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Field Trip Report Malibu Lagoon March 22,2015

March 22, 2015

Under overcast skies, we birded early in the month (the first of March was a Sunday.) The sand berm had closed at Malibu Lagoon and the small rain events only added inches to the water level, but not enough to punch through to the ocean. The lagoon, at its highest water level since the reconfiguration two years ago, was interesting, but not conducive to shorebird watching. And in fact most of the duck species spotted were in small numbers, possibly because of the water depth. The walk was not without highlights, however. A small family of Surfbirds appeared on the rocks off the Colony—one showed breeding plumage. A number of Elegant Terns showed pinkish breast feathers as well as the growing black crests. There were three Double-Crested Cormorants with bold white eyebrows, on the shore, not far from our position. Not a single Snowy Plover was spotted. No one in the final group remembered previous sightings of an American Robin; it landed on a small island off the Adamson house, not far from the solitary Cattle Egret. Photos from the photo-participants welcome!

Canada Goose 1
Gadwall 1
Mallard 12
Northern Shoveler 2
Bufflehead 2
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Ruddy Duck 30
Red-throated Loon 3
Common Loon 5
Pie-billed Grebe 2
Horned Grebe 1*
Western Grebe 12
Brandt’s Cormorant 4
Double-crested Cormorant 45
Brown Pelican 27
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 10**
Snowy Egret 12
Cattle Egret 1
American Kestrel 1
American Coot 45
Black-bellied Plover 6
Killdeer 3
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Willet 3
Whimbrel 10
Marbled Godwit 8
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Surfbird 4
Bonaparte’s Gull 12
Heerman’s Gull 6
Ring-billed Gull 3
Western Gull 3
Californian Gull 40
Royal Tern 15
Elegant Tern 28
Rock Pigeon 23
Mourning Dove 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 1
Allen’s Hummingbird 6
Black Phoebe 2
American Crow 5
Rough-winged Swallow 4
Barn Swallow 2
Bushtit 14
American Robin 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Common Yellowthroat 2
California Towhee 3
Song Sparrow 9
White-crowned Sparrow 10
Western Meadowlark 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 4
House Finch 4
Lesser Goldfinch 1
…56 species….
* Leucitic ** spotted nesting across PCH in ficus

  1. March 23, 2015 8:53 am

    Not much in the raptor department in this month’s report. We have two pairs of red-tailed hawks nesting here in the middle of Santa Fe Springs industrial wasteland. They are good at keeping gophers out of our vegetable garden.


  2. Chukar permalink*
    March 22, 2015 5:27 pm

    American Robins, 4 sightings, total 5 birds: 2 birds 7/27/14, 1 – 5/25/14, 1 – 7/28/13, 1 – 6/23/13. Thanks, Lu, for the leadership at last-minute notification. Chuck A


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