Field Trip Listings, July 2018 and Beyond

Field trips often require more driving and time in the field than do our bird walks. If you do not have convenient e-mail to reserve a trip, you may always substitute a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) and provide your daytime phone number. We do not sell, trade, or re-use contact information; cell and email simply improve our chances of contacting you at home and in the field. No pets or unapproved small children (under 12), please. Bird walks are better-suited for most children. Contact information WILL BE released to others inquiring about carpooling unless requested otherwise. 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. When carpooling, remember to offer compensation for gas to your driver.

Mail reservation fees to: L.A. Audubon-Field Trips, PO Box 411301, Los Angeles CA 90041. 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.

Wednesday thru Sunday, July 5-8
Owls & other Birds of the Southern Sierra
$140 FEE, LIMITED SIGN-UP (Fully booked as of June 25)
Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. Scheduled so you can light a few fireworks with the family! We will be renting a new summer home this year, which should be a bit nicer. Flammulated and Spotted Owls have been seen in multiples every year. Saw-whet (adult & juv.) and Pygmy Owl are less reliable, but we will look hard! During days, we will search out Pileated Woodpecker, Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and perhaps Goshawk, Dipper or Evening Grosbeak! Meeting time and location in Ponderosa will be in upcoming newsletters. All beds are queens, so couples will be prioritized, and singles in sleeping bags will be wait-listed until reservations open up on June 15. Coordinate your contribution for the Thursday potluck with Mary. LAAS will provide a weenie roast one other night, and we always have plenty of left overs for a third dinner!
For more information call (323) 876-0202, leave voice message if no answer.

Saturday, July 21
Big Bear Area
Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. Get a hotel room for July 20 (or wake up really early), and a room for July 21 if you plan to dine and owl with the Freemans. Target birds include Williamson’s and Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Calliope and Rufous Hummers, mountain finches, White-headed Woodpecker, and Mountain Quail. Meet in the Aspen Glen Picnic Area parking lot in Big Bear at 7:30 a.m. Take Hwy 18 or 38 to Big Bear Lake, then proceed about half way along the south side of the lake on Hwy 18 (Big Bear Blvd.) and turn south on Tulip Lane. The lot will be on the south side of this short street. Bring lunch for a full day, and a Forest Service Adventure Pass.
SIGN-UP: Email sign-up mandatory. Send email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Provide •name(s) •email addresses, & •cell phone #s and wait for email confirmation.

Sunday, July 29
Lower LA River Shorebird Migration
Leader: Larry Allen. Shorebirds frequently stage in droves on this stretch of the river, with some exciting finds here in the past. Take the 710 (Long Beach) Fwy S to the Willow Street offramp, head E over the LA River, and take the first left on Golden Ave, the first left on 26th, and follow this past the pump station onto DeForest Ave. Park near the river access by the bridge, meet along the river at 8:00 a.m., and bird until noon.

Saturday, August 4
San Gabriel Mountains / Mt. Wilson Observatory
TOUR FEE: $15/head ($12 over 62) payable at Mt. Wilson, SIGN-UP MAX: 16
Leaders: Mary and Nick Freeman. We will bird the morning away up in the conifers, buy lunch at Newcomb’s Ranch (the Biker Bar) and end up at Mount Wilson Observatory after noon, to take the 1 p.m. guided 2-hour tour around the grounds and facility, including the 100-inch telescope. The one-mile walking tour is unsuitable for individuals with respiratory and heart problems or with limited mobility. It will be hot, but not as hot as L.A! Please visit the observatory website at for more exciting and cautionary details before the trip. Forest Service Adventure Pass is required ($5/day or $30/yr). Meet at 7:00 a.m. along the frontage road for Angeles Forest Hwy just north of the 210 Fwy in La Canada. Turn N on ACH, take the second right (Milmada Dr.), and a quick left (Flanders Rd.). Meet along the first 50-yard stretch, fed and gassed up, and we will carpool from here. Plan to stay out until 3 or 4 p.m.

Sunday, August 19
Salton Sea
Leaders: Nick and Mary Freeman. Anticipate 95-105°F, and bring plenty of water. We will see Yellow-footed (only place in the U.S.) and Laughing gulls, Black Tern, Abert's Towhee, and Gila Woodpecker. We may also see Wood Stork, Lesser Nighthawk, and Stilt Sandpiper. Lots of driving, so come with a friend, as singles will be bumped if we fill up the trip. Reserve by e-mail; and mail $15, cell# and address. Brawley Inn (760) 344-1199 offers a better continental breakfast, $80, and there is a decent restaurant next door. America’s Best Value Inn in Westmorland (760) 351-7100 is $70. Ask for AAA discount. Continental breakfast. Meet at Cattle Call Park at 5:30 a.m., and bird until about 3 p.m. Bring lunch, FRS radios, scope, sunblock, minimum 1 gallon of water each, and a big hat. Other lodging suggestions and information in e-mailer.

Saturday, August 25
Piute Ponds, Edwards AFB
Leader: Jim Moore. A good mix of shorebirds, with a chance at LeConte’s Thrasher, and Pectoral and Baird’s sandpipers. Some of the finest desert birding in LA County! Some amazing birds have been seen here over the years, including a pair of Hudsonian Godwits, and a Little Stint just four years ago! Meet at the Avenue C gate at 7:30 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. Lunch and finish at Apollo Park. Bring lunch, sunblock and lots of water. Likely hot weather, and possible afternoon wind. High clearance vehicles may be a plus. E-mail LAAS to sign up. ***Talk with base biologist Misty Hailstone by phone at (661) 275-2435 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. before Aug 15 to arrange a required annual 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 e-mail or leave a message. After you obtain the personal EAFB pass, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the sign-up list, (20 Max sign-up) Access for foreign nationals is trickier but still possible. Cameras O.K.

Sunday, September 16
Bolsa Chica Wetlands and Harriet Weider Park
Leader: Irwin Woldman. At Bolsa Chica, flocks of shorebirds should be heading south, mixing with post-breeding terns and Skimmers, and a chance for American Bittern and Ridgeway’s Rail. We will caravan to Harriet Weider park next, for passerines, flycatchers and such. For those wishing to picnic lunch, we will do so afterwards at the tables near the library about 1.5 miles north on PCH and one block toward the ocean. Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the Bolsa Chica parking lot on the north side of PCH, a block southeast of Warner Avenue. Bring a scope if you have one!

Saturday, September 22
Mojave Area
Leaders: Nick and Mary Freeman. Kern County has some of the best migrant traps in the state. Western warblers and flycatchers should headline. Reptiles may be encountered! Dine out (then herp?) with leaders Saturday evening if you wish (Gloria’s, 7027 CA City Blvd, 93505). Contact leaders if you plan to dine (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Sunday, bird California City environs, and hit Apollo Park on our way south if we have time. To meet, take Hwy 14 about 4 miles past Mojave, then turn right on California City Blvd. Drive through town about a mile past the shops, turn left into the golf course parking lot past the huge, fenced driving range. Meet here at 7:30 a.m. To reserve, either call (323-876-0202, leave voice message if no answer) or e-mail Audubon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with •name(s), •cell number, and •e-mail address (for confirmation). Reserve a room at Motel 6 or other in Mojave, or the Best Western in CA City (across the street from the meeting spot). Bring lunches, FRS radios, sunblock, bird and reptile books.

September 26 – 30
Western Field Ornithologists Conference right here in Ventura! Check for details. Whether beginner or field biologist, this event and the many field trips / workshops / lectures / quiz sessions are not to be missed!

Saturday, October 6
Coastal Santa Monica Hot Spots
Leaders: Local docents and LAAS members, Read Howarth & Ella Pennington. Late passerines and shorebirds should be moving through coastal migration spots, mixed with early wintering birds. Possibly 80 species. Meeting site TBA in next newsletter. Meet at 8 a.m. for a full day of birding. There may be an access fee at Sycamore Canyon or elsewhere. Bring lunch, FRS radios, and a scope if you’ve got one.

Saturday, October 13
San Diego
Leaders: Mark & Camille Stratton, and Mary & Nick Freeman. We will be sizing up migrating shorebirds and passerines, and chasing after myriad rarity reports that typically burn up the San Diego listservs this time of year. A good portion of the morning may be spent at Pt. Loma, depending on access. Other possible areas include Sunset Cliffs, Mission Bay, lower San Diego Bay and Tijuana River marshland. Bring lunch for a full day of birding. Take the 5 Fwy S about three miles past Route 52 to the Clairemont Drive off-ramp and head W into the small lot adjacent to the Mission Bay Information Center. Meet E of the kiosk at 8:00 AM. (On GPS, punch in: 2688 E. Mission Bay Dr. 92109).

Sunday, October 21
Oxnard Plain
Leaders: Nick and Mary Freeman. Meet at the Hueneme ag fields at 8:00 a.m. to look for Red-throated Pipit, Golden-Plovers and longspurs. Later, we’ll try to shake some late-migrating passerines—as well as a few eastern vagrants—out of nearby windbreaks. The tamarisks and eucalyptus rows on the Plain often concentrate migrants in the fall. From the 101 N, drive S on Rice Avenue, following the Rice Avenue prompts to the end, then turn Rt. on Hueneme Rd. Meet on the N (Rt) side of Hueneme Rd. a couple of blocks west of this turn, just after the first building and just before Casper Rd. On GPS, punch in: 276 Hueneme Rd. 93033.

Saturday, November 4
Newport Back Bay
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 8:00 a.m. for the 6.5’ high tide, and a full day of birding in the area. High tide at the mouth is about 9:00 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 may 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. Park beyond the Preserve HQ (2301 University Dr., Newport Beach 92660), and walk down the trail to where the boardwalk starts to curve. Compete directions next issue. Bring lunch. ‘Scopes and FRS radios helpful.