Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Post #75 - I FINALLY have a local patch!

Wow - it has been a while since my last post! Things here have been very hectic between a near-move to San Francisco and the acquisition of Roody, our new rescue beagle. It has been a bit of an adjustment as we establish a routine, but we're getting there slowly. As our neighborhood is basically the epicenter of an endless concrete nightmare, we have struggled to find palatable places to exercise him (always on leash, of course!), particularly within walking distance of our apartment. That being said, we have recently discovered what is fast becoming my new local patch just a short car ride away. I/we can't make it there everyday, but it looks as though once or twice a week might be feasible given my ~9-hour work day and 2.25-hour round-trip commute. Here are a few arial and "in-habitat" photographs to set the stage for you.

Greater Los Angeles Area - the red pin is our apartment.

Medium view of my circumstances. 
Wilderness Park is my new spot.
Yeah, its a bummer to have to drive to walk......

San Gabriel Wilderness Park - nothing wild about it. 
Dry wash to west/left is San Gabriel "River".
605 Freeway is one of the nation's busiest.

The park and one of its two water features.
Resident American Wigeon in foreground.

High voltage power lines loom over all....

Bike path along San Gabriel Ditch to west of park

Ok, all complaining aside, I have had a really fun time walking Roody around this patch park. It's usually fairly well-populated, but always holds at least a few birds. I have now visited half a dozen times, and each visit has produced new species for my running park list. Given my unabashed eBird addiction, its no wonder that I have pulled a few screen shots from the site to graphically illustrate my experiences at the park.

There are only 10 checklists from this calendar year - 
6 of them are mine.

Birding at the park has picked up in the 6 weeks or so since my first visit. Migrants such as Wilson's Warbler have just appeared, and today featured a surprising 5 species of raptors: Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Osprey, and Peregrine Falcon. Shockingly, this was the first time either Osprey or Peregrine Falcon has been reported in the park. I have now added 5 species to the cumulative park list since I started birding it, and I fully expect my personal total to rise as the more productive winter months arrive. 

eBird data filtered to display species most
recently added to the cumulative park list

Top eBirders for San Gabriel Widlerness Park

It's FAR from the world's most glamorous birding, but its a project on which I can work moving forward. As work and constant f!@#$%^&*ing traffic prevent anything more than this on weekdays, this spot will give me at least something local to do on those days when I can make it home before nightfall. I am really hoping to find something good so that I can share it with LA birding community!

Introducing Roody the rescue beagle!
He's ~6-7 and very friendly and playful.


  1. Roody is a pretty darn cute dog! Good find.

  2. Local patches, and dogs, are good things. Enjoy!

  3. I agree with Cathy...Roody is really cute (and this is from an [indoor] "cat" person. Good luck with this "project" at the "Wilderness" Park.