The first Sunday of every month brings San Fernando Valley Audubon Society’s iconic Sepulveda Basin Bird Outing. Over 300 avian species have been reported to eBird along the route of this approximate 2 mile tour, from the huge American White Pelican wintering in the Wildlife Lake to the tiniest of hummingbirds there year round. It is common to see over 60 species of birds on a three hour outing beginning at 8 am.
The Sepulveda Basin is a 2,100+ acre flood control basin, with the Los Angeles River and several tributaries coursing through it. Various portions are occupied by golf courses, sports fields and facilities, agriculture, military and sanitation facilities, and two wildlife areas. The SFVAS outing traverses the wildlife area east of Woodley Avenue through riparian habitat, a portion of which is carefully nurtured to promote native flora. The pathway winds between the Wildlife Lake and Haskell Creek, both of which are supplied with reclaimed water year round. If conditions permit, the outing extends south of Burbank Boulevard to the Sepulveda Dam and the Los Angeles River.
The area has recovered remarkably from a devastating fire in September 2020. Though most of the large trees were lost leaving skeletal remains (and homes for cavity nesters), new sycamores and cottonwoods are quickly emerging.
There is ample free parking in the “amphitheater” area of Woodley Park, where the walk begins. Here is a Google map link. Most of the tour is flat and on hard packed decomposed granite or dirt pathways and is wheelchair accessible with a small detour required near the river. The outing is canceled in the event of rain or flooding (it is, after all, a flood basin). If you’re unsure whether a walk is taking place, please contact your walk leaders at 747-237-3720.