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Malibu Lagoon Trip Report, Picnic & Jan-June Bird Census: 26 June, 2011

June 30, 2011

The lagoon outlet to the ocean was a tiny

Snubbed by a Brown Towhee (C.Almdale 6/11)

rivulet, so for the first time in many months we walked the beach to Adamson House. We didn’t find much there, but we saw what the winter had done to the beach where most of the surfers and sunbathers go –  about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the sand  was gone. But it was a great surfing day; the waves were jam packed with surfers.

As typical for June, both numbers and species were at the annual low point. Many of the remaining species are local breeders – Black Phoebes, Cliff & Barn Swallows, and Mallards (ducklings in tow) were the most visible – joined by breeders resting from

Western (Roof) Gull in eponymous habitat (C.Almdale 6/11)

foraging (Western Gulls and the few terns), and gulls too young to breed. Surprise of the day was two alternate (breeding) plumage Western Sandpipers who flew in and began to forage. They ought to be much farther north, I think.

It’s always fun to watch the families of Barn Swallows line up on reed-stems. Often three or four pile onto the same reed, bending it over until it seems they should slide off, like pearls falling from a broken necklace.

Outlet closure always means reduced

"What happened to my pie?," cries Jean. (C.Almdale 6/11)

water circulation in the lagoon and – especially – the channels, quickly followed by the appearance of clumpy masses of ugly gray algae. This stuff eventually sucks all the oxygen out of the water, making it very hard for any fish and invertebrates that are struggling to survive. It’ll be a tough summer for them.

After we got the umbrellas and chairs arranged around the food canopy,

Black Phoebe came to picnic, but wouldn't share its Blue Dragonfly with anyone (C.Almdale 6/11)

we plowed into our picnic. Loads of delicious salads, fried chicken, several desserts (including Paula’s rice pudding, a personal favorite), bottled drinks and some homemade lemonade. We exchanged some books, mostly mysteries, and everyone loaded up on John’s blood oranges and gigantic grapefruit before heading home. [Chuck Almdale]

Our Summer field trips are both at Malibu Lagoon: 24 July, 28 August.

As a reminder to those who plan to come to our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids birdwalk, they meet at the beach trail footbridge closest to the parking lot.

Who says you can't get blood from an orange? (C.Almdale 6/11)

Links: Unusual birds at Malibu Lagoon.
Aerial photo of Malibu Lagoon from 9/23/02.
Prior checklists: July-Dec ’10Jan-June ’10, Jul-Dec ‘09, and Jan-June ‘09.

Malibu Census 2011

23-Jan

27-Feb

27-Mar

24-Apr

22-May

26-Jun

Temperature

68-75

45-60

54-61

59-68

64-68

68-72

Tide Height

+4.94

-0.41

+0.05

+0.19

-0.13

+3.0

Low/High &Time

H:1117

L:1243

L:1216

L:1014

L:0816

H:0754

Canada Goose

6

Gadwall

15

22

32

24

3

5

American Wigeon

4

Mallard

24

24

30

22

48

41

Northern Shoveler

4

2

Green-winged Teal

12

17

10

2

Surf Scoter

8

8

Bufflehead

5

2

Red-brstd Merganser

6

8

4

Ruddy Duck

40

33

15

3

Pacific Loon

1

1

15

20

Common Loon

1

1

Pied-billed Grebe

3

2

1

3

Horned Grebe

1

Eared Grebe

3

Western Grebe

6

12

20

2

Brandt’s Cormorant

1

3

Dble-crstd Cormorant

57

37

90

19

46

54

Pelagic Cormorant

4

3

1

2

Brown Pelican

42

23

89

740

81

28

Great Blue Heron

2

1

1

4

1

4

Great Egret

1

1

1

5

Snowy Egret

8

9

5

11

3

8

Green Heron

1

Blk-crwnd N-Heron

1

1

2

1

Turkey Vulture

3

Osprey

1

1

1

1

1

Cooper’s Hawk

1

Red-shouldered Hawk

1

Red-tailed Hawk

1

2

2

2

Peregrine Falcon

1

Virginia Rail

1

1

1

1

Sora

4

3

4

American Coot

145

175

153

32

25

12

Blk-bellied Plover

1

65

3

Snowy Plover

60

59

42

Semipalmated Plover

25

Killdeer

3

4

2

8

2

5

Black Oystercatcher

1

American Avocet

4

Spotted Sandpiper

2

2

1

Willet

1

7

3

Whimbrel

1

5

1

3

Ruddy Turnstone

5

Sanderling

135

Western Sandpiper

2

12

2

Least Sandpiper

10

18

20

25

Short-billd Dowitcher

1

Boneparte’s Gull

13

4

2

1

Heermann’s Gull

62

3

15

Mew Gull

1

Ring-billed Gull

120

250

50

52

16

Western Gull

100

120

100

160

10

68

California Gull

2500

1050

1100

450

8

1

Herring Gull

1

Glaucous-wingd Gull

2

3

2

Caspian Tern

5

61

4

10

Forster’s Tern

1

1

Royal Tern

3

1

Elegant Tern

4

12

12

Black Skimmer

3

3

1

Rock Pigeon

5

4

2

4

8

4

Eur. Collared-Dove

1

Mourning Dove

2

2

4

1

5

Anna’s Hummingbird

3

2

2

2

1

1

Rufous Hummingbird

1

Allen’s Hummingbird

6

3

4

2

4

1

Belted Kingfisher

1

1

1

Black Phoebe

4

5

12

8

4

10

Say’s Phoebe

1

1

Cassin’s Kingbird

1

Western Kingbird

2

Western Scrub-Jay

1

American Crow

6

4

6

5

3

4

Rough-wingd Swallow

2

16

2

1

Tree Swallow

8

1

Violet-green Swallow

1

Barn Swallow

1

3

10

8

25

Cliff Swallow

1

31

15

Oak Titmouse

1

Bushtit

9

6

4

8

Bewick’s Wren

2

1

2

House Wren

1

Marsh Wren

1

Northern Mockingbird

1

2

1

2

2

3

California Thrasher

2

European Starling

35

40

21

Ornge-crwnd Warbler

1

Yellow-rumpd Warbler

6

2

8

4

Common Yellowthroat

4

2

3

6

2

California Towhee

1

1

1

4

Savannah Sparrow

5

Song Sparrow

8

8

12

10

4

3

White-crwnd Sparrow

4

3

2

Red-winged Blackbird

1

4

6

1

2

Great-tailed Grackle

1

2

16

3

Brwn-headed Cowbird

3

3

1

Hooded Oriole

1

House Finch

5

3

20

10

8

14

Lesser Goldfinch

4

4

1

4

4

American Goldfinch

8

House Sparrow

2

Totals by Type

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Waterfowl

106

126

99

51

51

46

Water Birds-Other

267

257

376

820

152

97

Herons, Egrets

11

12

7

16

6

19

Quail & Raptors

2

0

6

3

3

4

Shorebirds

82

301

71

74

5

7

Gulls & Terns

2785

1440

1270

743

51

96

Doves

7

4

4

9

9

9

Other Non-Pass.

10

6

8

4

5

2

Passerines

70

81

94

83

131

122

Totals Birds

3340

2227

1935

1803

413

402

             
Total Species

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

Waterfowl

7

10

6

4

2

2

Water Birds-Other

11

9

11

9

3

4

Herons, Egrets

3

4

3

3

3

5

Quail & Raptors

2

0

3

2

3

3

Shorebirds

8

10

7

6

2

2

Gulls & Terns

6

7

9

9

6

6

Doves

2

1

2

3

2

2

Other Non-Pass.

3

3

4

2

2

2

Passerines

17

15

18

17

16

19

Totals Species – 102

59

59

63

55

39

45

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