Shorebirds


Florence Sanchez
 

With a very favorable low tide early this morning, I set out on a quest to see what shorebirds may have returned.  I started with the UCSB beaches, but they were pretty quiet.  All told I picked up two whimbrels, 2 Willets (in different stages of alternate plumage) and 1 Kildeer (in the UCSB Lagoon).  I then went over to Goleta Beach, paying particular attention to the estuary mouth, but I picked up no shorebirds there.  Area K also was devoid of shorebirds, including the Wilson's Phalaropes I found here last week.  I then checked out Devereux, looking for both shorebirds and the Reddish Egret reported yesterday.  Struck out here (missed the Western Sandpipers on the far side that Glenn Kincaid found earlier).  Then on to North Campus open space, where all I could turn up was a single Kildeer.

Finally, I went to the Goleta Sewage treatment plant.  Good news is that the north pond has a fair amount of exposed mud.  If it stays that way, it will be worth checking for shorebirds in the weeks ahead.  Today the stars here were multiple Black-necked Stilts of all ages and sizes, and a single silent Dowitcher sp. that flew around the north pond and lit on some equipment on the far side, completely back-lit and unidentifiable as to species.

There are very favorable minus low tides early in the morning for the next couple of days, so I suggest getting out and checking the beaches as this time of year, the shorebird menu changes daily. 

The only gulls I turned up were Western, with the exception of a few Heerman's on the UCSB beaches.  One of them was a first-year bird.

Florence Sanchez

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