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Field Trip Report: Ballona Creek, del Rey Lagoon & Ballona Fresh Water Marsh, 12 Feb., 2011

February 17, 2011

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This day was Mr. Lincoln’s 202nd birthday. He was unavailable, but the rest of us on this lovely sunny day should have worn our sunscreen.  We  had great views of birds in the lagoon, from the jetty, in the wetlands and in the fresh water marsh.  There were favorites each place….there was a female Ring-necked Duck in the lagoon – with Lesser Scaup.  On the rocks by the jetty were a Black Turnstone and a Ruddy Turnstone side by side…how helpful of them to show how alike and

Black Turnstone on the Jetty (C.Almdale)

different they are.  We also had a lesson with a Clark’s Grebe and a Western Grebe.  The out-of- towners got new birds!  We also had a few Black Oystercatchers (shouldn’t that be Oysterfinders – how tricky can it be to catch an oyster?), and many, many Brandt’s Cormorants.  My favorites were the Surf Scoters which seemed to be having a grand day in the channel and ignoring the rowing teams working back and forth.  Back by the wetlands we did indeed see the Burrowing Owl – well, Chuck Almdale found it and showed the rest of us where it was lurking in the red, yellow and orange ice plant.

Surfbird on Ballona Jetty (C.Almdale)

The freshwater marsh had Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Common Moorhens and ubiquitous American Coots.  The big lesson was the difference between the two Yellow-rumped Warblers, Western and Eastern or Audubon’s and Myrtle.  And maybe, someday…I too will be able to tell them apart – I was just  thankful there was not a written quiz.

Willet, in a pensive moment (C.Almdale)

This was a wonderful day to be outside AND to see lots of our local birds.  Many thanks to Chuck Almdale for leading this informative walk.   [Ellen Vahan]

Ballona Field Trip 2/12/11 Jetty &
Trip List Lagoon FWM
Gadwall 10
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 30 30
Cinnamon Teal 10
Northern Shoveler 50
Green-winged Teal 12
Ring-necked Duck 1
Lesser Scaup 15
Surf Scoter 40
Bufflehead 4
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Ruddy Duck 15 50
Pied-billed Grebe 2 10
Horned Grebe 2
Eared Grebe 25 8
Western Grebe 1
Clark’s Grebe 1
Brown Pelican 30
Brandt’s Cormorant 1000
Double-crested Cormorant 30 12
Great Blue Heron 4
Great Egret 1 3
Snowy Egret 2 4
Green Heron 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1 1
American Kestrel 2
Sora 1
Common Moorhen 3
American Coot 40 80
Black-bellied Plover 1
Killdeer 2
Black Oystercatcher 2
Black-necked Stilt 1
Willet 20
Whimbrel 4
Marbled Godwit 30
Ruddy Turnstone 4
Black Turnstone 2
Surfbird 45
Sanderling 6
Western Sandpiper 50
Least Sandpiper 10
Dunlin 4
Heermann’s Gull 4
Ring-billed Gull 60
Western Gull 30
California Gull 20
Royal Tern 1
Rock Pigeon 10
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Mourning Dove 10
Red-crowned Parrot 3
Burrowing Owl 1
Anna’s Hummingbird 5
Allen’s Hummingbird 4
Black Phoebe 2 8
Say’s Phoebe 1 2
American Crow 35
No. Rough-winged Swallow 1
Tree Swallow 5
Bushtit 14
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3
Northern Mockingbird 1 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Audubon 2 16
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Myrtle 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
Savannah Sparrow 6
Song Sparrow 6
White-crowned Sparrow 25
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Western Meadowlark 4
Great-tailed Grackle 2
House Finch 10
Lesser Goldfinch 5
American Goldfinch 1
Total Birds – 76 45 44
One Comment
  1. marilynjudson permalink
    February 17, 2011 7:49 pm

    Dear Chuck, Ellen, Chris and All — Thank you for a wonderful day of birding and getting sunburnt :)!! I appreciate and value your willingness to share your expertise. I came home exhausted and very happy!! Marilyn


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