SYRE Reddish Egret

Florence Sanchez

Intrigued by Nick's report on the shorebird situation at the Santa Ynez River mouth, I headed there late this morning.  There were Western Sandpipers in large flocks flying and landing on almost all the areas of exposed mud.  I'd say Nick's estimate of 440 was conservative!  I combed through the flocks as best I could but did not turn up any other species.

On the beach at the river mouth, there was a huge flock of Heerman's gulls--more than 300 of them.  There were at least 6 Least Terns feeding in th estuary and I counted 16 Caspian terns resting on a mudbank upriver.

Much further up River opposite a small point of exposed mud, I could see a heron deeding very actively.  In my scope at 40 power, it was still hard to see plumage detail again st a background of reflective gray water, but it was moving around constantly, sometimes opening its wings as if starting to canopy feed, and the overall shape looked good for REddish Egret.  Finally it moved in front of the the muddy point and I could pick up better color, confirming the ID of a juvenile (or immature) Reddish Egret.

Florence Sanchez

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