Boat trip on Cachuma Lake today

Mark Holmgren

Dave Compton, Jim Hodgson, and I rented a boat for 5hr, 20min, which cost us $115.  A cheap thrill, well worth it.  The water level is 38 feet below full, the capacity is 52% of full.  


Our best find was a Solitary Sandpiper in the northern mudflat in Santa Cruz Bay.  Adult and immature Bald Eagles were in the eastern end of the lake.  Of 5 duck species seen, only 3 Green-winged Teal were returning migrants.  We rather carefully counted 450 Western/Clark’s grebes, but our estimates of the numbers of each species are less reliable.  13 Spotted Sandpipers was a lot.  Other shorebirds seen were Least Sandpiper (19) and Western Sandpiper (5). Other sightings include 5 Barn Swallows, 1 N. Rough-winged Swallow, 6 Lawrence’s Goldfinches, and a couple of bunting not seen well enough to distinguish Lazuli vs Indigo.  


Species not seen today that have been seen in the last week along the Lake Cachuma shore edge included Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, dowitchers, Caspian Tern, and Peregrine Falcon.  Our checklist is shown here:


Mark Holmgren

San Marcos Pass