Trip report for Veterans Memorial Park - Sylmar on Sunday, December 28, 2014.

Number of participants: 57 + 3 leaders
Start time 8:00am
Finish time 10:05am
Distance covered: 1.25 mile
Weather:  cold with hazy sun and no wind

We were extremely lucky in both weather and birds on this inaugural Wild Wings Veteran's Park Bird Walk.  This area is frequently windy, but we experienced calm and crisp weather - perfect for our woodpecker quest.   An enthusiastic group of nearly sixty people got to experience a sapsucker slam - finding all four of North America's sapsucker species in one outing!  With Yellow-bellied Sapsucker normally not found west of Texas, and Red-breasted Sapsucker normally not found east of California, getting all four of these sapsuckers in one spot anywhere in the U.S. is problematic.  Add Acorn Woodpecker, Northern Flicker and California's endemic Nuttall's Woodpecker to the list, and that makes seven woodpecker species.  Everyone also had fantastic looks at both male and female Varied Thrushes.  This year is playing out as the best year since the 1970s to see Varied Thrushes in Los Angeles County and we weren't disappointed.  At one point we had 5 individual birds in view at one time - crazy!

Also, many people were interested to know the name of a particular tree in the park that seemed to attract much birdlife.  It was a Cinnamomum camphora or Camphor tree; it's native to China and Japan (thanks Alfred!).
Female Nuttall's Woodpecker & female
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Photos: Greg Boreham

34 species (+1 other taxa)

Sharp-shinned Hawk  
Red-tailed Hawk  
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon  
Eurasian Collared-Dove  - heard only
Mourning Dove  
Anna's Hummingbird  
Allen's Hummingbird  
Acorn Woodpecker  
Williamson's Sapsucker  -  male & female
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  -  female
Red-naped Sapsucker  
Red-breasted Sapsucker  
Nuttall's Woodpecker  
Northern Flicker  
Male Williamson's Sapsucker &
female Varied Thrush
Photos: Pat Bates
large parakeet sp.

Black Phoebe  
Western Scrub-Jay  
American Crow  
Common Raven  
Oak Titmouse  
White-breasted Nuthatch  
Bewick's Wren  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Hermit Thrush  
American Robin  
Varied Thrush  -  9 of them, just amazing!
Northern Mockingbird  
European Starling  
Yellow-rumped Warbler  
California Towhee  
White-crowned Sparrow  
Dark-eyed Junco  
House Finch  
Lesser Goldfinch


Lined up for a look at the female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

4337 Woodman Ave. Sherman Oaks CA 91423     818-995-0022

Like us on Facebook