News & Events

Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary Walk First Saturday of each month Start Time: 8:00 a.m.

Join Buena Vista Autubon Society on this regular monthly outing and survey of the birds at this special wildlife sanctuary. The freshwater lake, adjacent riparian forest, and grassy upland hills provide an exciting array of bird species throughout the year. We should expect to see more waterfowl. Easy to moderate 2+ miles, some steep areas.

Directions: 3850 N River Road. From I-5, take Highway 76 East; turn left at Douglas Drive; continue to the light at North River Road.; go left on North River Road. Pass through entrance gate and follow signs to the lake.

Leaders: Denise Riddle ( and Jane Mygatt

For other times to visit Whelan Lake, please contact the caretaker, Greg Kackstetter, to gain access: (760-722-4887)

Palomar Audubon Society, Whelan Lake Bird Sanctuary, Trip Report – Oct 22, 2022

Saturday, October 22, twenty-four birders headed out on the Whelan Lake Cattle Ranch looking for birds. Come 11:30, twenty of us returned (still looking for the missing four) having found 62 species. As one of our members, Goldilocks, commented: the day was not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The previous day Diane and I saw more than a hundred snowy egrets but come Saturday this number had dwindled to a reasonable ten. The following “nice” birds were seen: Sora; Common Gallinule; White-faced Ibis; Downy Woodpecker; Western Kingbird; Hermit Thrush; Lincoln Sparrow; and a dozen White Pelicans.
For those of you who would like to view or save the total list click here: Our thanks to Steve Ellis for recording this list for us and to Gail DeLalla, Mary Jo Hayes and Lisa Dav for their stunning and sometimes stealth photos.
Birds that escaped our search, but are often seen at Whelan Lake, included the Northern Harrier, Greater Roadrunner, White-tailed Kite, and Loggerhead Shrike.
Afterwards, a dozen of us enjoyed lunch at an interesting 50’s restaurant: The Pitstop. My apologies to our new members, Jerry and Sang Lee, who apparently were there, but mainly unnoticed, se we were unable to entice them to join us at our large table. Next time.

Regards, and flyin’ high,
Doug Walkley