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Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 25 November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Don’t forget to visit our page devoted to the Malibu Lagoon 2012 Project, frequently updated with new photos. We recently added a new interview with Suzanne Goode, Also look for the link to the plant revegetation list.

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Foggy and cool. We could barely see across the lagoon and by noon the temperature had climbed all the way from 60° to 62°. The photos tell the tale.

Foggy channel (L. Johnson 11/25/12)

Foggy channel (L. Johnson 11/25/12)

Surf was so flat that only 2 surfers and 2 kayaks bothered to show. The birds were good though, and we almost had the beach to ourselves. The Revegetation continues, the grading appears complete and the channel is fully open to the lagoon. The paths, swale and various structures are still under construction. The path to the beach – like the proverbial path to heaven – is “strait and narrow.”  Walking it is reminiscent of a trip to the funhouse.

Brant keeps the Snow Goose company (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Brant keeps the Snow Goose company (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Migrants continue to arrive, including: Snow Goose, Brant, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Red-throated & Pacific Loons, Cooper’s Hawk, Boneparte’s Gull, and a Tree Swallow (a late migrant). We didn’t see any of last month’s Horned & Clark’s Grebes, Black Turnstone or Dunlin. The Red-tailed Hawk was probably snoozing, waiting for the sun to appear.

Snowy Plover PV:YB - winter beach resident (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Snowy Plover PV:YB – winter beach resident (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Snowy Plover PV:YB (bird’s left leg Pink above Violet: right leg Yellow above Blue), present on Surfrider Beach since Sept., was joined by his comrade-in-wings GG:AR (green/green:aqua/red), who was with us last December & January (and probably longer). The total Snowy Plover of 61 is an all-time high for November.

Snowy Plover PV:YB - closeup of legs (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Snowy Plover PV:YB – closeup of legs (C. Bragg 11/25/12)

Our next three field trips:   Carrizo Plains, 8 Dec., 9:00am; Butterbredt Christmas Count, 15 Dec., 8:00am., Malibu Lagoon, 23 Dec, 8:30am.
Our next program:  Tuesday, 4 December, 7:30 pm.   Anticoagulant Poisons and So. Californian Bobcats – Laurel Klein Serieys.   The usual reminders will be emailed from the blog.

NOTE: Our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids Birdwalk remains canceled until the parking lot is again fully available.

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

Comments on Bird Lists Below
Total Birds:   Nov. total birds of 1300 are 5% below average (Oct was up 3%), an insignificant amount.  Brown Pelican numbers are finally average after being down since July. Willets and Marbled Godwits were well above average, but Sanderlings were nearly absent. European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds either decided to sleep in or we just couldn’t see them through the fog. Monthly total bird numbers have been up & down, up & down since the project began last June.
Species Diversity:   Of 96 total species appearing in November for 2007-12, no more than about 5/8ths of them appear on any single day. October 2012 with 62 species was average, as were all 9 categories of birds.
Summary of species diversity from the 6-year average so far:  May +4%, June -10%, July +10%, Aug. -6%, Sep. -20%, Oct. +5%, Nov +2%. Still, the only constant is change.     [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012  
November 2007-12 11/25 11/23 11/22 11/28 11/27 11/25  
Temperature     60-72 55-65 70 60-62  
Tide Lo/Hi Height H +7.2 H +5.8 H +4.6 L +2.59 H +6.63 H +5.83 Ave.
Tide Time 0839 0608 1137 0842 0945 0647 Birds
Snow Goose           1 0.2
Brant           1 0.2
Canada Goose         9   1.5
Gadwall 10 35 7 6 4 12 12.3
American Wigeon 2 15 6 14 15 9 10.2
Mallard 30 22 15 18 30 18 22.2
Northern Shoveler 16 12 5 10 10 18 11.8
Green-winged Teal 4   6 7 4 3 4.0
Lesser Scaup   8   1     1.5
Surf Scoter 2 24   15     6.8
Bufflehead   8 5 6 8 3 5.0
Red-brstd Merganser 3 2 1 5 9 7 4.5
Ruddy Duck 4 25 20 26 3 48 21.0
Red-throated Loon           7 1.2
Pacific Loon   1   1   10 2.0
Common Loon   1 1 1     0.5
Pied-billed Grebe 10 6 5 2 1 4 4.7
Horned Grebe       1     0.2
Red-necked Grebe   1         0.2
Eared Grebe 2     6 6 4 3.0
Western Grebe 8 20 15 16 6 27 15.3
Brandt’s Cormorant   10 2   2 6 3.3
Dble-crstd Cormorant 13 25 29 37 31 24 26.5
Pelagic Cormorant 1 1 1 1   1 0.8
Brown Pelican 92 18 12 40 8 32 33.7
Great Blue Heron 5 6 3 7 2 2 4.2
Great Egret 4 1 1 4 3 1 2.3
Snowy Egret 15 4 8 31 30 10 16.3
Cattle Egret         1   0.2
Green Heron       1     0.2
Blk-crwnd N-Heron 4 5 1 8   1 3.2
Osprey       1     0.2
Cooper’s Hawk   1       1 0.3
Red-shouldered Hawk 1           0.2
Red-tailed Hawk 2   2 1     0.8
American Kestrel       1 1   0.3
Merlin     1       0.2
Peregrine Falcon 1           0.2
Virginia Rail     1 1 1   0.5
Sora   2 6 7 3   3.0
American Coot 320 85 295 206 57 194 192.8
Blk-bellied Plover 39 24 89 110 263 217 123.7
Snowy Plover 3 54 48 58 52 61 46.0
Killdeer 9 4 3 5 5 11 6.2
Spotted Sandpiper 2 1 2 2 2 2 1.8
Greater Yellowlegs 1           0.2
Willet 11 12 18 2 4 34 13.5
Whimbrel   3 5 2   1 1.8
Marbled Godwit 4 8 14     31 9.5
Ruddy Turnstone 3 32 13 13 1 5 11.2
Black Turnstone 1 8   1     1.7
Sanderling 60 58 155 290 308 11 147.0
Least Sandpiper   1   7 15 21 7.3
Boneparte’s Gull 1 2   5   1 1.5
Heermann’s Gull 52 35 13 37   21 26.3
Mew Gull       1     0.2
Ring-billed Gull 42 18 50 800 60 25 165.8
Western Gull 150 68 67 130 50 55 86.7
California Gull 95 63 58 500 30 215 160.2
Herring Gull 1 1 1       0.5
Glaucous-wingd Gull       1 1  1 0.5
Forster’s Tern   2   5 2 14 3.8
Royal Tern 1 2   2   3 1.3
Elegant Tern     1       0.2
Rock Pigeon 6 5 6 6   38 10.2
Mourning Dove 2 6 3 2     2.2
Anna’s Hummingbird 4   4 3 2 1 2.3
Allen’s Hummingbird 5 1 2 1   3 2.0
Belted Kingfisher 1 2 1 1 1 1 1.2
Black Phoebe 6 6 6 6 5 5 5.7
Say’s Phoebe 2 1 1 1   2 1.2
Western Scrub-Jay           1 0.2
American Crow 2 6 6 3 4 5 4.3
Common Raven       1     0.2
Tree Swallow   1       1 0.3
Bushtit 40 22 40   30 30 27.0
Bewick’s Wren     1   1   0.3
House Wren   1   2     0.5
Marsh Wren   1 1 1     0.5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet           1 0.2
Northern Mockingbird 3 1 1 1 1 2 1.5
European Starling 125 5 6   40   29.3
Ornge-crwnd Warbler 1         3 0.7
Yellow-rumpd Warbler 10 12 6 8 2 12 8.3
Common Yellowthroat 4 4 5 5 4 3 4.2
Spotted Towhee 1           0.2
California Towhee 5   2       1.2
Song Sparrow 5 2 4 2 3 4 3.3
Lincoln’s Sparrow 3           0.5
White-crwnd Sparrow 18   4   8   5.0
Red-winged Blackbird 2           0.3
Western Meadowlark 1           0.2
Brewer’s Blackbird 6           1.0
Great-tailed Grackle 4   3 1 4 7 3.2
House Finch   5 6 4 30 5 8.3
Lesser Goldfinch 4     2 2 3 1.8
Totals by Type 11/25 11/23 11/22 11/28 11/27 11/25 Ave.
Waterfowl 71 151 65 108 92 120 101
Water Birds-Other 446 170 367 319 115 309 288
Herons, Egrets 28 16 13 51 36 14 26
Raptors 4 1 3 3 1 1 2
Shorebirds 133 205 347 490 650 394 370
Gulls & Terns 342 191 190 1481 143 335 447
Doves 8 11 9 8 0 38 12
Other Non-Pass. 10 3 7 5 3 5 6
Passerines 242 67 92 37 134 84 109
Totals Birds 1284 815 1093 2502 1174 1300 1361
               
Total Species 11/25 11/23 11/22 11/28 11/27 11/25 Ave.
Waterfowl 8 9 8 10 9 10 9.0
Water Birds-Other 7 11 10 12 9 10 9.8
Herons, Egrets 4 4 4 5 4 4 4.2
Raptors 3 1 2 3 1 1 1.8
Shorebirds 10 11 9 10 8 10 9.7
Gulls & Terns 7 8 6 9 5 8 7.2
Doves 2 2 2 2 0 1 1.5
Other Non-Pass. 3 2 3 3 2 3 2.7
Passerines 19 13 15 13 13 15 14.7
Totals Species 63 61 59 67 51 62 60.5

 

 

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