Bad year for Sanderlings @ UCSB

Thomas Turner

Though almost all of my birding this year has been in the Devereux area, I noticed something that seemed interesting to me: very few Sanderlings. I decided to see if this was borne out by the data. I compiled the eBird data for the West Campus Bluffs hotspot from the years I have been birding there (2015-2020). This data is from all complete lists on the hotspot, but something like 90% of that is my lists I think.

It does look like there have been fewer Sanderling this year, especially compared to the last two years. The box plots show the distribution of weekly averages for each year through May 15th. The line plot shows the averages over time for 2020 in blue vs. 2015-2019 average in gray. 

I wonder if this has been a local phenomenon, and the birds are just on a different beach, or whether it is a regional pattern.

Tom Turner
Isla Vista