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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


Nick Lethaby
 

All,

Coincidentally I birded the SYRE later that day. As Florence indicated, Western Sandpipers have increased with at least 750 present. There were small numbers of various other expected shorebirds around. The river is still tidal and it will be interesting to see if this translates into a better shorebird migration. We will probably not know much until the juveniles appear as most adult shorebirds will know to avoid SBA county. I am pretty confident it will be good for terns and gulls if it remains tidal, as numbers seem to be consistently good recently. The Reddish Egret is a juvenile. That is another species that might like the tidal situation.

Nick

On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 3:05 PM Florence Sanchez via groups.io <sanchezucsb11=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
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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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA

Mobile: 805 284 6200
Work: 805 562 5106

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Nick Lethaby
Goleta, CA