Santa Maria Valley

Wes Fritz
 

SB Birders,
I birded up in SMV today, not much to report but this may be of some interest.

I slowed down for the formally flooded field on Black Road where the Sandhill Crane was chilling for a while. The field had a little mud in it but no birds. And now the interesting part, they ( somebody?) has been bringing in fill dirt for over a month now. The amount of fill dirt is starting to worry me. It looks like they plan on filling in the “vernal pool” mini wetland? Or simply a great birding location. I am not clear on the number of days this situation needs too hold water to be considered a wetland or a vernal pool, or if it can be saved?

The SMSW “ Santa Maria Sewage Works” is starting to look pretty good. Here I saw 22 Greater Yellowlegs, 18 Wilson’s and 4 Red-necked Phalaropes, 8 Dowitchers and one looked to be a Long-billed. The other shore bird that is rarely seen there was a Willet, also present was 100ish Least and Western Sandpipers, oh one Yelllow-headed Blackbird.
I then checked out Jack O’Connell Park, way sucky. I then moseyed on down to the SMRE ( Santa Maria River Estuary) did not walk out to the lagoon but scoped it from a distance and counted 13 White Pelicans mixed in with the Brown Pelicans. My mini seawatch was just that, watching the ocean. But as I was leaving I scoped back over the estuary from the high point of the road and I was able to see the Reddish Egret. This was kinda cool because, I saw a Reddish Egret on 7-2-19 at Devereux, 7-17-19 at Ocean Park in Lompoc and today the 31st at SMRE, I guess the 4th time was the charm. It was pretty cool to see Reddish Egrets at three different locations within one month and they were fairly distant from each other. I am not claiming they were all the same bird, or different birds, just Reddish Egrets.

Good birding,

Wes Fritz
805 895 0685
wes-fritz@...
Solvang CA

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