Thursday, 10/25, 8-11 am
Began at the bridge pull-out at Deveraux hoping for, but missing, a Tropical Kingbird, though I didn't stay there very long. When I arrived, a Greater Yellowlegs (of three present) chased away a medium sized, slender, gray sandpiper that may have been a Solitary Sandpiper but the look was too brief and distant to be sure. The only birds of note there were four Redheads down the channel from the bridge.
Dry as it has been, I went to the Coronado puddle thinking it might be a good draw for woodland birds. Wrong. In 15 minutes there not a single bird visited the puddle. I did hear a Flicker and a Wren chattering nearby but nothing else.
Lake Los Carneros, on the other hand, was much better. The parking area was alive with warblers though the only ones I heard or got eyes on were Yellow-rumped. Other common birds were out and looking very sharp including Say's Phoebe, an exceptionally well marked Northern Flicker, California Thrasher, Nuttall's Woodpecker and a very cooperative male Cooper's Hawk perched at eye level on an open branch in the fields northeast of the lake. The 'beach' at the north end of the lake had several Dowitchers (too far to ID to species) and more Greater Yellowlegs. A good assortment of ducks were present including Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Cinnamon Teal and Green-winged Teal. One Cinnamon Teal was very interesting. Its body looked normal but the head was grayish. It also had a tan crescent at the base of the bill shaped just like that of a Blue-winged Teal. Possibly a hybrid? I also am curious about one of the two swans there. One is obviously a Mute Swan (black bill with pink markings) but the other has a black bill with yellow markings near the base and pink markings nearer the tip. I'm embarrassed to have to ask but can someone bring me up to speed on the species of this individual? White-crowned Sparrows were abundant but I did pick out one Golden-crowned among them near the dam. The pines south of the lake had a Black-shouldered Kite. Finally, as I was returning to the parking lot, an Acorn Woodpecker chased a Sapsucker away from me. I never relocated the bird. All I can say with confidence was that it was a Sapsucker but not a Yellow-bellied. Likely it was a Red-breasted but a Red-naped is possible.
At the Goleta Sewage Treatment Plant, ducks were likewise abundant and varied. Species included Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, and Cinnamon Teal. Several Solitary Sandpipers were strewn around the banks. The only surprise was the absence of Canada Goose which I have found very consistent at this spot.
Finished up a Goleta Beach. Ran across a bird class with a flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds literally at their feet near the western-most restrooms. From the east parking lot, the tide was just starting to wash water into the slough. Lots of shorebirds here including all the large sandpipers (Willets, Marbled Godwit, Whimbrels, Long-billed Curlew and Greater Yellowlegs). There were also 47 Black-necked Stilt in this area alone. This is a common species locally but I was surprised at the concentration. I'm not sure where they are breeding around here, but wherever it is, they are doing very well. There were not many gulls present but the group there was also had a Caspian Tern and, I believe, three Elegant Tern. Finally, and not all that noteworthy, every water body I visited had Eared Grebe but I didn't see any Pied-billed. Go figure.