Lompoc Least Terns and other observations

Florence Sanchez

I spent some time in Lompoc today, including ocean Beach Park where it was slightly foggy even at noon.  Still, I had good looks at several Least Terns, one of my favorites (like white swallows with short tails).  There were also 4 Caspian Terns present but no sign of the possible Forster's/Common Tern Nick mentioned from yesterday.  I failed to find any Phalaropes either.  The only shorebird hanging around was a basic-plumaged Black-bellied Plover.

This is a slow time of year for shorebirds, but I've found it can be interesting to see just what does stick around during the doldrums of late May-early June.

At the Santa Barbara Harbor last Saturday, I found no shorebirds except for a long basic-plumaged Black Bellied Plover.  There were no loons or grebes left in the yacht basin either.  But I spotted a large pale gull in the flock at the end of the Sandspit so walked out to check it.  It turned out to be a very worn first-year Glaucous-winged gull, and in the flock of Western Gulls, I also found 6 scruffy California Gulls, 1 scruffy Ring-billed Gull, and 4 Heerman's Gulls.  

At Devereux last Monday, I found 18 Semi-palmated Plovers on the mud flat.  In another spot, I had 2 Snowy Plovers and a Kildeer.  There were 3 Greater Yellowlegs working the shallow pond next to the road with the expected Black-necked Stilts.

Also on Monday, I found a pair of Cinnamon Teal in Area K--male and female resting together in the salicornia.

Birding is fun even on slow days.

Florence Sanchez