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Malibu Lagoon Reminder – No Reservations, No Cards! : Sunday, 23 April 2023

April 21, 2023

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

…there is a season! Tern, Tern, Tern (L. Loeher Malibu Lagoon 04-19-19)

It’s ALWAYS the 4th (not the last!) Sunday of the month.

You read that title right; we’re dropping all the restrictions, with these piddling exceptions:

New Rules for Malibu Lagoon trip

  • Masks not required; feel free to wear one whenever you want.
  • Bring your own binoculars & telescope if you have them.
  • We do have loaner binos but they don’t always show up in time to hand out.
  • Participation in social activities, such as field trips, comes with an inherent risk of exposure to infectious disease. Prospective participants should self-evaluate or discuss with their doctor if their participation merits this risk. If you’re sick or experiencing any symptoms that indicate you might be sick, STAY HOME.
  • The 10am Children & Parents Walk is reinstated. Call Jean Garrett (424)-248-3801
  • For general questions contact Chuck: misclists[AT]

We asked the question a few days ago in our 26 Feb lagoon trip report: What fish is this? Read below for the answer.

Osprey with a Striped Mullet with a yellow tail, properly transported head forward. (Chris Tosdevin 3/26/23)

After conferring with local ichthyologists Rosi Dagit & Camm Swift, we confirmed that the above fish was a Striped Mullet. They do often have a yellowish tail, despite the fact that it didn’t show up in any photos I could find on-line. Maybe the yellow fades (as do many fish colors) when the fish is dead? [Sounds to me like a potential Ph.D. thesis with a 47-word title.] Striped Mullet are the Osprey’s favorite fish at the lagoon by a very long shot. I can’t recall ever seeing them catch and/or eat anything else there.

Some of the wintering birds have left, but many remain, and our breeding birds are arriving. The air may be filled with swallows. Grebes, loons, pelicans, ducks, egrets, hawks, shorebirds, flycatchers, orioles, finches, ad infinitum.

Some of the great birds we’ve had in April are:
Brant, Clark’s Grebe, Osprey, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, Sora, Snowy Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Royal, Elegant & Forster’s Terns, Eurasian Collared & White-winged Doves, Tree & Violet-Green Swallows, American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned & Wilson’s Warblers, Lazuli Bunting and Lesser Goldfinch.

If you arrive early you may perchance to espy a badelynge of dokys.

Adult Walk 8:30 a.m., 4th Sunday of every month.  Beginner and experienced, 2-3 hours.  Species range from 35 in June to 60-75 during migrations and winter.  We move slowly and check everything as we move along.  When lagoon outlet is closed we may continue east around the lagoon to Adamson House.  We put out special effort to make our monthly Malibu Lagoon walks attractive to first-time and beginning birdwatchers.  So please, if you are at all worried about coming on a trip and embarrassing yourself because of all the experts, we remember our first trips too.  Someone showed us the birds; now it’s our turn. Bring your birding questions.

Children and Parents Walk, 10:00 a.m., 4th Sunday of every month: One hour session, meeting at the metal-shaded viewing area between parking lot and channel. We start at 10:00 for a shorter walk and to allow time for families to get it together on a sleepy Sunday morning.  Our leaders are experienced with kids so please bring them to the beach!  We have an ample supply of binoculars that children can use without striking terror into their parents.  We want to see families enjoying nature. (If you have a Scout Troop or other group of more than seven people, you must call Jean (424-248-3801) to make sure we have enough binoculars and docents.)

Male Red-breasted Merganser with his punk hairdo (G. Murayama 4-23-17)

Map to Meeting Place
Directions: Malibu Lagoon is at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road, west of Malibu Pier and the bridge. We gather in the metal-shaded area near the parking lot. Look around for people wearing binoculars.
Parking: Parking machine installed in the lagoon lot: 1 hr $3; 2 hrs $6; 3 hrs $9, all day $12 ($11 seniors); credit cards accepted. Annual passes accepted. You may also park (read signs carefully) on either of PCH west of Cross Creek Road, on Cross Creek Road, or on Civic Center Way north (inland) of the shopping center.  Lagoon parking in shopping center lots is not permitted (i.e. they tow cars).

Link to prior trip report: Apr 24, 2022.

Prior checklists:
2021: Jan-July
July-Dec 2022: Jan-June, July-Dec
2020: Jan-JulyJuly-Dec  2019: Jan-June, July-Dec  
2018: Jan-June, July-Dec  2017: Jan-June, July-Dec
2016: Jan-June, July-Dec  2015: Jan-May, July-Dec
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

[Written & posted by Chuck Almdale]

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