General Membership Meetings. 7:00 pm. Fourth Thursday monthly except July, August, and November, and months conflicting with a major holiday. See Calendar for information. Meetings are held at the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center, 18312 Oxnard Street, Tarzana, 91356 at the Southwest corner of Oxnard and Etiwanda (1/4 mile east of Reseda Blvd.) It is recommended you enter the parking area in the rear from the alley off Etiwanda – go left into the parking area. Please never park near the roll-up doors of the businesses behind the Center.
SFVAS Board Meeting. Wild Wings Nature Store. 4337 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks. (818) 995-0022. Please bring your own chair.
Bird Walks and Field Trips
Beginners and Family Bird Walk. Second Saturday, October through March. Come on out for a fun bird walk at Sepulveda Basin! These popular walks, designed for beginning birders and school-age children. Extra binoculars are available for loan. Directions: Exit the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on Burbank Blvd. Go west about one-half mile to Woodley Avenue and turn right (north). Travel about one-half mile to the second possible right turn (at sign for the Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden). Turn right and go east about one-half mile to Wildlife Area parking at the end of the road. Meet across the road from the parking lot at the low buildings. Leader(s): Muriel Kotin, (310) 457-5796 or Diana Keeney, (818) 998-3216. Reservations are not needed except for large groups. Rain cancels.
Caballero Canyon. From the Ventura Freeway exit at Reseda and go south for approximately 2.5 miles. Park by the trailhead on the east side of Reseda Blvd. just before the entrance to the Braemar Country Club.
Castaic Lake Bird Walk. Directions: Take closest freeway to I-5 North and exit at Parker Road. Turn right and proceed to stop sign (Castaic Road), proceed to next stop sign (Lake Hughes Road), proceed to next stop sign (Castaic Lake Drive) and turn right. Entrance to the park is on the right. Parking is in Lot 4, so make a right turn after the kiosk, then an immediate left turn into the lot, parking to the left. Leader: Roger McClure. For information, contact the staff at (661) 257-4050.
Chatsworth Nature Preserve/Reservoir pending DWP approval. Bring snack, drink, scope if available. Plan on staying until 12:30 p.m. as gate will be locked behind us. No smoking or pets, please. Facilities limited and primitive. Rain cancels. Leaders: Art Langton and/or Stuart Wells. For meeting location and additional information, phone 818-887-0973.
Christmas Bird Count. Usually third Saturday of December. This annual event replaces the Monthly Field Trip for the month of December and takes place at several locations. See Calendar for directions and meeting times.
Descanso Gardens Bird Walk. Descanso Gardens is a beautiful botanical delight which is excellent for seeing birds, plants and butterflies. The bird list here has 170 species. Descanso Gardens Guild sponsors bird walks year around at 8:00 am on the fourth Sunday of each month. It is open to Descanso Gardens members only. SFVAS provides a docent at the bird observation station from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada. Leader: Karen Johnson. For more info, contact Karen at 818-790-1687.
Field Trip: El Dorado Park in Long Beach. Directions: Take the 405 Freeway to the Studebaker Road exit in Long Beach. Go north on Studebaker to Spring Street, then turn east (right) on Spring to the park entrance. The parking fee is $7. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot. Leader: Richard Barth, (310) 276-0342.
Franklin Canyon. Young Birders Group Bird Walk: From the San Fernando Valley, take the Ventura Freeway (101) or Ventura Boulevard to Coldwater Canyon Boulevard. Head south to the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. Make a 90-degree right turn onto Franklin Canyon Drive. (This means crossing Mulholland) Road signs read “Road Closed 800 Feet” “Sunset to Sunrise”; this is the park entrance. Meet in the parking lot on the left. Allow some extra time, as Coldwater Canyon can be a slow road. For more information please e-mail Rose Leibowitz at email@example.com, or call (818) 990-5405.
Hansen Dam. Take Osborne exit from Golden State Freeway (5). Go northeast about 2 miles passing Glenoaks Blvd. Turn right on Dronfield to enter the park. Turn right at the end of Dronfield and then take a quick left and proceed downhill to the large parking lot. Alternate directions: Exit Osborne from the eastbound Foothill Freeway (210). At the off ramp, turn right onto Foothill. After a short distance, turn left on Osborne and then left on Dronfield. Follow above directions to the lower parking lot. Rain cancels.
Malibu Creek State Park Bird Walk. Meet at the second (lower) day-use parking lot. Entrance to the park is on the west side of Las Virgenes Road, just south of Mulholland Hwy. Entrance fee is $12 per car. Leader(s): Muriel Kotin, (310) 457-5796 and/or Art Langton, (818) 887-0973.
Morongo Valley. Directions: Allow 2 1/2 hours drive from San Fernando Valley. Take Interstate 10 east to Route 62, which is past the Palm Springs turnoff. Go north to the tiny town of Morongo Valley and turn right on East Drive to the Big Morongo Preserve. We will meet at the Preserve parking lot at 8:00 a.m. Bring lunch and drinks. In the afternoon we will drive to Joshua Tree National Park to look for wildflowers, Scott’s Orioles, Pinyon Jays, Brewer’s and Black-throated Sparrows. Leader is Dick Barth, 310-276-0342.
MORRO BAY WEEKEND! The first day, Saturday, we will meet in the parking lot on the near (inland) side of Morro Rock. The second day, Sunday, we will meet at the Montana de Oro State Park Headquarters/Visitor Center. Our species tally is usually very high on this trip. Pigeon Guillemot and Chestnut-backed Chickadee are expected. Traveling directions from the San Fernando Valley: Take the 101 Freeway to San Luis Obispo and then follow Route 1 north to the town of Morro Bay. Allow 4-5 hours driving time from the Valley. Bring lunch and drinks. Dress for weather conditions. Remember, the coast can be quite chilly in the mornings. Make camping or motel reservations as soon as possible. Leader is Dick Barth 310-276-0342.
Field Trip to Mt. Pinos. Join us for summer montane species such as Fox Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Dusky Flycatcher, Cassin’s Finch, Hairy Woodpecker and Clark’s Nutcracker. Meet in the parking lot at Iris Meadows. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent and lunch. Directions: From the San Fernando Valley, take I-5 north to Frazier Park exit. Go west through Frazier Park and continue for about 20 miles up Mount Pinos Road to the end (and parking lot). Your vehicle must exhibit a National Forest “Adventure Pass” or Golden Age Passport in order for you to park and bird in this area. Leader will be Dick Barth 310-276-0342.
O’Melveny Park Weekly Walk, Granada Hills. Directions: From the 118/Ronald Reagan Freeway and exit at Balboa Blvd. Turn north, driving two miles to Sesnon Ave., turn left going west 0.6 miles, turn right at park entrance. Meet in the parking lot. RAIN CANCELS. Call Carolyn Oppenheimer at 818-885-7493 with any questions (before 7 p.m. please.)
Placerita Canyon Nature Center Docents’ Bird Walk. Second Saturday, monthly. Directions: Take the 405 or 5 Freeway north to the 14 Freeway. Exit the 14 at Placerita Canyon. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and continue about 1.5 miles to the park entrance. Turn right and park at the Nature Center. Various leaders. For more information, call the Nature Center at (661) 259-7721.
Field Trip to Rancho Sierra Vista Preserve in Ventura County. (Second Saturday) We expect to see Blue Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, orioles, flycatchers, raptors, possibly Grasshopper Sparrow. Directions: Take the Ventura Freeway (101) to the Lynn Road exit in Thousand Oaks. Go south on Lynn Road and proceed 5.3 miles to Via Goleta. Turn left at Via Goleta to the preserve entrance. The main gate officially opens at 8:00 but a ranger usually opens it much earlier. We’ll meet at the gate, ready to drive down to the parking lot and get an early start. We will bird until about 11:30. Leader will be Dick Barth 310-276-0342.
Santa Monica Mts. Conservancy Bird Walk at Towsley Canyon. Third Saturday, monthly. Directions: Go north on I-5 through Santa Clarita, exit Calgrove and turn west (left) under the freeway and then left again on the Old Road. Watch for the sign, “Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon.” Turn right and park in the back lot. Meet at the kiosk. Leader is Roger McClure. For further information, call 661-255-3606.
Sepulveda Basin Bird Walk. First Sunday, monthly. Directions: Exit the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on Burbank Blvd. Go west about 1/2 mile to the first possible right turn, Woodley Ave. Turn north (right) on Woodley. Travel about 1/2 mile to the second possible right turn (at sign for the Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden). Turn and go east about 1/2 mile to Wildlife Area parking at the end of the road. Look for people with binoculars. Leader is Kris Ohlenkamp. For more info, contact him at 747 444-9683.
Solstice Canyon Park. From the SF Valley, take the 101 north to Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road. Turn left and travel south to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Turn right and go west on PCH about two miles to Corral Canyon (just before a “76” gas station). Turn right. About a block later turn left into Solstice Canyon Park, watching for speeding oncoming traffic. Follow the road 0.5 miles to the main parking lot.
Stough Canyon Directions: From I-5, exit Olive Ave. in Glendale and go east (toward the mountains). Turn left at Sunset Canyon and right at Walnut. Continue to the end of Walnut. Leader is Mike McHorney. For further info, call Mike at 818-842-5717 or the Nature Center at 818-238-5440.
Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space. Directions: Exit the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) at Las Virgenes Canyon Road and proceed north to the trailhead parking area at the end of the road. Please bring plenty of water and wear proper shoes. No toilets are available on site.
Field Trip to Upper Newport Bay and San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Meet at 8:00 a.m. Bring lunch and drinks. Allow about 1 1/2 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 four 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. For additional information, call Leader Richard Barth at 310-276-0342.
Field Trip to Ventura County Game Preserve. 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 the end of the pavement, then through an open gate where the road turns left and leads to a group of farm buildings where we will meet. Bring lunch and drinking water. Allow one hour fifteen minutes driving time from the Valley. Leader is Richard Barth 310-276-0342.
Veterans’ Park in Sylmar. To get there from the northbound 210 Freeway exit at Hubbard St. Go right on Hubbard then left at the first street, Gladstone. Turn right at the third street, Sayre. Continue on Sayre until it ends at the entrance of the park. Turn right after the entrance and circle up the hill to the parking area in front the restrooms.
Field Trip to Walker Ranch/Placerita Canyon. Notice that this is a second Saturday. Meet at the Walker Ranch entrance. Exit the 14 at Placerita Canyon Road. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and proceed for about two miles. Notice but do not stop at the signed entrance to Placerita Canyon Park. Continue for about 1.5 miles to the dirt parking area for Walker Ranch. After birding Walker Ranch, we will picnic in Placerita Canyon Park and bird there in the afternoon. Bring water and lunch. Leader is Dick Barth 310-276-0342.
Wildwood Canyon Bird Walk, Burbank. Directions: From the I-5/Golden State Fwy. N: Take Exit 146A toward Olive Ave. merge onto E. Angeleno Ave. and turn left onto S. 1st Street, then take the first right onto E. Olive Ave. From I-5/Golden State Fwy. S: Take EXIT 146A toward Verdugo Ave. Turn left onto S. Front Street, which will become E. Verdugo Ave. Turn left at the first light onto S. 1st Street then take the 3rd right on to E. Olive Ave. Continue 1.3 miles on E. Olive through downtown Burbank and up the hill. Turn left onto N. Sunset Canyon Dr. Go 0.5 miles and turn right onto E. Harvard. Drive 0.4 miles skirting the golf course and meet at the entry kiosk area. Extra binoculars are available. Leaders: Nick Wilhelm and Mike Mc Horney, (818) 845-0166.