Birding the LA River

I used the Los Angeles River’s famed concrete as a bit of a stalking horse in a piece I wrote earlier this week. But Albuquerque birdwriter Judy Liddell points out that the concrete is not all there is to the old water course:

As it flows through central Los Angeles, it reverts to the concrete arroyo. However, as it approaches Long Beach, the river accumulates silt, allowing vegetation to grow in places. And by time it reaches Willow Street, the river becomes soft-bottomed, forming an estuary. At this location, the freshwater of the LA River begins to interact with the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean and is affected by tidal action. It also is a migratory stop-over and wintering grounds for a multitude of shorebirds, waders and waterfowl.

When I checked the Los Angeles Rare Bird Alert prior to my most recent visit, I kept noticing sightings at the Willow Street crossing, which I discovered was near my friend Carole’s new home in Long Beach. After our visit with Carole, my friend Sue and I spent two hours enjoying this gem of a location.

LA River

LA River

For me, Repo Man is what first comes to mind when I think of the LA River. Judy’s piece suggests another image as well.

(Picture CC, courtesy jondoeforty1)


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