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2013 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Birders Needed!

Once again this year, the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society will once again join chapters across the country and in North and South America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean and take part in the National Audubon Society’s 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count.

The initial San Fernando Valley CBC was held in 1957 and this will represent our 56 successive CBC. Over the years there have been some interesting changes in bird populations in the count circle as it has transitioned into a more suburban area. Last year, thanks to helpful weather and the 42 counters, we tallied 140 species, our highest total since 1995, but well short of our record count of 160 species in 1993. To approach that record, we need more birders joining established count sectors.

Extensive birding experience is not a prerequisite, only a willingness to come out and count—wind, rain, or shine. Those unable to join one of the count groups may assist by noting species and numbers of birds at backyard feeders local parks and neighborhoods provided such counts take place within a 7.5 mile radius circle from the count center at the intersection of Balboa and Nordhoff. Please report all such counts along with the time spent observing to the compiler by post, or e-mail (moc.rr.lacosnull@eroommij) no later than and preferably before January 14, 2014.

Count participation is FREE and open to all. Traditional count sectors are listed below. 

Hansen Dam and Vicinity. Meeting time: 7:00 AM

From the intersection of Osborne and Glenoaks, go north on Osborne to Dronfield (signal), turn right on Dronfield and enter park. Proceed downhill to large parking lot. Look for counters with binoculars. Bring lunch, drink, and be prepared to walk. Leader: Jim Moore, moc.rr.lacosnull@eroommij or (661) 317-1600.

Bee Canyon and O’Melveny Park. Meeting time: 8:00 AM

From the intersection of Balboa and Rinaldi, go north to Balboa and Sesnon. Turn left (west) on Sesnon and continue 1/2 mile. Park is on the right. Meet in the parking lot. Leaders: Ron Melin, moc.liamgnull@nilem2re & Tracy Drake, vog.acecnarrotnull@ekardt.

Sepulveda Wildlife Basin & Lake Balboa. Meeting time: 7:30 AM

Meet in the parking lot east of Woodley Avenue, north of Burbank Blvd. and south of the Tillman Water Treatment Plant. Bring lunch, drink. Leader: Kris Ohlenkamp, gro.nobuduavfsnull@pmaknelho.sirk.

Limekiln Canyon. Meeting time: 8:00 AM

Meet on the south side of Chatsworth Street, a half block west of Tampa. Park on the north side of the street. Leader: Carolyn Oppenheimer, gro.nobuduavfsnull@remiehneppo.nylorac.

Pierce College. Meeting time 8:00 AM

Meet at the corner of Victory Blvd and DeSoto. Leader: John Lobel, moc.liamgnull@lebol.nhoj.

Chatsworth Reservoir. Meeting time 8:00 AM

This sector is tentative, pending approval by DWP. Check with the leader before showing up. Meet at the gate on Valley Circle Blvd., just west of the junction of Plummer and Valley Circle Blvd. Leader: Art Langton, ten.ttanull@titnerw.

Bull Creek & west of Balboa Park. Meeting time 8:30 AM

Enter the park at the entrance road on the east side of Balboa Blvd, south of Victory Blvd. Meet in the small, paved handicapped and bus parking area in the dirt overflow parking lot between Balboa Blvd and Lake Balboa. Leader: Allan and Muriel Kotin, ten.knilhtraenull@nitoka.

Reseda Park & Los Encinos State Historic Park. Meeting time 8:00 AM

Meet in the parking off Victory Blvd, at the east end of Reseda Park. Leader: Pat Bates, gro.nobuduavfsnull@setab.tap.

Chatsworth Park, Oakwood Cemetery & other nearby parks. Meeting time 7:00 AM

Meet at McDonalds on the corner of Roscoe and Topanga. Leader: Jim Hardesty, ten.ttanull@ytsedrahnj.

Thanks to All Who Helped Beautify the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area

Many thanks to the students from local colleges who braved the chance of getting caught in the rain on Saturday December 1st to help San Fernando Valley Audubon clean and beautify the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area. Fifty-six students volunteered their time to help plant 40 pots of native plants, including California Wild Rose, California Wild Grape and Hummingbird Sage. They also sowed packages of wildflower seeds. We hope that the California Poppies, Showy Penstemon and various other types of wildflowers will grow and bloom. After the planting was done the students finished up the morning by searching out and collecting any trash that was spoiling the natural beauty of the Wildlife Area. Special thanks should go to the pledges from Omega Phi fraternity from California State University, Northridge for sending a large contingent of volunters and also to the many students who volunteered from Enrique Aniceto’s biology class at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. Also thanks to the volunteers from San Fernando Valley Audubon who helped with the organization of the event. They are Kris and Ann Ohlenkamp, Muriel Kotin, Heather Medvitz, Diana Keeney and Alan Pollack, Rose Leibowitz and Carolyn Oppenheimer.  A Special Thanks goes to Whole Foods, Woodland Hills, which donated bottled water for the event.

Monthly Field Trip – Private Game Farm

An excellent spot to observe a wide variety of birds including waterfowl, wetland birds, and raptors.

Directions: From the 101 Freeway take the Las Posas Road exit south (left), then Hueneme Road west (right) to Casper Road. Turn south (left) on Casper Road and continue to where the road eventually turns left through a large entrance gate and leads to the preserve compound.

We will meet at the compound at 8 a.m. Bring lunch and drinking water. Allow one hour and fifteen minutes driving time from the Valley.

Leader is Richard Barth (310) 276-0342.

Monthly Field Trip: Upper Newport Bay and San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Meet at 8:00 a.m. Bring lunch and drinks. Allow about 1.5 hours driving time from the San Fernando Valley.

Directions: Take the 405 Fwy. south into Orange County; exit Jamboree Road in the city of Irvine. Turn right (south) on Jamboree Road and proceed about 4 miles to San Joaquin Hills Road, turn right and drive down to the bay. Park on San Joaquin Hills Road just before the dead end. In the afternoon we will bird the nearby San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Leader: Richard Barth (310) 276-0342.

Piute Ponds – Signup Required

Leader: Jim Moore. A good mix of shorebirds and early waterfowl, with a chance at LeConte’s Thrasher and Pectoral Sandpiper. Some great birds here over the years! Possible extension to Lancaster Sewage Ponds or Apollo Park afterwards.

Bring lunch, water and sunblock. Likely hot weather, and afternoon wind. High clearance vehicles may be a plus. No cameras on Edwards Airforce Base!

This is a joint trip with LAAS. Limited sign-up of 24. Please email Jim at gro.nobuduavfsnull@eroom.mij to confirm a space.

Directions: Carpool at McDonalds at the Crown Valley exit of the 14 freeway at 7:00 a.m., or meet at the Avenue C gate at 7:45 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.