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Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 24 July, 2011

July 25, 2011

Brown-headed Cowbird (the bird formerly known as Buffalo Bird)(C.Bragg 2011)

The lagoon outlet is closed and the water was quite high. It looks like it might overflow the beach any day, but I doubt that it will. Evaporation from heat is usually quite significant in the summer, and water always percolates through the narrow beach into the ocean. So it may continue at a high level for several months, perhaps until our first storm.

The Usual Suspects rounded up yet again (C.Almdale 7/11)

Our local breeding birds were out in force, especially the various Swallows and the Black Phoebes. At one point there were 18 Barn Swallows resting on the reed stalks for a few minutes before they launched themselves again into the air. Brown Pelican nesting season is apparently over as more than 400 rested on the narrow sand island, with more arriving all morning long. Among other returning post-breeders were seven Ruddy Turnstones in beautiful plumage, accompanied by a single Black Turnstone, as well as four Black-bellied Plovers, still with black bellies. Egrets and herons were everywhere, 32 in total. A beautiful pair of Ruddy Ducks were afloat, the male all chestnut and black with a baby-blue bill.   The Elegant Terns were still…well, elegant is the best description. A small flock of Least Terns sat with the Snowy Plovers on the beach berm, uneasily, as the beach was crowded with people who rarely notice these diminutive and cryptic endangered and threatened (respectively) species.

Snowy Egret (C.Bragg 2011)

A family of Hooded Orioles – two adults and four young – worked over the Anise heads and flowers at the east edge of Maliby Colony. Later on I heard the song and finally saw a Wrentit not far from this spot. We’ve previously recorded Wrentit 11 times, but I suspect most of them were up the creek, the other side of the highway bridge, when that area was a bit safer to walk in. [Chuck Almdale]

Our next two field trips are: Malibu Lagoon 28 August; Lower L.A. River 10 September.

As a reminder to those coming to our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids birdwalk, it meets at the beach trail footbridge closest to the parking lot.

Killdeer - a lagoon resident (C.Bragg 2011)

Links: Unusual birds at Malibu Lagoon.
Aerial photo of Malibu Lagoon from 9/23/02.
Prior checklists: Jan-June’11, July-Dec ’10Jan-June ’10, Jul-Dec ‘09, and Jan-June ‘09.

Malibu Census 2011

24-Jul

Temperature

65-72

Tide Height

+2.61

Low/High &Time

L:0947

Mallard

54

Ruddy Duck

2

Pied-billed Grebe

4

Dble-crstd Cormorant

31

Pelagic Cormorant

1

Brown Pelican

407

Great Blue Heron

6

Great Egret

4

Snowy Egret

11

Blk-crwnd N-Heron

11

American Coot

20

Blk-bellied Plover

4

Snowy Plover

13

Semipalmated Plover

2

Killdeer

2

Ruddy Turnstone

7

Black Turnstone

1

Western Sandpiper

2

Least Sandpiper

1

Heermann’s Gull

41

Ring-billed Gull

1

Western Gull

107

Least Tern

13

Caspian Tern

3

Common Tern

1

Elegant Tern

8

Black Skimmer

1

Rock Pigeon

6

Mourning Dove

3

Anna’s Hummingbird

3

Allen’s Hummingbird

3

Black Phoebe

8

Western Kingbird

1

American Crow

4

Rough-wingd Swallow

20

Barn Swallow

18

Cliff Swallow

25

Bushtit

8

Bewick’s Wren

1

Wrentit

1

Northern Mockingbird

2

European Starling

38

Common Yellowthroat

1

California Towhee

3

Song Sparrow

1

Red-winged Blackbird

17

Great-tailed Grackle

3

Brwn-headed Cowbird

6

Hooded Oriole

6

House Finch

4

Totals by Type

July

Waterfowl

56

Water Birds-Other

463

Herons, Egrets

32

Quail & Raptors

0

Shorebirds

32

Gulls & Terns

175

Doves

9

Other Non-Pass.

6

Passerines

167

Totals Birds

940

   
Total Species

July

Waterfowl

2

Water Birds-Other

5

Herons, Egrets

4

Quail & Raptors

0

Shorebirds

8

Gulls & Terns

8

Doves

2

Other Non-Pass.

2

Passerines

19

Totals Species

50

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