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Field Trip Report – Malibu Lagoon Sunday 9/27/09

September 27, 2009
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Photo'd without aiming (Alan Kotin)

The fall migrants were everywhere. About 20 birders gathered, including Laura and Priscilla, freshly moved from Florida. At the first footbridge the early birders spotted two Sora. Later, a Virginia’s Rail skulked through the reeds; very tough to see until it briefly flew between reed beds, when everyone got a look.

Virginia Rail Skulking in reeds (Photo: Alan Kotin)

Virginia Rail skulking in reeds (Alan Kotin)

The duck population is growing, now including a few shovelers, wigeons, one Pintail and a female Greater Scaup, joining the 247 coots in the lagoon. About 75% of the gulls were Western. 33 Snowy Plovers were in various locations, both resting and feeding, none banded. Large, nicely-shaped waves were breaking over the offshore rocks, preventing birds from resting there, but we saw 3 Pelagic Cormorants fly past. Back by the lagoon edge we discovered 2 Pectoral Sandpiper on a grassy shore, a migrant often seen here this time of year but otherwise absent. 1 Cooper’s Hawk flew over Adamson House, but otherwise the grounds were very unbirdy. A probable Peregrine Falcon shot by, spooking the peeps and plovers into the air, then continuing past the pier and out of sight, pausing only to dive on a Western Gull and give it a whack. Oddly enough no one saw it well enough to confidently ID it. Altogether we had 62 species on a very nice, warm day.

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