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Malibu Lagoon Field Trip Report: 23 January, 2011

January 25, 2011

The male American Avocet's bill is longer and straighter than the female's (L.Johnson 1/11)

Yikes! 75° at the lagoon in January? Ridiculous. Equally absurd is the evil rumor going around that we might not get any more rain this season. After what was probably the wettest December on record we’ll have the driest January through March ever? They (the ever-mysterious them) must be messing around with our weather again. Moving on…bird species at the lagoon were below the January normal; numbers were up, mostly due to the large flocks of gulls. Unfortunately, most of them flew away – the result of rambunctious toddlers and oblivious strollers – before I could get a good count, so Ring-bills, Western and California Gulls totals are an educated guess.

We actually have two bird walks on our Malibu Lagoon field trips. Chuck leads the early one for (mostly) adults, leaving the 10 AM walk to those who are better with children. Here is a report from one such person on what it was like.

A warm day for Cub Scouts and family (L.Johnson 1/11)

This month we hosted a Cub Scout Troop from Grant Elementary in Santa Monica. Between the boys, their parents and their siblings, we had around 30 people….no one is sure how many; too busy to count. The boys liked the “big” birds: herons, egrets, pelicans, but more than the birds, they liked being out on the beach.  Although we list this as a “children’s” walk, it is also for the parents. It’s a chance to get out, enjoy the birds and not have to worry about the kids distracting other birdwatchers. So if you have kids and would like to spend time outdoors some Sunday morning, come join us.

Male Gadwall cruising (L.Johnson 1/11)

Check out our other blog created especially for Unusual Birds at Malibu Lagoon, the permanent location for pictures of our uncommon birds. For prior period bird lists, follow these links to July-Dec ’10Jan-June ’10, Jul-Dec ‘09, and Jan-June ‘09.  For an aerial photo of the lagoon, go here. [Chuck Almdale & Lillian Johnson]

Malibu Census 2011 23-Jan
Temperature 68-75
Tide Height +4.94
Low/High & Time H:1117
Gadwall 15
Mallard 24
Northern Shoveler 4
Green-winged Teal 12
Bufflehead 5
Red-brstd Merganser 6
Ruddy Duck 40
Pacific Loon 1
Pied-billed Grebe 3
Horned Grebe 1
Eared Grebe 3
Western Grebe 6
Dble-crstd Cormorant 57
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Brown Pelican 42
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 8
Osprey 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Virginia Rail 1
Sora 4
American Coot 145
Blk-bellied Plover 1
Snowy Plover 60
Killdeer 3
American Avocet 4
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Willet 1
Whimbrel 1
Least Sandpiper 10
Heermann’s Gull 62
Ring-billed Gull 120
Western Gull 100
California Gull 2500
Herring Gull 1
Glaucous-wingd Gull 2
Rock Pigeon 5
Mourning Dove 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 3
Allen’s Hummingbird 6
Belted Kingfisher 1
Black Phoebe 4
Say’s Phoebe 1
American Crow 6
Tree Swallow 8
Barn Swallow 1
Bushtit 9
Bewick’s Wren 2
House Wren 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
Yellow-rumpd Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 4
Song Sparrow 8
White-crwnd Sparrow 4
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Great-tailed Grackle 1
House Finch 5
American Goldfinch 8
Totals by Type Jan
Waterfowl 106
Water Birds-Other 267
Herons, Egrets 11
Quail & Raptors 2
Shorebirds 82
Gulls & Terns 2785
Doves 7
Other Non-Pass. 10
Passerines 70
Totals Birds 3340
Total Species Jan
Waterfowl 7
Water Birds-Other 11
Herons, Egrets 3
Quail & Raptors 2
Shorebirds 8
Gulls & Terns 6
Doves 2
Other Non-Pass. 3
Passerines 17
Totals Species 59
One Comment
  1. LucienP permalink
    January 26, 2011 9:19 pm

    Everyone, please make sure you double-click on the great Gadwall photo to see the full-screen effect of the delicate feather pattern on this duck. Thank you, Lillian for the cool picture!



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