Skip to content

Free email delivery

Please sign up for email delivery in the subscription area to the right.
No salesman will call, at least not from us. Maybe from someone else.

Antelope Valley Raptor Search Reminder, Saturday, 19 January 2019

January 15, 2019

This post is intentionally stuck. Scroll down for newer, unstuck posts.

This trip is rescheduled from the original date.

This is the trip for the raptor enthusiast.

Prairie Falcon, Patrick McCaffey, 01/14/17

We will be birding in both the northeastern and northwestern Antelope Valley.  The raptors we are most likely to see are Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Prairie Falcon and White-tailed Kite.  We hope to see Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk and there is always the chance of a Long-eared Owl.  We will be looking for Mountain Plover, Mountain Bluebird, Horned Lark and other species that are year-round residents or winter visitors.

Mountain Bluebird, Ted S., 01/14/17

Links to prior trips: Jan’18, Jan’17, Jan’16, Jan’15, Jan’14, Jan’13, Jan’12, Jan’11

Family guide:  Mostly driving, under 1/2 mile walking on roadsides.  Probably boring for young children.  Expect cold weather.  The trip will be postponed by one week if rain or high winds are predicted.

Directions:  Carpools will leave the North Hills (San Fernando Valley) area by 7.15 am so we can be in the Palmdale area by 8am.  Allow 1/2-hour drive time from Santa Monica to the carpool meeting place.  For directions to the meeting place or additional information, e-mail leader at: <smbaudubon [at] gmail.com BY THURSDAY EVENING.  This trip is limited to 5 vehicles, with priority given to those who are carpooling.

This trip has been rescheduled from the prior Saturday.

Bring lunch, drinks, additional water and dress for the weather.  If you have an FRS radio bring it with you.

For additional information and directions to the meeting place, e-mail leader at: <smbaudubon [at] gmail.com>
or call or send a text to the leader the leader at 310-617-8904 and leave a message with your name and phone number.
We must know who is coming on the trip; the leader will reply to confirm your participation.

[caniswatch]

Off goes the Prairie Falcon (C.Almdale 12/10/11)

 

Advertisements

Donation Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 8, 2018
by
Have you donated Yet? (Clipartkid.com)

Have you donated Yet? (Clipartkid.com)

This post is intentionally stuck. Scroll down for newer, unstuck posts.

Finished with eating turkey???  Tired of endless football, basketball, hockey games??? Sick of shopping and Black Friday ads???

Why not take a minute, go to the blog and click the Donate or Join Button on the right side of the screen to help us with our Annual Appeal?
[Get to the blog quickly by clicking above on the title “Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!“]

Or you can use the return envelope that came by snail mail.

Now don’t you feel better for helping the birds and the environment?

(Click here to see what we’ve been up to over the past year).

Don't let this happen to you. (Clipart - Andertoons.com)

Don’t let this happen to you. (Clipart – Andertoons.com)

The Most Extreme Life Forms On Earth… And Beyond? | PBS Science Video

January 15, 2019

What have we learned from exploring Earth’s harshest locations? That pretty everywhere we look for life, we find it. From smoking hot hydrothermal vents to icy deserts, up in clouds and inside rocks, extremophiles have found a way to survive. These survivors and adapters are not only teaching us about life on Earth, but expanding the possibilities of where life can exist elsewhere.

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]

Paradise Riflebird: Practice, Practice | Cornell / National Geographic

January 10, 2019

Male birds-of-paradise spend their first several years looking very much like females. They’re brownish and they don’t yet have fancy colors or ornaments. They spend this time watching what makes a good display and then practicing the right moves. Females are so picky that practice is essential. Even adult males spend many hours refining their displays to be ready when their chance comes. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman.

There are currently seventy-two short films in the entire Birds-of-Paradise Project playlist, ranging from 26 seconds to 8:29. In the upcoming weeks, we will present some of our favorites.

A film from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 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. The lab is a member-supported organization and they welcome your membership and support. [Chuck Almdale]

How Elephants Listen … With Their Feet | Deep Look Video

January 5, 2019

African elephants may have magnificent ears, but on the savanna, they communicate over vast distances by picking up underground signals with their sensitive, fatty feet.

This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series; this installment is adapted from the “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]

High Tide and Green Grass: Malibu Lagoon, 23 December, 2018

December 31, 2018

View to southeast across channel and lagoon towards the Pacific Ocean.
(L. Johnson 12-23-18)

As in November our Birdwalk coincided with a full moon high tide of the month (+6.87 ft.) and a small storm surge still lingered from the high surf earlier in the week. Waves were up to ten feet high in Santa Monica Bay; reports of fifty-footers much farther north. I doubt that Malibu Colony residents would appreciate fifty-footers cresting over their roofs, then sucking the wreckage out to sea in the backwash.

Looking east down the beach, such as it is, and across the lagoon outlet.
(L. Johnson 12-23-18)

That didn’t happen today – stay tuned! – although the tide and waves swamped the entire beach. Water passed the 6’ 9.4” mark on the tidal clock ramp in the farthest corner of the channel, and wavelets rippled beyond that mark.

High tide and storm surge push sea-washed wrack over 7 ft. above sea level on the tidal clock “sidewalk.” (L. Johnson 12-23-18)

Plaque marking 6′ 9″ is under water (L. Johnson 12-23-18)

Our local fires are all snuffed out by the labors of innumerable firemen both local and from afar, with the final touches added by several inches of rain. Many recently homeless people still live on the beaches and shopping mall parking lots. Some plan to rebuild; some not.

Surf comes in, Sanderlings run in; surf goes out…you know the drill.
(R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

The beach was completely gone when we arrived, due to the 8:50 am high tide. We took our time birding down to the beach, and by the time we arrived there was beach to walk on. The only areas not washed over were a few sand islands in the lagoon, now formed into a peninsula.

Sanderling grabs his crab and flees.
(R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

The influx of cool oxygenated ocean water has pepped up the lagoon’s fish population, if the number of “Jumping” Mullet actually jumping is any indication. It was wonderful to see them back at it.

View from 2nd viewpoint southeast towards lagoon outlet.
(L. Johnson 12-23-18)

Great Blue Heron shows off his finery. (R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

Bird species diversity was down to 60 from November’s 70, mostly in the ducks and passerines (little tweety songbirds for you non-birders), but total birds rose 70%, primarily due to the typical winter jump in the California Gull population. (See checklists below for details.) Other notable gulls were two first-year Heermann’s and a single Herring Gull, a species uncommon in SoCal.

Some Heermann’s Gulls are already in their beautiful alternate plumage for early Spring breeding in southern Baja. (G. Murayama 12-31-18)

A Peregrine Falcon shot by, an event which always get the sandpipers, ducks and gulls excited (not in a good way). The last one seen at the lagoon was a migrant last May. Six Black Phoebes was a good count for this always-present species, and Bushtits had returned after their November absence. Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers still prowl the bushes. They were at the lagoon November through March last year, but weren’t seen at all the winter before. Wrentits were still present. This chaparral-obligate rarely come to the lagoon – we’ve seen them only nine times in the past 220 months – and they’ve been there for two months. This probably has something to do with food availability in the nearby chaparral hills, now reduced to very low levels by the fires.

The right Least Sandpiper seems doubtful of the photographer’s good intentions.
(R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

We don’t have many reeds at the lagoon; what’s there is scattered into a dozen patches, some of them quite small. Nevertheless, we saw (or heard) three Marsh Wrens, a reed obligate. They move around briskly and skulkingly, thoroughly examining all the reed patches in their rounds.

‘Twas brillig and…NOT. High tide inundates the beach.
(R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

For comparison, lagoon outlet at low tide, not inundated by surf.
(R. Juncosa 11-30-18 2:40 pm)

Birds new for the season were: Surf Scoter, Herring Gull, Red-throated, Pacific & Common Loons, Brandt’s Cormorant, Belted Kingfisher, Peregrine Falcon, Golden-crowned Sparrow.

Gulls and birders at 1st viewpoint. (R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

Many thanks to our photographers: Lillian Johnson, Ray Juncosa & Grace Murayama.

House Finches were almost abundant among the beach plants. (R. Juncosa 12-23-18)

Our next three scheduled field trips: L.A Christmas Count (Santa Monica area) 8am, 2 Jan; Antelope Valley Raptor Search 7am, 12 Jan; Malibu Lagoon 8:30 & 10am, 27 January.

Our next program: “International Bird Rescue,” presented by Julie Skogland of IBR. Tuesday, 5 February, 7:30 p.m., Chris Reed Park, 1133 7th St., NE corner of 7th and Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.

NOTE: Our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids Birdwalk meets at the shaded viewpoint just south of the parking area. Watch for Willie the Weasel. He’ll be watching for you and your big floppy feet.

Links: Unusual birds at Malibu Lagoon recently updated with new photos
9/23/02 Aerial photo of Malibu Lagoon

Prior checklists:
2017: Jan-June, July-Dec 2018: Jan-June
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.

The 10-year comparison summaries created during the project period, despite numerous complaints, remain available on our Lagoon Project Bird Census Page. Very briefly summarized, the results unexpectedly indicate that avian species diversification and numbers improved slightly during the period Jun’12-June’14.

Many thanks to Lillian Johnson, Chris Lord & Clyde Singleton for their contributions to the checklist below.  [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2018 6/24 7/22 8/26 9/23 11/25 12/23
Temperature 62-68 70-79 72-76 63-70 64-75 55-62
Tide Lo/Hi Height H+3.50 H+3.41 H+4.50 L+4.88 H+6.46 H+6.87
Tide Time 0826 0733 1030 0923 0944 0850
Cackling Goose 1
Northern Shoveler 2
Gadwall 4 15 4 8
American Wigeon 12 5
Mallard 12 12 6 2 14 12
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 2 4
Greater Scaup 2
Lesser Scaup 2
Surf Scoter 14
Bufflehead 6
Red-breasted Merganser 4 2
Ruddy Duck 95 2
Pied-billed Grebe 2 1 2
Horned Grebe 1
Eared Grebe 4 4
Western Grebe 4 2
Clark’s Grebe 1
Rock Pigeon 2 6 30 47 12 22
Mourning Dove 2 2 4 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 1 2
Allen’s Hummingbird 1 2 4 2 2
American Coot 1 1 27 85 58
Black-necked Stilt 1 2
Black-bellied Plover 1 17 125 95 79 70
Snowy Plover 4 9 33 41 7
Killdeer 8 8 4 8 7 14
Whimbrel 3 113 39 15 9 2
Marbled Godwit 3 14 15 14
Ruddy Turnstone 6 4 2 3
Sanderling 7 3 15 110 60
Least Sandpiper 15 17
Western Sandpiper 9
Short-billed Dowitcher 1
Spotted Sandpiper 2 1
Willet 18 2 23 13 12
Red-necked Phalarope 1 9
Heermann’s Gull 5 28 8 11 14 14
Ring-billed Gull 30 95
Western Gull 75 95 85 81 45 75
California Gull 4 2 4 43 90 700
Herring Gull 1
Least Tern 2
Caspian Tern 4 1 15 1
Forster’s Tern 3
Royal Tern 1 6 7 1
Elegant Tern 4 11 48
Red-throated Loon 1
Pacific Loon 2
Common Loon 2
Brandt’s Cormorant 7 1
Double-crested Cormorant 7 16 15 22 34 42
Pelagic Cormorant 1 1 1
Brown Pelican 5 5 7 35 8 29
Great Blue Heron 2 3 3 3 2 2
Great Egret 3 3 4 3 2 2
Snowy Egret 5 10 25 9 12 11
Green Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 1 2
Turkey Vulture 5 9
Osprey 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1 1 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Black Phoebe 2 3 3 2 3 6
Say’s Phoebe 2 2 1
Cassin’s Kingbird 1
Warbling Vireo 1
California Scrub-Jay 1 1
American Crow 4 4 2 8 2 6
Rough-winged Swallow 1 4
Cliff Swallow 1 3
Barn Swallow 15 25 16 1
Bushtit 27 60 30 75 6
Rock Wren 1
House Wren 1 2 1
Marsh Wren 1 3
Bewick’s Wren 1 4 3 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3 12 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5 3
Wrentit 4 3
Hermit Thrush 1 3
American Robin 1
Northern Mockingbird 2 2 2 1 1
European Starling 13 35 8
American Pipit 1
House Finch 8 6 11 10 30
California Towhee 1 6
Savannah Sparrow 2 1
Song Sparrow 5 2 6 9 3 4
White-crowned Sparrow 4 27
Golden-crowned Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Western Meadowlark 2 3 2
Hooded Oriole 4
Red-winged Blackbird 7 30 25 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Brewer’s Blackbird 1
Great-tailed Grackle 3 4 7 6 3 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 3
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 6 3 10
Yellow Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped(Aud) Warbler 18 27
Totals by Type Jun Jul Aug Sep Nov Dec
Waterfowl 16 27 6 2 146 47
Water Birds – Other 21 22 24 89 139 139
Herons, Egrets & Ibis 10 17 32 17 18 15
Quail & Raptors 1 0 5 11 2 3
Shorebirds 41 149 215 234 261 193
Gulls & Terns 95 137 169 136 186 886
Doves 4 8 30 51 12 24
Other Non-Passerines 1 1 2 6 2 3
Passerines 69 161 75 210 96 149
Totals Birds 258 522 558 756 862 1459
             
Total Species Jun Jul Aug Sep Nov Dec
Waterfowl 2 2 1 1 12 7
Water Birds – Other 4 3 4 5 9 9
Herons, Egrets & Ibis 3 4 3 5 4 3
Quail & Raptors 1 0 1 3 2 3
Shorebirds 6 5 9 11 11 9
Gulls & Terns 7 5 7 4 5 6
Doves 2 2 1 2 1 2
Other Non-Passerines 1 1 1 2 1 2
Passerines 11 15 9 24 25 20
Totals Species – 106 37 37 36 57 70 61
%d bloggers like this: