By Nick Freeman, LAAS Field Trip Chairperson

Submitted Oct. 26, 2018, Re-formatted by Susan Oct. 29, 2018

Field trips often require more driving and time in the field than do our bird walks. No pets or unapproved small children (under 12), please. Bird walks are better-suited for most children. Contact information WILL BE released to other participants who inquire about ride-sharing, unless requested otherwise. When carpooling, remember to offer compensation for gas to your driver.
Mail reservation fees to: Los Angeles Audubon–Field Trips, PO Box 411301, Los Angeles CA 90041-8301. Send email reservation requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For more information about LAAS field trips call: (323) 876-0202, and leave a voice message if there is no answer.

Click to open a 6 page PDF version of the listings.

READ ON FOR INDIVIDUAL FIELD TRIPS WRITE-UPS

Field Trip Announcements for Nov/Dec 2018 Western Tanager

By Nick Freeman, LAAS Field Trip Chairperson

Submitted Oct. 26, 2018, Re-formatted by Susan Oct. 29, 2018

Field trips often require more driving and time in the field than do our bird walks. No pets or unapproved small children (under 12), please. Bird walks are better-suited for most children. Contact information WILL BE released to other participants who inquire about ride-sharing, unless requested otherwise. When carpooling, remember to offer compensation for gas to your driver.

Mail reservation fees to: Los Angeles Audubon–Field Trips, PO Box 411301, Los Angeles CA 90041-8301. eMail registration requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We do not sell, trade, or re-use contact information; your cell phone number and email address simply improve our chances of contacting you at home or in the field. If you do not have convenient email to reserve a trip, you may always substitute a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) and provide your daytime phone number. Envelopes for donations to support Los Angeles Audubon and its field trips will be distributed on some non-fee trips. Please support your LAAS field trips.

For more information about LAAS field trips call: (323) 876-0202, and leave a voice message if there is no answer.

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Sunday, November 18

San Jacinto Wildlife Area and Lakeview Area

NO SIGN-UP, NO FEE

Leaders: Nick and Mary Freeman. Little Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gulls (2!), Short-eared Owls (2!) seen on past trips may not be back this year; but surely something will take their places, such as the Iceland Gull and Gyrfalcon seen here in recent years (but not on our trip)! TO GET HERE: Take the 10 or 60 Fwy E to the 215 Fwy S, exit E at Ramona Expressway, continue E just past Perris Blvd., and meet at the Farmer Boys Restaurant on the S side of the road (145A Ramona Expressway, Perris). Leave from here at 8:00 a.m. Bring lunch, warm clothing and footwear for (hopeful) mud. We will try to carpool to defray the $10 entrance fee for Lake Perris, if we go there.

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Sunday, December 9

Newport Back Bay

NO SIGN-UP, NO FEE

Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. Meet on the wooden boardwalk along the west side of the bay down from the end of University Drive at 8:30 a.m. for the 5.8’ high tide, and a full day of birding in the area. High tide at the mouth is about 9:20 a.m., and may not peak in the back bay until after 10:00 a.m., so we will be in position when birds flush to higher ground. Ridgway’s Rail, Sora, American Bittern, Peregrine Falcon, Blue-winged Teal and California Gnatcatcher are expected. Short-eared Owl (rare) will also be a target. We will finish up at San Joaquin Marsh, upstream. Take the 405 Fwy S to the 73 Toll Road (free this far) to the Campus Dr. exit. Turn right on Irvine Ave., then turn left on University Drive, a small street. Park beyond the Preserve HQ (2301 University Dr., Newport Beach 92660), and walk down the trail and over the bridge to where the boardwalk starts to curve. Bring lunch. ‘Scopes and FRS radios helpful.

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Saturday, December 15

Lancaster Christmas Bird Count

Contact compilers Nick and Mary Freeman at: (818) 636-4361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be placed on a team or be given an area. Prairie Falcon, Mountain Bluebird, Greater Roadrunner, LeConte’s Thrasher, and Burrowing and Long-eared owls usually reported by someone!

Sunday, December 16

Malibu Christmas Bird Count

Contact compiler Dick Norton at: (310) 455-1138 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be matched up with a team or a survey area. Historically, our best-attended count!

Wednesday, January 2

Los Angeles Christmas Bird Count

Contact compiler Daniel Cooper at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be matched up with a team or a survey area.

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Saturday, December 29

East Antelope Valley, including Piute Ponds

NO FEE, SIGN-UP REQUIRED, (20 MAX)

Personal, Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) PASS REQUIRED before Dec 20!

Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. Chance of LeConte’s Thrasher, and occasionally Vermilion Flycatcher. Some of the finest desert birding in LA County! Some amazing birds have been seen here over the years! We will continue to 110th St. E, Apollo Park and possibly elsewhere afterwards.

Meet at the Avenue C gate at 8:00 a.m. To get here, take Hwy 14 N to Avenue D, head E to Sierra Hwy, head N to Avenue C, and go a block E to the gate at the end. Bring lunch, sunblock and lots of water. Possible afternoon wind. High clearance vehicles may be a plus.

TO SIGN-UP:

1) First, talk with Misty Hailstone on the base by phone at (661) 275-2435 between 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. before Dec 20 to arrange a required annual EAFB pass. Tell her your personal information (legal name, driver's license number and state issued, social security number, date of birth, email address, and phone number). Please do NOT send Misty an e-mail or leave a message. Access for foreign nationals is trickier but still possible. Cameras O.K.

2) Once you have your required pass, send email to Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide •Names, •Email Addresses & •Cell Phone #.

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See LA CBC Jan. 2

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Saturday, January 12

West Antelope Valley Raptors and Less Consequential Birds

NO FEE, LIMITED SIGN-UP (20 Max)

Louis Tucker will lead us from Quail Lake east, viewing the Antelope Valley through the warped lens of his raptor-loving mind. Ferruginous Hawk and Prairie Falcon likely, Golden Eagle possible. Wear warm clothing, bring lunch, and have a full tank of gas. Meet at Denny’s at 6:45 a.m. to carpool. Take 405N to Roxford in Sylmar. Turn right, then right into the Denny’s parking lot at 12861 Encinitas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342. Trip leaves at 7:00 a.m. Rain in the AV cancels, as decided at Denny’s by Louis. ‘Scopes and FRS radios helpful.

TO RESERVE: Send an email to Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., provide •Name(s), cell phone number, email addresses. Limited sign-up of 20.

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Sunday, January 20

Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge

SIGN-UP REQUIRED BY Jan. 12, LIMITED (TBA), NO FEE

Nick and Mary Freeman and refuge volunteer Carolyn Vance will guide. We should have two short buses for our silly band of birders. Throngs of wintering shorebirds and numerous raptors will be seen. Nelson's (Sharp-tailed) Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon and a few Pacific Golden-Plover are usually sighted. The refuge is part of the Naval Weapons Station.

TO SIGN-UP: Please send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide the following details (that we provide to the base): •ZIP Code, •first, •middle-initial & •last names, •DOB, •your e-mail address,• home phone & •cell phone number. Send by January 10 and wait for confirmation. Only LAAS-confirmed individuals of U.S. citizenship with photo ID are allowed on base. No weapons, camera OK.

Meet at the main public lot at 800 Seal Beach Blvd. at 8:00 a.m., bird through the morning as the high tide of 5.7 feet around 9:00 a.m. catches us at Hog Island, and bird until about noon. Take Seal Beach Blvd. S from the 405 Fwy, pass Westminster Blvd., turn left onto the base at the Forrestal Lane light, and left again into the lot. Spotting scopes helpful.

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GULL STUDY WORKSHOP

Friday, January 25 — Lecture

$20 FULL WORKSHOP FEE, LIMITED SIGN-UP (20 Max.)

Speaker Larry Allen will discuss most gulls that have appeared in North America – the majority of which have made it to California. So, you’ve been avoiding gulls for the last decade (if that’s possible), hoping that they would migrate out of the Southern California region. Well, that’s not going to happen. But Larry has a gentle touch when it comes to Gull I.D., and will rapidly get you up to speed with how to evaluate and identify our gulls. Larry will specifically address general aspects of gull topography, the confusing (but orderly) logic of molt sequences, and the finer aspects of identifying to age and species. Slides, study skins and handouts will be used. This is a Ralph Schreiber Grant fund-raiser.

TO REGISTER AND RESERVE: Please register with Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., providing •name(s), •cell phone number, and •e-mail address. Mail a check to: LAAS-WORKSHOP, PO Box 411301 Los Angeles CA 90041 for $20 person. You will receive an email confirmation with directions and details about both the lecture and the field trip (not offered separately). LOCATION: Private residence in Altadena, from 7:30–10:00 p.m., with one refreshment break. 20 maximum.

Saturday, January 26 – Field Trip

$20 FULL WORKSHOP FEE, LIMITED SIGN-UP (20 Max.) (New Date & Time This Year!)

Leader: Larry Allen. Put your new knowledge to use in the field, perhaps even identifying immature California & Ring-billed gulls as they fly overhead! Meet in the field at 9:00 a.m. and ogle the gulls until we’re all gull identification experts! Location will be confirmed during the lecture. We will likely go to the San Gabriel Coastal Basin Spreading Ponds in Pico Rivera, but the destination and directions will be disseminated after the Friday lecture. Some pretty amazing gulls have shown up here over the years, including Glaucous, Slaty-backed, Lesser Black-backed, “Iceland & Thayer’s”, and Kelp (yes, Kelp!) gulls. Let’s hope for one or two of these. Maximum of 20 participants. See above to reserve lecture & field trip. Doheny Beach parking fee. If goodly numbers of gulls are present around the Los Angeles Basin, we will assemble there instead. Bring a lunch.

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February 2 & 3 Weekend

Carrizo Plain

FEE: $20, LIMIT: 16

Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. Meet at 8 a.m. in Maricopa. Spectacular scenery. We will see Ferruginous Hawks, Prairie Falcons, Golden Eagles, LeConte’s Thrasher, Merlin and pronghorn; with possible Rough-legged Hawk, Mountain Plover, Pronghorn, Elk and Sage Thrasher. We will meet in Maricopa (vacant lot at 800 Stanislaus St., west of Shell station on south side of Hwy 166), drive around the Plain all weekend, then leave the Plain heading north via Bitterwater Road on Sunday before we away to LA. If possible, please carpool or avail your vehicle to others when you reserve. Your phone number will be released for carpooling unless you request otherwise. Please register with Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., providing name(s), cell phone number, and e-mail address for exact directions and further information; and mail a check for $20 each. Net profits go to the Schreiber Grant Fund. Reserve your own room in Buttonwillow for Saturday night. Motel 6 is one option here. FRS radios & ‘scopes helpful. Limit: 16.

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Saturday, February 9

Chasing Parrots in Pasadena

NO SIGN-UP, NO FEE

Leader: Larry Allen. The famous “Temple City” parrots have moved to Pasadena! Join Larry as we follow the evening flock as it gathers members and moves to roosting sites in suburban Pasadena. Possible Red-crowned, Lilac-crowned, Red-lored, and Yellow-headed Parrots and perhaps other parrot and parakeet species as well. Bring scopes if you have them. We will meet at 5:00 p.m. and bird until fully dark (about 6:30 p.m.). Meet at La Pintoresca Park at 45 E Washington Blvd. in Pasadena, at the northeast corner of Fair Oaks Ave. and Washington Blvd. Exit the 210 Freeway at Fair Oaks and proceed north about 1¼ miles. Park on the surrounding streets and gather around the small parking lot on the east side, off Raymond Ave. If you don't find the group there, look on the west side of the park. Depending on the location of the roosts, we will either walk or drive from the park.

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Sunday, February 10

Ventura County Game Preserve

NO FEE, SIGN-UP, NO LIMIT

Leader: Irwin Woldman. The private duck hunting club in Ventura has a long history of producing the kinds of birds that most rich, well-birded and disappearing habitats can lay claim to, including Virginia rails, American Bittern, occasional Ruff, Solitary Sandpiper, and single Lesser Sand-Plover and Wood Sandpiper. Emphasis on this date will be late raptors and waterfowl, with shorebirds starting to move through. Get to the preserve by taking the 101 Fwy W to Rice Avenue S, following the Rice Ave. prompts to the T-intersection terminus, then take Hueneme Rd. west (Rt.), take the first left turn, Casper, to the end, proceed through the gate and park across the street from the barn (6500 Casper Road, Oxnard). Meet here at 8:00 a.m. Sign up by e-mail with Susan, providing • city of residence, & cell number. We will walk the property, so good hiking/mud shoes with energetic legs inside a plus. We may have one car. Scopes & FRS radios helpful. There is a slight chance of cancellation, so please check the LAAS website for trip status the day before.

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Saturday, February 16

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area

NO FEE, NO SIGN-UP

Leader: Kris Ohlenkamp. “Freeway close” morning of birding. Kris has led this walk on-and-off for over 30 years, noting 240 species, and averaging 60-65 per walk. Osprey likely, Peregrine Falcon less likely, and Least Bittern rarely seen. TO GET HERE: Take the 405 Fwy N into the San Fernando Valley, turn W on Burbank Blvd. and N (Rt.) on Woodley Ave. to the second Rt., which is marked “Wildlife Reserve”. Turn here and park in the lot at the end. Meet at 8:00 a.m., and bird until about 11:30 a.m.

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Saturday, February 23

Salton Sea South

FEE: $10, SIGN-UP REQUIRED

Leaders: Nick and Mary Freeman. Large to huge flocks of Snow & Ross' geese, White-faced Ibis and Sandhill Cranes. Stilt Sandpiper, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Gila Woodpecker all possible to certain. This is the only place in the U.S. to see the impressive Yellow-footed Gull (likely)! No Limit but sign-up required. Meet at 7:00 a.m. Saturday at Cattle Call Park south of Brawley (just downhill from 550 Cattle Call Drive, Brawley). Brawley Inn 760/344-1199, Calipatria Inn 800/830-1113, and Americas Best Value Inn in Westmorland 760/351-7100 are recommended. Arrive fed with full tanks, and bring lunches and snacks. Those who wish to will eat together Saturday night.

TO SIGN-UP: send an e-mail to Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., providing •name(s), •cell phone number, and •e-mail address; and mail a check for $10 per person to: Los Angeles Audubon–Field Trips, PO Box 411301, Los Angeles CA 90041-8301. We will confirm via email reply with exact directions and further information FRS radios & 'scopes helpful.

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Sunday, February 27

Techniques for Better Bird Photography

Marina del Rey / Santa Monica

$40 FEE, LIMITED SIGN-UP OF 10

Your workshop host will be Christopher Taylor. During the field lab, shorebirds and gulls should highlight. Christopher will be addressing a basic approach to one of the most difficult arenas of photography. Christopher will cover different aperture, lighting and metering techniques to help make your photographs POP! Meet at the Del Rey Lagoon parking lot at 7:30 a.m. with a DSLR camera and 300mm-plus telephoto lens (required). Take the Marina Fwy (90) to Culver Blvd and turn left for a mile. Turn right on Pacific Ave. Turn into the lot on the right. After lunch, Christopher will review basic post-production Photoshop techniques, and tips to make good photos great and great photos truly eye-catching. A charged laptop with Photoshop loaded is useful but not required. Finish up 3 or 4 p.m. Please register with Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , providing •name(s), •cell phone number, and •e-mail; and mail a check for $40 per person. More details in the January newsletter.

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March 16 & 17, 2019 Weekend

Anza-Borrego State Park

$20 LAAS MEMBER FEE / $40 FOR NON-LAAS MEMBERS, LIMITED SIGN-UP OF 20

Leader: Kurt Leuschner. This is the peak time for both wildflowers and Swainson’s Hawk migration! We will caravan through the State Park from the Colorado Desert up to Julian, with short forays to take in the sights and the wildlife. Kurt is a professor of desert ecology, and knows all of our deserts very well. Reserve your accommodations at Hacienda del Sol, Stanlund Motel or others in Borrego Springs months early, as this is wildflower season too! Meet at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (652 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs).

TO RESERVE: Please register with Susan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. providing: •name(s), •cell phone number, and •e-mail address; and mail a check for $20 LAAS member / $40 non-LAAS fee. More details later.

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April 27 & 28 /Weekend

Owens Valley Grouse Trip

SIGN-UPS LIMITED TO 20, FEE $55

Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. We will see lekking Sage Grouse, highly likely Sooty Grouse, probable Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, possible Black-backed Woodpecker, maybe Golden Eagle. Stay in Bishop Friday & Saturday nights. Hopeful Sage Grouse lecture Friday evening. More details in January newsletter.

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