UCSB east facing beaches and other Sunday birding

Dave Compton

I walked from Goleta Beach to the UCSB Lot 6 stairs and a little beyond around midday, today. Not only was there no sign of either Curlew Sandpiper or Pacific Golden-Plover, but most of the beach wrack is gone. Shorebird numbers were way down, despite there being few people walking this stretch of beach. I saw no Sanderlings during my walk, and no Black Turnstones. When I was last here about 9 days ago, there were piles of kelp on the beach, more than 100 Sanderlings, and a sprinkling of turnstones, as well as more Least Sandpipers than I saw today.

Not a whole lot to report from a morning of birding in South Goleta, either. Nick and I saw no birds of interest birding Atascadero Creek downstream of Patterson. I did see a scaup that I thought was probably a Greater, in the debris basin just west of Ward. But it was missing a chunk of feathers on its crown, making the ID trickier than usual. Unusual was an adult male Western Tanager on exposed mud by the channel on the SoCal Gas side of the channel.

I also saw nothing of interest at Goleta Beach, or nothing more interesting than a Peregrine Falcon perched in the eucalyptus near the mouth. I did not look at the night-heron roost for Yellow-crowneds.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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