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Field Trip Report Malibu Lagoon Dec. 27, 2015 & July-Dec 2015 Trip Lists

December 30, 2015
If you can't ID this species from this picture, you need to come on our birdwalk (G. Murayama 12-24-15)

If you can’t ID this species, you need to come on our birdwalk  (G. Murayama 12-24-15)

A very crisp morning with temps in the lower forties as we started. The lagoon had recently received a tidal surge and was

Osprey close-up (Jim Kenney 11-25-15)

Osprey close-up (Jim Kenney 11-25-15)

slowly draining as we birded. Luckily, temperatures “soared” into the low 60’s as we explored the area.We were unable to cross over the drainage of the lagoon and walked around on the bridge to the Adamson House where we were pleasantly surprised to see two Sora chasing each other in the open right below the observation deck, formerly boat launch area. As is often the case, this is one of our best-attended walks of the year with visitors from as far as Michigan this year, and at least 20 persons, of all sizes and ages, on our 10AM family walk.

Common Murre (Jim Kenney 11-20-15)

Common Murre (Jim Kenney 11-20-15)

This Common Murre was the exceptional bird of the day. Even though a rarity and a treat for those who do not participate in pelagic birding, its presence in the lagoon did not presage a happy future for this normally sea-going bird. No Snowy Plovers spotted, a troubling absence.

The Royal Tern In Winter (Bob Gurfield 12-18-15)

The Royal Tern In Winter. Note that eye is not surrounded by dark feathers and slight gonydeal bump on lower bill, unlike the similar Elegant Tern (Bob Gurfield 12-18-15)

Birds new for the season were: Northern Pintail, Brandt’s Cormorant, Red-tailed Hawk, Greater Yellowlegs,  Common Murre, Peregrine Falcon, Oak Titmouse. The murre is a new addition to our monthly lagoon bird list, now 233 species long.

A Snowy Plover bad hair day (G. Murayama 12-31-15)

A Snowy Plover bad hair day (G. Murayama 12-31-15)

As always, many thanks to our photographers: Grace Murayama,  Jim Kenney and Bob Gurfield.

Our next four scheduled field trips: Antelope Valley Raptor Experience, 16 Jan. 8:00am (sign up required); Malibu Lagoon 8:30 & 10am, 24 Jan.;  Sepulveda Basin Reserve, 13 Feb. 8:30am; Malibu Lagoon 8:30 & 10am, 28 Feb.

A drowsy Ring-billed Gull (G. Murayama 12-29-15)

A drowsy Ring-billed Gull (G. Murayama 12-29-15)

Our next program: Malibu Lagoon – Past and Present with Chuck Almdale on Tuesday, 2 February, 7:30 pm, at [note location change] Chris Reed Park, 1133 7th St., NE corner of 7th and Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.

NOTE: Our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids Birdwalk meets at the shaded viewing area. Watch for Willie the Weasel. He’ll be watching for you and your big floppy feet.

Great Blue Heron striding purposefully (G. Murayama 12-24-15)

Great Blue Heron striding purposefully (G. Murayama 12-24-15)

Links: Unusual birds at Malibu Lagoon
9/23/02 Aerial photo of Malibu Lagoon
Prior checklists:
2015:   Jan-May
2014:   Jan-July,    July-Dec
     2013:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
2012:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
   2011:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
2010:  Jan-June,   July-Dec
     2009:  Jan-June  July-Dec

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are still here (G. Murayama 12-31-15)

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are still here, quizzical as ever (G. Murayama 12-31-15)

The 10-year comparison summaries created during the project period, despite numerous complaints, remain available on our Lagoon Project Bird Census Page. Very briefly summarized, the results unexpectedly indicate that avian species diversification and numbers improved slightly during the period Jun’12-June’14.
[Lucien Plauzoles & Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2015 7/26 8/23 9/27 10/24 11/22 12/27
Temperature 70-82 70-77 68-77 64-75 64-76 45-60
Tide Lo/Hi Height L+2.37 L+2.80 H+5.94 H+5.93 L+0.24 H+6.07
Tide Time 1143 0944 0918 0810 1241 0945
Brant 1
Canada Goose 11 7
Mute Swan 2 2
Gadwall 5 8 54 15 4 13
American Wigeon 2
Mallard 55 35 34 30 25 2
Northern Shoveler 6 8 2
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal 4 10 11
Surf Scoter 1 2
Bufflehead 4 1
Hooded Merganser 2
Red-brstd Merganser 1 1 2 17
Ruddy Duck 5 68 110 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Pacific Loon 2
Common Loon 2
Pied-billed Grebe 3 2 3 3 2
Horned Grebe 2
Eared Grebe 8 10 10 2
Western Grebe 3 15 4
Brandt’s Cormorant 2 1 2
Dble-crstd Cormorant 34 43 36 29 45 15
Pelagic Cormorant 2 1 2 1
Brown Pelican 17 3 6 42 11 10
Great Blue Heron 4 8 4 4 3 2
Great Egret 4 6 3 5 1 2
Snowy Egret 6 22 18 12 8 30
Blk-crwnd N-Heron 2 3 3 3 1
Osprey 1 1
Cooper’s Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Sora 1 2
American Coot 1 4 75 55 60 10
Blk-bellied Plover 27 75 84 62 33 30
Snowy Plover 16 21 32 28
Semipalmated Plover 1 5 2
Killdeer 4 6 10 15 4 14
Spotted Sandpiper 1 3 10 2 5
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Willet 6 8 15 35 18 13
Whimbrel 13 10 4 2 5 1
Marbled Godwit 8 8 8 11
Ruddy Turnstone 3 12 15 18 9 2
Black Turnstone 1
Sanderling 2 23 6
Least Sandpiper 8 3 6 4
Western Sandpiper 1 14 15 1
Short-billd Dowitcher 6
Long-billed Dowitcher 1 4 2
Wilson’s Phalarope 1
Common Murre 1
Bonaparte’s Gull 1 1 2
Heermann’s Gull 14 11 25 11 11
Ring-billed Gull 2 95 60
Western Gull 40 40 110 90 140 80
California Gull 2 1 8 4 1430 620
Glaucous-wingd Gull 1 1
Caspian Tern 1 6 1
Common Tern 1
Forster’s Tern 2 3
Royal Tern 3 9 15 2 23 11
Elegant Tern 45 12 6 4
Black Skimmer 1
Rock Pigeon 4 6 12 10 20 2
Eur. Collared-Dove 1 1
Mourning Dove 7 7 4 2 1
Vaux’s Swift 45
Anna’s Hummingbird 1 3 4 2 2 3
Allen’s Hummingbird 3 10 5 8 5 2
Belted Kingfisher 1 1 1
Red-brstd Sapsucker 1
Nuttall’s Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
American Kestrel 1 1
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Nanday Parakeet 6
Black Phoebe 4 6 20 10 10 12
Say’s Phoebe 4 3 1 2
Warbling Vireo 6 1
Western Scrub-Jay 1
American Crow 4 4 20 10 3 1
Rough-wingd Swallow 3 8
Tree Swallow 10 10
Barn Swallow 12 12
Cliff Swallow 12 3
Oak Titmouse 1 1
Bushtit 2 20 4 28 40
House Wren 1 4 1 2
Marsh Wren 1 2 1
Bewick’s Wren 1 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3 4 9 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 10 6
Hermit Thrush 1 1
Northern Mockingbird 4 4 4 6 6 2
European Starling 25 25 35 10 21 10
Ornge-crwnd Warbler 2 4 5
Nashville Warbler 3
Common Yellowthroat 5 5 8 8 7 1
Yellow Warbler 1 1
Palm Warbler 1
Yellow-rumpd Warbler 3 35 40 40
Blk-throated G. Warbler 3
Townsend’s Warbler 1 1
Spotted Towhee 2 2
California Towhee 4 6 2 3 1 1
Savannah Sparrow 2 3 1
Song Sparrow 5 8 3 3 3 6
White-crwnd Sparrow 2 25 4 15
Red-winged Blackbird 40 15 15
Western Meadowlark 4 4 5 4
Great-tailed Grackle 3 5 12 10 4 3
Brwn-headed Cowbird 2
House Finch 2 12 25 9 4 3
Lesser Goldfinch 3 3
House Sparrow 1
Totals by Type Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Waterfowl 62 46 99 129 169 58
Water Birds – Other 57 54 126 145 152 48
Herons, Egrets & Ibis 16 39 28 24 13 34
Quail & Raptors 0 0 1 1 2 4
Shorebirds 71 170 215 161 113 83
Gulls & Terns 105 80 169 114 1703 775
Doves 11 13 17 13 21 2
Other Non-Passerines 4 13 55 20 7 6
Passerines 85 149 213 191 164 156
Totals Birds 411 564 923 798 2344 1166
Total Species Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Waterfowl 4 4 5 5 10 10
Water Birds – Other 5 5 5 8 11 9
Herons, Egrets & Ibis 4 4 4 4 4 3
Quail & Raptors 0 0 1 1 2 4
Shorebirds 8 14 13 10 9 10
Gulls & Terns 6 7 9 7 7 7
Doves 2 2 3 3 2 1
Other Non-Passerines 2 2 4 7 2 3
Passerines 13 15 26 33 20 21
Totals Species – 117 44 53 70 78 67 68
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One Comment
  1. ednalvarez permalink
    January 10, 2016 11:11 am

    Great report, as always! And appreciated, as always!

    Like

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