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Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 24 January, 2010

January 24, 2010

Clear and cold conditions at the start:

Peregrine Falcon (prob. ss. anatum) [James Kenney 1/24/10

at 8:30, the temperature was about 41 and a light breeze stirred the leaves. By 11:00 the temperature had risen to 65, the breeze was gone and we were carrying rather than wearing our coats and sweatshirts. Large waves broke over the  offshore rocks; the large flotilla of surfers appreciated the action. Our recent rains (6 – 12 inches, depending on where you live) had scoured the lagoon bottom of sand and blew a big outlet through the east end of the beach, leaving exposed gravel all over the lagoon floor. Side channels were drained of water with little but mud remaining. We were very surprised to find, close to the almost 1000 gulls resting on the gravel, two Peregrine Falcons. [Local photographer James Kenney managed to get an excellent photo of one of them, resting between swoops and stoops, as it perched on the sole remaining snag in the lagoon.] The gulls, ducks, shorebirds, grebes, pelicans and cormorants completely ignored them until one decided to get up and take a few swoops at the flock: that got them moving in a loud and colorful burst of wings. We eventually arrived at the far end of the beach closest to the pier where we spent a long time scoping for the Long-tailed Duck (sans long tail) that’s been there since Christmas day, and admiring the six Black Skimmers and two Black Oystercatchers (uncommon visitors to the lagoon) on the exposed gravel down near the tidal zone. We eventually found it, actively diving among the scoters and grebes over near the end of Malibu Pier, noticable primarily by its blotchy pale plumage and smaller size. On our way back we came across 6 Glaucous-winged Gulls, an average number for January. A pair of American Avocets were feeding among the Willets  in the lagoon,   Altogether we had a nice count of 70 species with 1,906 birds, most of them gulls.

Malibu Bird Census 2010
Collected by Jan
SMBAS Members
For Year 2010
Species
1 Gadwall 20
2 American Wigeon 12
3 Mallard 10
4 Northern Shoveler 4
5 Green-winged Teal 7
6 Lesser Scaup 1
7 Surf Scoter 35
8 Long-tailed Duck 1
9 Bufflehead 6
10 Red-brstd Merganser 8
11 Ruddy Duck 30
12 Red-throated Loon 1
13 Pacific Loon 1
14 Common Loon 1
15 Pied-billed Grebe 1
16 Horned Grebe 1
17 Eared Grebe 3
18 Western Grebe 15
19 Brown Pelican 35
20 Brandt’s Cormorant 1
21 Dble-crstd Cormorant 42
22 Great Blue Heron 2
23 Great Egret 3
24 Snowy Egret 15
25 Red-shouldered Hawk 1
26 Red-tailed Hawk 1
27 Peregrine Falcon 2
28 Sora 1
29 American Coot 284
30 Blk-bellied Plover 45
31 Snowy Plover 54
32 Killdeer 4
33 Black Oystercatcher 2
34 American Avocet 2
35 Willet 15
36 Spotted Sandpiper 4
37 Whimbrel 2
38 Marbled Godwit 4
39 Ruddy Turnstone 13
40 Sanderling 85
41 Least Sandpiper 21
42 Heermann’s Gull 5
43 Ring-billed Gull 55
44 California Gull 875
45 Western Gull 45
46 Glaucous-wingd Gull 6
47 Royal Tern 12
48 Elegant Tern 1
49 Forster’s Tern 1
50 Black Skimmer 6
51 Rock Pigeon 8
52 Mourning Dove 2
53 Anna’s Hummingbird 3
54 Allen’s Hummingbird 2
55 Black Phoebe 4
56 Say’s Phoebe 1
57 American Crow 5
58 Bushtit 4
59 Bewick’s Wren 2
60 Northern Mockingbird 2
61 European Starling 35
62 Yellow-rumpd Warbler 8
63 Common Yellowthroat 3
64 Spotted Towhee 1
65 California Towhee 2
66 Song Sparrow 3
67 Red-winged Blackbird 3
68 Great-tailed Grackle 1
69 House Finch 12
70 Lesser Goldfinch 4
Totals by Type
Waterfowl 134
Water Birds-Other 386
Herons, Egrets 20
Quail & Raptors 4
Shorebirds 251
Gulls & Terns 1006
Doves 10
Other Non-Pass. 5
Passerines 90
Totals Birds 1906
Total Species*
Waterfowl 11
Water Birds-Other 12
Herons, Egrets 3
Quail & Raptors 3
Shorebirds 12
Gulls & Terns 9
Doves 2
Other Non-Pass. 2
Passerines 16
Totals Species 70
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