Skip to content

Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 23 October, 2011

October 24, 2011

 

SMBAS Links:    Website     Blog     Facebook

Fog and cool temperatures of 59° – 64° didn’t keep the surfers or the birders away. You could tell that that birding movie was now playing in the theaters as several passersby asked if we were working on a “Big Year.” No one was.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Birds always look a bit strange in the gray light which fog brings, and this had something to do with our difficulty with one duck. It started as a Cinnamon Teal, morphed into an American Wigeon, then morphed again into a Eurasian Wigeon, a rarity at the lagoon. It looked like a rufous morph female to me, according to my handy NGS Field Guide.  A few minutes later, someone said that it had been reported on the web (LACoBirds@yahoogroups.com), and sure enough when I got home, there it was, a female EuWi reported 10/22 as having been seen on 10/21 by Cal Yorke & Guy McCaskie.  My records show 3 previous EuWi at the lagoon, all singletons: a bird that stayed from  1/18/81 to at least 3/8/81, one on 11/24/91 and one on 4/24/94. So far this current bird has been there at least 3 days and chances are (based on this extremely small sample of 3 birds) 33% that it’ll stay around for a while.  [Link to Cal Yorke’s 10/21 report, with pictures.]

Eurasian Wigeon - female (Callyn Yorke 10/21/11)

We had a few more new faces: Ken, Dawn, Grace & Daniel, and Femi. Clara, new last month, returned, busily recording her sightings onto a thin rectangular electronic device, which I’ve been told is some sort of telephone.  News to me.  What’s next? Recorded bird calls you can dial up?

Notable among the many birds were the flocks of Black-bellied Plover which kept coming in and flying out. I guesstimated 700 total but it could easily have been well over 1000.  Down on the mud, hiding among the ‘Black-bellies’ were 3 Black Turnstone, which show up just about ½ as often as do Ruddy Turnstone, 10 of which were also present. If you go birding in England, our Ruddy Turnstone is known as “The Turnstone”.  I don’t know who Mr. The was, but there are an awful lot of British birds named after him.  And yes, as we are often asked, Turnstones are aptly named, as they often do flip over pebbles to see if anyone edible hides underneath.  Two Dunlin also showed up, wandering among the plovers and Killdeer.

The recent rain (with perhaps some help from the Surfers’ Midnight Shovel Brigade) opened up a channel through the west end of the beach. The water level was very low and dropping with the tide, so a great deal of mud was exposed throughout the lagoon and channels.  We did manage to find a couple of Virginia Rail and at least one Sora, who was very vocal, calling all morning at regular intervals.  The beach channel prevented us from reaching the Snowy Plover winter roost site and doing a census, but I did manage to find 5 of them at great distance through the telescope.

Malibu winterer Snowy Plover GG:AR (Cal Yorke 10/21/11)

Also notable were raptors: 2 Red-tailed Hawk perched in a dead tree across the road from the Adamson House, 1 Osprey which flew up-canyon, then back down-canyon about ½ hour later, and one each of Peregrine Falcon and Merlin, both of which – at different times – did very fast flybys of the lagoon.  Lagoon birds usually panic into flight when a Peregrine comes by, but they didn’t seem to notice this one.

Our next three field trips: Butterbredt Spring Campout – 29/30 October; Malibu Creek State Park – 12 November, Malibu Lagoon 27 November.
Our next program: Tuesday, 1 November – A Century of Change in Bird Life in Los Angeles, presented by Kimball Garrett.
Reminders will be emailed from the blog.

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.

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.
[Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2011

24-Jul

28-Aug

25-Sep

23-Oct

Temperature

65-72

72 – 81

61-69

59-64

Tide Height

+2.61

+5.03

+5.33

+5.40

Low/High &Time

L:0947

H:0942

H:0830

H:0178

Gadwall

10

6

Eurasian Wigeon

1

American Wigeon

3

Mallard

54

60

48

25

Blue-winged Teal

2

Northern Shoveler

10

12

Green-winged Teal

2

Ruddy Duck

2

5

8

Pacific Loon

1

Common Loon

1

Pied-billed Grebe

4

15

13

4

Eared Grebe

5

3

Western Grebe

10

Brandt’s Cormorant

3

1

3

Dble-crstd Cormorant

31

48

47

32

Pelagic Cormorant

1

3

2

1

Brown Pelican

407

77

60

12

Great Blue Heron

6

3

2

3

Great Egret

4

2

2

2

Snowy Egret

11

15

23

26

Green Heron

1

Blk-crwnd N-Heron

11

4

12

Osprey

1

1

Red-tailed Hawk

2

2

Merlin

1

Peregrine Falcon

1

1

Virginia Rail

1

2

Sora

3

1

American Coot

20

75

410

370

Blk-bellied Plover

4

46

40

700

Snowy Plover

13

36

62

5

Semipalmated Plover

2

4

Killdeer

2

8

6

15

Black Oystercatcher

2

Black-necked Stilt

1

Spotted Sandpiper

2

2

3

Wandering Tattler

1

Willet

4

7

10

Whimbrel

41

26

28

Marbled Godwit

2

2

Ruddy Turnstone

7

4

7

10

Black Turnstone

1

3

Sanderling

15

3

Western Sandpiper

2

11

1

Least Sandpiper

1

6

3

16

Dunlin

2

Long-billed Dowitcher

2

2

Red-necked Phalarope

7

Heermann’s Gull

41

24

15

14

Ring-billed Gull

1

7

18

Western Gull

107

146

66

80

California Gull

8

16

120

Herring Gull

1

Least Tern

13

Caspian Tern

3

12

Common Tern

1

Forster’s Tern

3

Royal Tern

18

15

1

Elegant Tern

8

36

4

Black Skimmer

1

1

Rock Pigeon

6

5

5

4

Mourning Dove

3

2

2

2

Vaux’s Swift

100

Anna’s Hummingbird

3

4

3

2

Allen’s Hummingbird

3

2

2

Belted Kingfisher

2

1

2

Nuttall’s Woodpecker

1

Western Wood-Pewee

1

Black Phoebe

8

10

6

10

Say’s Phoebe

1

2

Cassin’s Kingbird

1

Western Kingbird

1

4

Western Scrub-Jay

2

American Crow

4

3

2

4

Rough-wingd Swallow

20

22

1

Barn Swallow

18

45

30

Cliff Swallow

25

2

Oak Titmouse

2

Bushtit

8

6

6

20

Bewick’s Wren

1

1

1

1

House Wren

1

1

Wrentit

1

Northern Mockingbird

2

3

2

2

European Starling

38

20

23

60

Ornge-crwnd Warbler

1

Yellow-rumpd Warbler

8

Common Yellowthroat

1

8

5

9

Wilson’s Warbler

1

2

California Towhee

3

1

Savannah Sparrow

1

Song Sparrow

1

5

3

4

White-crwnd Sparrow

18

Bobolink

1

Red-winged Blackbird

17

32

18

Brewer’s Blackbird

2

Great-tailed Grackle

3

5

12

8

Brwn-headed Cowbird

6

Hooded Oriole

6

House Finch

4

8

12

5

Lesser Goldfinch

4

2

1

Totals by Type

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Waterfowl

56

65

79

48

Water Birds-Other

463

221

542

440

Herons, Egrets

32

24

40

31

Quail & Raptors

0

3

1

5

Shorebirds

32

187

161

797

Gulls & Terns

175

248

124

233

Doves

9

7

7

6

Other Non-Pass.

6

7

106

6

Passerines

167

181

133

157

Totals Birds

940

943

1193

1723

   
Total Species

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Waterfowl

2

2

5

6

Water Birds-Other

5

6

9

12

Herons, Egrets

4

4

5

3

Quail & Raptors

0

2

1

4

Shorebirds

8

14

12

13

Gulls & Terns

8

8

7

5

Doves

2

2

2

2

Other Non-Pass.

2

3

4

3

Passerines

19

18

23

17

Totals Species – 100

50

59

68

65

 

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: