In late January 2016, I was in California on business and was hoping to be able to bird during my spare time. I didn’t know where to start, we (my husband & I) have never formally birded California before (a few incidentals recorded in San Diego in 2013 prior to a cruise), but to actually “bird California” was new to us. I did a GOOGLE search and found quite a few groups, including the “Los Angeles Audubon Society”. On their web site, they had listed a field trip on Sunday, January 24th – my only “spare morning” while in the Los Angeles area. It was a trip to “Newport Back Bay” and would take almost two hours to drive to. I contacted the society, confirmed exact directions, plugged it into the GPS and off we went. In a nutshell? a fantastic experience. The group leaders were so accommodating and shared their knowledge of the area and the birds – several which were lifers to us that they went out of their way to point out. We were so appreciative of their generosity of the knowledge that they shared and how they went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. Meeting fellow birders like those from the L.A. Audubon Society make it all worthwhile!
We saw many lifers, but highlights included: Black Phoebe, Say’s Phoebe, Allen’s Hummingbird (digiscoped photo above by Anthony Baskey), Anna’s Hummingbird, the threatened California Gnatcatcher, and the endangered Ridgway’s Rail.
For a complete list of birds seen on this field trip (and our complete list for California during the week) – see our California 2016 trip report page.