Skip to content

Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 22 December, 2013

December 24, 2013

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rumor has it that the lagoon breach was – unlike previous breaches for at least 15 years – authorized and done by one of the numerous gov’t agencies – State Parks, perhaps. A large sand berm was created in front of Adamson House,

Sand berm by Adamson House (L. Johnson 12/22/13)

Sand berm by Adamson House (L. Johnson 12/22/13)

presumably to protect it from winter storm surges, and the breach was placed as far to the west of it as possible. This makes the beach walk a bit short for birders.  The outlet was already swinging to the east, moved (I think) by the prevailing easterly current. No doubt the entire breach will steadily move eastward. Lu Plauzoles checked Adamson House and counted Snowy Plovers on the east beach.

Peregrine Falcon resting in cypress (R. Ehler 12/22/13)

Peregrine Falcon resting in cypress (R. Ehler 12/22/13)

Most of the gulls were again offshore. All the terns and even Heermann’s Gulls were absent, and but a single Brown Pelican showed his face. The cool weather made for a very pleasant and congenial walk. The Peregrine Falcon – absent in November – was back, as were the Sanderlings, with a nice flock of them busily charging back and forth at water’s edge as waves rose and fell. Even the Townsend’s Warbler, not a bird one expects at the lagoon, appeared for the third month in a row.

Bewick's Wren in the open (L. Johnson 12/22/13)

Bewick’s Wren in the open (L. Johnson 12/22/13)

Birds new for the season were: Northern Pintail; Red-throated, Pacific & Common Loons; Western Sandpiper; Savannah Sparrow.

Our next three scheduled field trips:  Antelope Valley Raptor Search, 11 Jan, 8am; Malibu Lagoon, 26 Dec, 8:30 & 10am; San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge (Riverside County), 15 Feb, 8:30am.
Our next program:  Tuesday, 4 Feb., 7:30 pm. Urban Bobcats III, presented by Laurel Serieys.

Great-tailed Grackle and his yellow eye (R. Ehler 12/22/13)

Great-tailed Grackle and his yellow eye (R. Ehler 12/22/13)

NOTE: 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids Birdwalk meets at the metal canopy.

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.

Here are some pictures taken in November while I was gallivanting around Oregon. Click on any picture to make it larger & create a mini slide show.

Comments on Bird Lists Below
Total Birds:
   December total birds of 1412 is 49% below the 6-year Dec. average, due primarily to the absence of gulls and terns which – like last month – were offshore by the thousands but too distant to determine species.

Summary of total birds from the 6-year average so far:  Jun’12 +36%, Jul’12 -9%, Aug’12 -9%, Sep’12 +12%, Oct’12 +3%, Nov’12 -5%, Dec’12 +30%, Jan’13 -20%, Feb’13 -29%, Mar’13 -30%, Apr’13 -34%, May’13 -37%, Jun’13 -24%, Jul’13 +83%, Aug’13 +37%, Sep’13 +23%, Oct’13 +41%, Nov’13 -58%, Dec’13 -49%.
Species Diversity:  December 2013 with 61 species was slightly below (-6%) the 6-year average of 65.2.
Summary of species diversity from the 6-year average so far:  Jun’12 -10%, Jul’12 +10%, Aug’12. -6%, Sep’12 -20%, Oct’12 +5%, Nov’12 +2%, Dec’12 -4%, Jan’13 +2%, Feb’13 -8%, Mar’13 +9%, Apr’13 -2%, May’13 +3%, Jun’13 +13%, Jul’13 0%, Aug’13 +11%, Sep’13 -14%, Oct’13 +19%, Nov’13 -3%, Dec’13 -6%.
10-year comparison summaries are available on our Lagoon Project Bird Census Page.    [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
December 2008 – 13 12/28 12/27 12/26 12/25 12/23 12/22  
Temperature 46-62 50-60 50-62 50-66 50-60 47-64  
Tide Lo/Hi Height H+6.0 L+0.2 L+2.13 H+6.80 H+5.40 H+4.49 Ave.
Tide Time 0850 1241 0649 0850 0544 1113 Birds
Brant 1 0.2
Gadwall 18 23 16 35 12 22 21.0
American Wigeon 6 26 8 4 35 13.2
Mallard 8 16 29 8 22 28 18.5
Cinnamon Teal 1 0.2
Northern Shoveler 32 15 18 30 14 36 24.2
Northern Pintail 1 7 4 2.0
Green-winged Teal 8 8 17 40 9 32 19.0
Lesser Scaup 1 0.2
Surf Scoter 16 50 10 5 13.5
Long-tailed Duck 1 0.2
Bufflehead 25 6 12 6 5 9.0
Red-brstd Merganser 6 3 3 4 4 5 4.2
Ruddy Duck 23 25 51 40 47 27 35.5
Red-throated Loon 3 1 3 1 1.3
Pacific Loon 5 5 3 1 2.3
Common Loon 2 1 1 1 0.8
Pied-billed Grebe 3 5 4 3 4 6 4.2
Horned Grebe 2 1 2 0.8
Eared Grebe 2 1 2 3 4 11 3.8
Western Grebe 2 4 35 25 35 12 18.8
Blk-vented Shearwater 200 200 66.7
Brandt’s Cormorant 12 6 30 1 8.2
Dble-crstd Cormorant 33 35 47 62 42 28 41.2
Pelagic Cormorant 2 3 1 1 3 1.7
Brown Pelican 67 56 13 12 35 1 30.7
Great Blue Heron 5 4 1 2 2 6 3.3
Great Egret 1 3 2 2 1.3
Snowy Egret 8 20 16 22 18 14 16.3
Cattle Egret 1 0.2
Blk-crwnd N-Heron 2 6 5 2.2
Turkey Vulture 2 0.3
Osprey 2 1 0.5
Cooper’s Hawk 1 0.2
Red-shouldered Hawk 1 1 1 0.5
Red-tailed Hawk 1 2 1 1 0.8
Peregrine Falcon 1 1 0.3
Virginia Rail 1 2 0.5
Sora 2 3 2 1.2
American Coot 210 403 237 280 210 270 268.3
Blk-bellied Plover 45 45 44 140 35 79 64.7
Snowy Plover 60 59 46 58 45 39 51.2
Killdeer 3 4 3 1 2 6 3.2
Black Oystercatcher 4 1 0.8
American Avocet 5 1 1.0
Spotted Sandpiper 1 2 3 2 1 1.5
Willet 27 12 8 1 6 9 10.5
Whimbrel 1 4 2 3 4 6 3.3
Marbled Godwit 8 14 43 1 18 19 17.2
Ruddy Turnstone 11 18 11 2 6 7 9.2
Sanderling 180 115 150 110 40 160 125.8
Western Sandpiper 2 0.3
Least Sandpiper 3 35 12 1 8.5
Wilson’s Snipe 1 0.2
Boneparte’s Gull 1 0.2
Heermann’s Gull 15 24 11 13 9 12.0
Mew Gull 1 0.2
Ring-billed Gull 45 360 130 175 150 30 148.3
Western Gull 82 68 110 90 300 60 118.3
California Gull 140 1060 3850 1200 2150 240 1440.0
Herring Gull 4 1 2 1.2
Glaucous-wingd Gull 3 1 4 1 1.5
Caspian Tern 1 0.2
Forster’s Tern 1 1 3 5 1.7
Royal Tern 1 0.2
Black Skimmer 6 1.0
Rock Pigeon 8 4 13 4 12 6.8
Mourning Dove 2 2 1 2 2 3 2.0
Anna’s Hummingbird 2 3 3 1 3 2.0
Allen’s Hummingbird 4 2 2 2 3 2 2.5
Belted Kingfisher 1 1 1 1 0.7
Black Phoebe 10 5 5 3 12 4 6.5
Say’s Phoebe 2 2 1 2 1 2 1.7
Western Scrub-Jay 1 0.2
American Crow 6 2 18 4 6 4 6.7
Bushtit 5 30 52 14.5
Bewick’s Wren 3 2 2 1.2
House Wren 1 2 2 0.8
Marsh Wren 2 1 0.5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 1 1 2 0.8
Wrentit 1 0.2
Northern Mockingbird 2 1 1 2 1.0
European Starling 6 10 15 5 18 40 15.7
Ornge-crwnd Warbler 1 1 1 0.5
Yellow-rumpd Warbler 40 12 12 8 16 32 20.0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0.2
Common Yellowthroat 6 5 4 4 2 3 4.0
Spotted Towhee 1 1 1 1 0.7
California Towhee 2 4 2 1 1.5
Savannah Sparrow 3 1 2 1.0
Song Sparrow 5 4 4 4 8 10 5.8
Lincoln’s Sparrow 1 0.2
White-crwnd Sparrow 1 9 15 4 15 7.3
Red-winged Blackbird 10 2 15 4.5
Western Meadowlark 2 0.3
Brewer’s Blackbird 6 1.0
Great-tailed Grackle 1 2 9 3 2.5
House Finch 6 6 2 5 2 6 4.5
Lesser Goldfinch 2 7 5 10 10 5.7
American Goldfinch 2 3 0.8
Totals by Type 12/28 12/27 12/26 12/25 12/23 12/23 Ave.
Waterfowl 117 193 159 181 120 194 161
Water Birds-Other 333 519 349 598 570 334 451
Herons, Egrets 16 24 26 30 22 22 23
Raptors 2 1 6 2 3 2 3
Shorebirds 339 313 315 331 158 328 297
Gulls & Terns 291 1515 4113 1482 2617 330 1725
Doves 10 6 14 6 14 3 9
Other Non-Pass. 7 6 5 4 4 5 5
Passerines 113 61 86 111 96 194 110
Totals Birds 1228 2638 5073 2745 3604 1412 2783
 
Total Species 12/28 12/27 12/26 12/25 12/23 12/23 Ave.
Waterfowl 8 11 10 10 9 9 9.5
Water Birds-Other 9 11 11 13 12 11 11.2
Herons, Egrets 4 2 4 4 3 3 3.3
Raptors 2 1 4 2 2 2 2.2
Shorebirds 10 12 10 11 10 10 10.5
Gulls & Terns 8 7 8 6 7 3 6.5
Doves 2 2 2 2 2 1 1.8
Other Non-Pass. 3 3 2 3 2 2 2.5
Passerines 19 14 17 20 16 20 17.7
Totals Species – 100 65 63 68 71 63 61 65.2
Advertisements
2 Comments
  1. ethanski permalink
    January 6, 2014 7:29 am

    Not sure why, but much fewer birds in every category all over SoCal. I think most birders agree…
    Eg.

    Like

  2. Drleebecker@aol.com permalink
    January 5, 2014 6:17 pm

    Thank you for this great email…drleebecker@aol.com

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: