon outlet is closed we continue east around the lagoon to Adamson House.  We put out special effort to make our monthly Malibu Lagoon walks attractive to first-time and beginning birdwatchers.  So please, if you are at all worried about coming on a trip and embarrassing yourself because of all the experts, we remember our first trips too.  Someone showed us the birds; now it’s our turn.

Meeting place - What's that animal in the foreground? See photo below of him heading the other way. (Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation 6/18/13)

Meeting place – Hey, what’s that animal in the foreground?
See him heading the other way in photo below.
(Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation 6-18-13)

Children and Parents Walk 10:00 a.m.   One hour session, meeting at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo above) between parking lot and channel.  We start at 10:00 for a shorter walk and to allow time for families to get it together on a sleepy Sunday morning.  Our leaders are experienced with kids so please bring them to the beach!  We have an ample supply of binoculars that children can use without striking terror into their parents.  We want to see families enjoying nature. (If you have a Scout Troop or other group of more than seven people, you must call Lu (310-395-6235) to make sure we have enough binoculars and docents.)

Map to Meeting Place
Directions: Malibu Lagoon is at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road, west of Malibu Pier and the bridge.  Look around for people wearing binoculars.
Parking: Parking machine recently installed in the lagoon lot: 1 hr $3; 2 hrs $6; 3 hrs $9, all day $12 ($11 seniors); credit cards accepted. Annual passes accepted. You may also park (read the signs carefully) either along PCH west of Cross Creek Road, on Cross Creek Road, or on Civic Center Way north (inland) of the shopping center.  Lagoon parking in shopping center lots is not permitted.

Prior checklists:
2016:   Jan-June,   July-Dec          2015:   Jan-May,    July-Dec
2014:   Jan-July,    July-Dec          2013:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
2012:   Jan-June,   July -Dec         2011:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
2010:  Jan-June,   July-Dec           2009:  Jan-June,   July-Dec.
[Chuck Almdale]

Locally known as 'Willie the Weasel' (Cal. State Parks 6/18/13)

Locally known as ‘Son of Willie the Weasel’
(Cal. State Parks 6-18-13)

Flocks over Los Angeles with Kimball Garrett | NHM Curiosity Show Video

April 18, 2017

Chris Thacker and Kimball Garrett take us on a tour of our local birds, some in the skies, some in trays: resident, migrant and introduce (especially all those parrots).

This comes from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

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