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Pasadena - one day free in mid-June

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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 09:35   #1
tbcash80
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Pasadena - one day free in mid-June

Hi

UK birder with work commitment in June in Pasadena but with one day spare. Happy to drive in the US.

I have birded in a number of parts of the US but never in California - Arizona is the nearest.

I would really appreciate any thoughts on a good day tour from Pasadena with best chance of seeing local specialties - I am a warbler and wader nut, but also love the wide open plains in the US!

Very many thanks in advance.

TBC
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 04:09   #2
Little SuperBirder
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Right around the Pasadena area there's quite a few decent spots. The LA Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are a good spot for common species, and also one of the best spots in the state for Red-whiskered Bulbul (not "countable" here yet, but a fun species to see and hear). The Peck Rd. Water Conservation Park will probably have a bit more variety with the ponds and all, plus some other things the arboretum wont have since its more riparian habitat.

If you're willing to drive further, Ballona Freshwater Marsh (actually right by LAX) or even Huntington Central Park and Bolsa Chica in Orange county are options too. Bolsa Chica has a ton of terns, particularly Elegant, Least, and Forster's. Black Skimmers also nest. There should be a few lingering (summering) shorebirds and a fair number of herons, but its better in the winter for those species.

If you have any specific target birds, or questions, I'll be happy to try and answer any questions.
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Old Wednesday 31st May 2017, 19:01   #3
Byronix
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I would also highly plug Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, which has a massive variety of habitats in one place.
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Old Thursday 1st June 2017, 05:38   #4
Little SuperBirder
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Originally Posted by Byronix View Post
I would also highly plug Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, which has a massive variety of habitats in one place.
That's another great spot. Here's a recent checklist from there with common species this time of year (which are going to be very similar to the birds present in mid-June): http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S37277761
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Old Sunday 4th June 2017, 15:17   #5
tbcash80
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I am hugely grateful for your replies and am certainly interested in the Bolsa Chica option - that looks great for terns and waders.

I managed to find a copy of the southern California ABA guide and was looking at the San Gabriel Mountains pages. There are a huge number of sites identified in that section and I was wondering which two or three you would recommend for the higher altitude species which I may not have seen in Arizona.

Again your time is really appreciated.
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Old Monday 5th June 2017, 05:28   #6
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Throop Peak (one of the highest points in the San Gabriel Mountains - about 9,000 ft) is supposed to have Mountain Quail, Williamson's Sapsucker, White-head Woodpecker, Dusky Flycatcher, Clark's Nutcracker, Townsend's Solitaire and Red Crossbill among others. Any of those new for you? Haven't been myself yet although going later this month with the Pasadena Audubon.
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Old Tuesday 6th June 2017, 18:26   #7
Sam Bryo
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The Chilao visitor centre is a good way in to the San Gabriels. If you arrive early and the feeders have been stocked-up recently you've a good chance of Mountain Quail (I saw a singing one mid morning, but was very lucky to spot it in the chaparral); Band-tailed Pigeon, Acorn 'peckers etc are abundant. The staff at the visitor centre are very helpful and knowledgeable, and the site is a good introduction to mid-elevation birds. On your way up, pish at the shorter chaparral opposite the Big Tujunga Canyon Road start; a couple of Black-chinned Sparrows popped up for me there last week and they may still be around when you're in the area.

Those were the only two sites I had time for before I needed to leave for LAX, but Schram's ABA guide will give other options in the San Gabriels.

Bolsa Chica is great for terns, and excellent in winter for wildfowl, waders etc; Belding's Savannah Sparrow is quite easy there too, at least in winter. I'm not sure how you'll get on there in mid summer, but there should be a good range of species remaining.

Good luck and enjoy!
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