Goleta Beach this morning

Joan Lentz ( address)

Hi All:
Like everybody else, I’m waiting for returning shorebirds and not having much luck.  Marilyn Harding and I had a pleasant hour at Goleta Beach.  Only shorebird was a Long-billed Curlew, but we saw a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON which flew from behind the ranger’s residence to the bank directly opposite the viewing platform, then flew to the near bank east of us, but underneath the bushes.  We were able, however, to get the scope on it & the bird was down near the shore taking advantage of the lower tide to forage.  Looks to be a little older than a juvenile, perhaps now into its second year?  Since I’ve not seen the bird that everyone else has commented on, I can’t tell if this is another individual or the continuing bird, although I suspect the latter.
Also of interest were two juvenile PEREGRINE FALCONS perched on the crane across from the entrance road (thanks to John Storrer who pointed those out to us).  We recalled seeing an adult here on July 9, so these must be local breeders.
An OSPREY visited, and there were three Belted Kingfishers sitting on the wire over the lagoon (family group?)  Many Black-necked Stilts and Snowy Egrets fed in the channel, 95 Western Gulls resting on the sandbar.  No other species of gull.
The contrast with Devereux was stark, and it pointed up the difference between a tidal estuary and one that’s blocked, alas.  As I recall, last summer we had water in Devereux through the month of July, but this year there just wasn’t enough rain.
Always better to be out birding even if it's slow!

Joan Lentz
Santa Barbara