"Eurasian" Green-winged Teal, etc.

Dave Compton

Hi folks, 

I did a sea watch at Campus Pt this morning, followed by a visit to the bluffs at UCSB above Area K of Goleta Slough. The best bird by far was the continuing male "Eurasian" Green-winged Teal. It was the only Green-winged Teal still around, at least that I could see. This morning, it was on the far side of Area K, rather than in Basin L/M, where Wes originally reported it. Nothing else of note here. Still plenty of Northern Shovelers and American Wigeon about, as well as a lot of Gadwalls. All other duck species were the common ones (although my 25 Cinnamon Teal tripped the eBird filter).

Nothing unusual to report from Campus Pt. A relatively even mix of the three expected loon species was flying up the coast, which means it was a good day for Common Loons. The 21 I saw throughout the 1.5 hours was one of the best counts I've had of this species, numbers of which usually lag well behind those of Red-throated Loon during spring migration. Pacific Loon, which starts moving later than the other species, was already the most common loon species today. In a few days, numbers of this species will overwhelm numbers of the other loons. Very few scoters today, and only two flocks of Brant numbering about 35 birds. 

Incidentally, doing spring sea watches from Campus Pt is a bit out of vogue locally. Some of us used to do quite a lot of this. For those who've come to birding locally in more recent years, Campus Pt is a great place to see birds flying up the coast in spring. In the middle two weeks of April, doing a sea watch in the first two or three hours after dawn can mean seeing thousands of Pacific Loons (although numbers vary). Sea watches in the afternoon, when the winds pick up, can yield a nice variety of birds on a good day. If you get out there often enough, you'll see some pelagic species, and some rarities. So, I highly recommend it, especially on days when conditions are poor for seeing land migrants.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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