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Plovers Struggling

May 21, 2017
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Dad & 1 of 3 chicks on Dockweiler Beach
(Grace Murayama 5-14-17)

I’ll be short and not-so-sweet. We witnessed the first nesting of Western Snowy Plovers on Los Angeles County Beaches since 1948 in the past three weeks. The first nest was overcome by sand in a vicious three-day windstorm in late April. The eggs of another disappeared at Malibu Lagoon, even though a mini-exclosure had been placed around them. The first nest at Dockweiler State Beach resulted in three chicks–but they were eaten by a Ring-billed Gull when not quite four days old.

Male settling on nest, Malibu (Larry Loeher 5-12-17)

We may be able to affect this trend for the remaining nests and better prepare for next year’s possible nesting in L.A. County if we can contract for more qualified biologist time and availability. There are time and legal constraints as to what we volunteers can and are authorized to do. No guarantees, folks, but I feel we need to try. That means, we need you to use the little PayPal button on the right of this screen; please follow the instructions and include the phrase “Snowy Plovers” in the “+Add special instructions to the seller” area. Or you can send us a check the Santa Monica Bay Audubon  (P.O. Box 35 PAC PAL 90272) to help the cause. 100% of your donations will go to the L.A. County Snowy Plover Conservation Project. From all of us who have been volunteering for this threatened species for 5, 10 …even 50…years.   Thank you!

Three Snowy Plover eggs at Malibu (Joyce Waterman 5-28-17)

6 Chemical Reactions That Changed History | PBS Science Video

May 28, 2017

Chemicals React!

This is an installment of the PBS – It’s OK to be Smart series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Lagoon Field Trips: Sunday, 28 May, 8:30 & 10am.

May 25, 2017
Artist's perspective of west channels view from SW corner (RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

Artists 2012 perspective of finished project
(RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

Lagoon looking east - compare to Artist's Perspective (R. Ehler 7/27/14)

Channel & Lagoon looking east July 2014
(Randy Ehler )

A few wintering birds remain, the migrants continue to come through and our nesting birds will be so busy they’ll hardly notice you.

Some of the great birds we’ve had in May are:   Brant, Pelagic Cormorant, Green Heron, Whimbrel, Bonaparte’s Gull, Royal, Least, Forster’s, Royal & Elegant Terns, White-throated Swift, Anna’s & Allen’s Hummingbirds, Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Common Raven,  Violet-Green, Barn and Cliff Swallows, Bushtit, Bewick’s Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Spotted Towhee, Red-winged Blackbird, Hooded and Bullock’s Orioles.

Adult Walk 8:30 a.m. – Beginner and experienced, 2-3 hours.  Species range from 40 in June to 60-75 during migrations and winter.  We meet at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo below) next to the parking lot and begin walking east towards the lagoon.  We always check the offshore rocks and the ocean.  When lagoon outlet is closed we continue east around the lagoon to Adamson House.  We put out special effort to make our monthly Malibu Lagoon walks attractive to first-time and beginning birdwatchers.  So please, if you are at all worried about coming on a trip and embarrassing yourself because of all the experts, we remember our first trips too.  Someone showed us the birds; now it’s our turn.

Meeting place - What's that animal in the foreground? See photo below of him heading the other way. (Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation 6/18/13)

Meeting place – Hey, what’s that animal in the foreground?
See him heading the other way in photo below.
(Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation 6-18-13)

Children and Parents Walk 10:00 a.m.   One hour session, meeting at the metal-shaded viewing area (see photo above) between parking lot and channel.  We start at 10:00 for a shorter walk and to allow time for families to get it together on a sleepy Sunday morning.  Our leaders are experienced with kids so please bring them to the beach!  We have an ample supply of binoculars that children can use without striking terror into their parents.  We want to see families enjoying nature. (If you have a Scout Troop or other group of more than seven people, you must call Lu (310-395-6235) to make sure we have enough binoculars and docents.)

Map to Meeting Place
Directions: Malibu Lagoon is at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road, west of Malibu Pier and the bridge.  Look around for people wearing binoculars.
Parking: Parking machine recently installed in the lagoon lot: 1 hr $3; 2 hrs $6; 3 hrs $9, all day $12 ($11 seniors); credit cards accepted. Annual passes accepted. You may also park (read the signs carefully) either along PCH west of Cross Creek Road, on Cross Creek Road, or on Civic Center Way north (inland) of the shopping center.  Lagoon parking in shopping center lots is not permitted.

Prior checklists:
2016: Jan-June, July-Dec 2015: Jan-May, July-Dec
2014: Jan-July, July-Dec 2013: Jan-June, July-Dec
2012: Jan-June, July -Dec 2011: Jan-June, July-Dec
2010: Jan-June, July-Dec 2009: Jan-June, July-Dec.
[Chuck Almdale]

Locally known as 'Willie the Weasel' (Cal. State Parks 6/18/13)

Locally known as ‘Son of Willie the Weasel’
(Cal. State Parks 6-18-13)

Can the Frog Apocalypse be Stopped by a New “Vaccine” ? | Deep Look Video

May 24, 2017
tags:
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A deadly fungus is attacking frogs’ skin and wiping out hundreds of species worldwide. Can anyone help California’s remaining mountain yellow-legged frogs? In a last-ditch effort, scientists are trying something new: build defenses against the fungus through a kind of frog “vaccine.”

This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

Mysterious Land Snails of Los Angeles with Dr. Jann Vendetti | Natural History Museum’s Curiosity Show

May 22, 2017
tags: ,
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Everything you ever wanted to know – and some of what you didn’t – about the land snails of Los Angeles and their slime (which tastes just like chicken, they say).

This comes from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

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