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Malibu Lagoon Field Trip: 26 October, 2014

October 28, 2014

According to some, the name for an assemblage of grebes is a “water dance,” and that is apt to describe the behavior of these birds when they are away in the north at their breeding sites.

Eared Grebe in Malibu Lagoon west channel with  fish (J. Kenney 10/19/13)

Eared Grebe in Malibu Lagoon west channel with fish
(J. Kenney 10/19/13)

Here, however, we should find another name. We have not seen as many Eared and Horned Grebes at Malibu Lagoon in recent memory as we did on this partly-cloudy October morning. Maybe they will stay and treat us with their breeding plumage in February?
Another passing migrant surprised us: a pair of Nashville Warblers, seen by Chris Lord in the picnic corner of the walkway to the beach. We were also surprised by the maintenance by State Parks. It seems that the tall-growing Mulefat is not in favor, and it was taken out in a number of places around the lagoon.

Horned Grebe (J. Kenney 2/19/07, Malibu Lagoon)

Horned Grebe (J. Kenney 2/19/07, Malibu Lagoon)

Here is the list of the species we found, including a short trip to the Adamson House across the Lagoon via the bridge. To explain, State Parks had posted a “beach closed” warning because of sand erosion, and the surf was washing over parts of the berm. We went to the Adamson House in order to see and count the Snowy Plovers from the east end of the sand berm.  [Lucien Plauzoles]

Mallard 3
Ruddy Duck 2
Pied-billed Grebe 3
Horned Grebe 2
Eared Grebe 18
Western Grebe 6
Double-crested Cormorant 26
Pelagic Cormorant 1
Brown Pelican 26
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 4
Snowy Egret 20
Osprey 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
American Coot 20
Black-bellied Plover 40
Snowy Plover 34
Killdeer 1
Spotted Sandpiper 4
Willet 6
Whimbrel 1
Marbled Godwit 5
Ruddy Turnstone 4
Sanderling 32
Bonaparte’s Gull 2
Heermann’s Gull 5
Western Gull 40
Forster’s Tern 2
Elegant Tern 17
Rock Pigeon 6
Allen’s Hummingbird 3
Black Phoebe 2
Say’s Phoebe 2
American Crow 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling 60
Yellow-rumped Warbler 40
Nashville Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 4
California Towhee 1
Song Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 15
Western Meadowlark 6
Great-tailed Grackle 3
Lesser Goldfinch 3
Total Species: 48

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