Devereux and Area K in the afternoon

Florence Sanchez

I don't usually birdwatch in the afternoon, but I was able to get out today and check both Devereux and Area K.  Devereux was literally crawling with small shorebirds from one side to the other.  I found the lighting was better if I parked at the turnout by the bridge to nowhere and then walked back around the shoreline with the sun at my back.  The species I found included Western and Least Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Plovers and Kildeer, and both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.  There were so many shorebirds on the eastern side of the wet mudflat that I considered walking down the dune pond path and trying to scope form that side, but though I could see access points for viewing , it did not appear I could get close enough for good looks at the little guys.   Through my scope, most of the birds there seemed to be Semi-palmated Plovers.  Heat shimmer would also be a problem.

Other birds seen here were both great and Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Double-crested and Neotropic Cormorants, and a few Caspian Terns, as well as the usual ducks.

I then went over to Area K of the Goleta Slough and found the light conditions were perfect for scanning from the bluff.  Two Teal sp. took to the air just as I set up.  Clough conditions are getting good for shorebirds, with a lot of exposed mud around the edges.  There were about 8 black-necked Stilts in the middle of the pond and on the water, I found 4 juvenile Red-necked Phalaropes and a Wilson's Phalarope.  At the edge of some mid-pond vegetation, I found 1 each Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and two Dowitchers (very red underneath, appearing to extend all the way to the tail).  In the newly exposed mud on the far side, I scoped out 2 Least Sandpipers.  So I think birders should try to check this area daily as more species drop in.

I heard a Virginia Rail call once from the ditch vegetation immediately below the bluff.

Florence Sanchez