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Field Trip Report: Ventura Harbor and Water Reclamation Facility March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011

A sparkling day at Ventura’s Water Reclamation Facility near the beach.
The temperature was in the mid-to-upper 60’s and the ponds all were well-populated with an assortment of ducks and a major presence of Black-crowned Night-Herons.

A small portion of the Black-crowned Night-Herons present (A.Kotin 3/12/11)

We were allowed into the enclosure through a small gate near the road where the first of many Song Sparrows was singing.  As we wound our way along the edges of the ponds we caught quick looks at Common Yellowthroats and Bushtits in the mostly-non-native vegetation.  By the time we left the first pond we had seen Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teals, American Wigeon, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, and two Mute Swans who flew in and glided to a stop in front of us.

Swans in morning mist (A.Kotin 3/12/11)

Bufflehead and Green-winged Teal were at the last pond.  Songbirds such as Bewick’s and Marsh Wren were actively singing.  Only two warbler species, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned showed up in our binoculars.  We had a good time tracking the numerous swallows catching insects above and on the water and ended up with four species, including good comparisons between the numerous Tree Swallows, and the few Violet-Greens.

We left the area at 11AM and continued along the marina road to look for shorebirds near the harbor mouth and were immediately rewarded by good looks at Surfbirds and Black Turnstones.

Black Turnstone between Tsunami surges (A.Kotin 3/12/11)

We scoped across to the breakwater and with some effort found a couple of Black Oystercatchers, as well as some Pelagic Cormorants.  But we needn’t have gone to so much effort, because near the NPS headquarters we found two Oystercatchers quite close to us.  A local boat owner informed us that the effects of the tsunami were still evident in the surf surges at 20-minute intervals.  We completed our trip with a look at the marina’s mooring facilities but with little success except for a fleet of Double-crested Cormorants, including one large group flying high overhead in V formation. [Lucien Plauzoles]

Bird Trip List  
Whooper Swan 3
Gadwall 70
American Wigeon 25
Mallard 30
Blue-winged Teal 4
Cinnamon Teal 40
Northern Shoveler 15
Green-winged Teal 3
Lesser Scaup 12
Bufflehead 12
Ruddy Duck 150
Pied-billed Grebe 3
Eared Grebe 1
Western Grebe 20
Brown Pelican 20
Double-crested Cormorant 60
Pelagic Cormorant 4
Great Blue Heron 4
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 40
Turkey Vulture 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
American Coot 80
Black Oystercatcher 4
Willet 2
Ruddy Turnstone 3
Black Turnstone 8
Surfbird 15
Sanderling 20
Ring-billed Gull 25
Western Gull 40
California Gull 10
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Rock Pigeon 4
Eurasian Collared-Dove 15
Anna’s Hummingbird 5
Black Phoebe 4
American Crow 12
Common Raven 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3
Tree Swallow 40
Violet-green Swallow 3
Barn Swallow 5
Bushtit 30
Bewick’s Wren 1
Marsh Wren 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 30
Common Yellowthroat 6
Spotted Towhee 1
Song Sparrow 15
White-crowned Sparrow 3
Great-tailed Grackle 1
House Finch 30
Lesser Goldfinch 1
American Goldfinch 1
Total Species 61
One Comment
  1. ednalvarez permalink
    March 13, 2011 3:11 pm

    It was a gorgeous day and, as always, a friendly and skilled group of birders. Mary Deutsch and I saw double-crested cormorant in grand breeding plumage – with huge white plumes, an enormous blue eye, and striated bill – in the harbor while having our lunch. Mary took some great photos but I don’t know how to post. But, check out Google Images – breeding double crested cormorant. I had never seen the DCC in full, bold, breeding plumage.

    On the way home, 4 hours later – with stops to scope merganser and loon along PCH, we ended the day in Pt Dume residential area with a flock of Red Crowned Parrots.

    A great day! Thanks Lu!


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