Carpinteria this morning

Florence Sanchez

I decided to check out a few spots in Carpinteria this morning.  I found nothing unsual.  The Caprnteria salt marsh at Ash Avenue was between tides and therefore had some nice exposed mud as well as a little water, which should have been good for shorebirds--but the pickings were slim.  2 Kildeer, 4 Semi-palmated Plovers, and 5 Western Sandpipers ( a couple looked like fresh juveniles--is this too early?). A Little later, 1 Long-billed Curlew flew in.  I heard a Greater Yellowlegs somewhere out on the big marsh.  Two Snowy Egrets were working the marsh a a green Heron flew in.

My next stop was Bates Road, which was very quiet.  I may have heard Chestnut-backed chickadees, but the calls were faint.  Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Western Wood-Pewee are still present.  No warblers heard or seen.

After that, I went to Lake Jocelyn, which has lots of water and therefore not a lot of marsh bird habitat around the edges.  The only things I found on the pond were a few each of Ruddy Ducks (males still in nice plumage), Coots, and Mallards.  Great-tailed Grackles are also present here, which for some reason surprises me this far from the shore.

Next I tried a sea watch from the bluffs at the end of Calle Ocho.  The fog had retreated to beyond the oil platforms, so visibility was o.k; however, there was little activity.  I was there about 45 minutes and had only 4 Brandt's Cormorants, 2 Brown Pelicans, and 2 Western Gulls fly by.  The beach below the bluffs also had little bird activity:  2 Whimbrels and 3 Heerman's Gulls.  Just as I was ready to leave, I spotted a basic-plumaged Common Loon in the surf, but lost it after it dived.

On my way home, I stopped at the Carpinteria slat marsh again.  The tide had come in.  Though there was still some exposed mud, the shorebirds were gone.  A great Blue Heron was present at that time, and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron ( a bird transitioning form juvenile to adult plumage) was working the shore.

I have been avoiding anything in Santa Barbara this week because of fiesta, but obviously I should have gone to East Beach this morning!

Florence Sanchez