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New Year’s at Malibu Lagoon

January 1, 2010

On the day that most people are watching the Rose Parade and wondering why they live in New Hampshire (“Live, Freeze, or Die”) we went down to the lagoon and took a few photos.

On the Beach

Person and Birds in low winter sun.

At the first bridge we found an old friend. Soras seem to be year-round residents – will we ever see any young ones?


Sora (Porzana carolina)

There were about 50 Snowy Egrets on the banks of the lagoon – the water was so high it was too deep to wade for them.

Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

Well, all right, the kestrel was up at the Pepperdine Ponds, not down at the beach. There was a pair hunting grasshoppers on the golf course.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

And while we were at the ponds, we found the Most Unusual birds of the day, a single Ross’ Goose with a single Snow Goose.


Ross' Goose (Chen rossi) & Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)

Since it was a holiday, nobody argued as to whether these were Royal or Elegant Terns.

Royal Terns

Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)

As mentioned, the water was at the highest of hide tide marks, which covered the cormorants’ favored perches, such as the larger offshore rocks. This perplexed juvenile just sat and watched from a safe place on the beach.


Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

If you wait long enough, some gull will walk close enough to get you a full-frame photo. Who says bird photography is hard?

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

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