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Northern County Birding


Florence Sanchez
 

Uj headed for the Santa ynez River Mouth this morning.  I got there right at low tide, but it was still fairly foggy, though off the ground enough to see the birds.  I saw no sign of the Reddish Egret this morning.  Other Haron species included Great Blue, Great Egret, and lots of Snowy Egrets.  At least a dozen Double-crested Cormorants were hauled out on the branches near the end of the island.  Waterfowl in the Lagoon consisted of Pied-billed Grebes and Mallards.  There was a nice assortment of shorebirds but none in large numbers:  Semi-palmated Plovers (about 12), Long-billed Curlew (1), Marbled Godwit (6), Willet (4), Short-billed Dowitcher juvenile (1), Dowitcher sp (1), Western Sandpiper (about a dozen), Least Sandpiper (2), and Rednecked Phalaropes (20 or more).  There were a few Elegant Terns resting with various gulls at the River mouth and 2 Caspian Terns flew overhead.  One Least Tern was foraging over the Lagoon.

I moved on to the Santa Maria River Mouth and found it was still foggy there, but the ceiling lifted a little as the morning wore on.  At least a couple hundred Brown pelicans were roosting at the estuary's edge along with about 20 White Pelicans. Gulls grouped mostly on the beach and included Heerman's (about 80) California (15) and Western (7-8, including one juvenile).  I had 2 Caspian Terns, 40 Elegant Terns, and 1 Least Tern up in the air at various times, but no sign of a Black Tern.  There were plenty of Coots in the estuary along with Pied-billed Grebes and 1 Eared Grebe.  Ducks included Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, a female-type Red-breasted Merganser, and another Merganser that looked much more like a Common.  Its head was very red vs the more orangey-color of the other Merganser and there was sharp contrast between the white on the neck and the red on the head.  However, the white seemed to go continuously up the neck to the chin and didn't stop at a collar of red as one wouldexpect in Common.  Both birds were hauled out on a far bank with Mallards and Cormorants, and even with my scope zoomed in at 40 power, clarity in the hazy air with some heat shimmer coming up from the water made getting clear views of the details very difficult.  My other interesting observation was looking down on the river from the road in and spotting what looked very much like a Reddish Egret flying downriver with a white Egret.  It was the same size as the white Egret and the Reddish color stood out even in the hazy conditions.  I could not re-locate this bird while scanning on my way out. 

I stopped at the Santa Maria Sewage Plant and it was not worth the visit.  1 Greater Yellowlegs, a few Mallards, a few Great-tailed Grackles, and at lest 2000 Starlings were all I found.

Florence Sanchez


Wes Fritz
 

SB Birders,
I also birded the SYRE this afternoon around 1:00pm. I am surprised that Florence’s and my visit were so different. I was under overcast skies with a fair breeze and the viability was a little better.
  I saw the Reddish Egret over on VAFB property at the Saline pond from the train tracks. Also seen were 3 Least Terns, 3 Caspian Terns one Juvenile, 100ish Elegant type Terns, 35 Semipalmated Plovers, one Black-belled, some Snowy Plovers, 13 Garbled Modwits, 8 LB Curlews, 20 Short-billed Dowitchers, 30ish Red-necked Phals, one Wilson’s Phalarope, one Lesser Yellowlegs, Sanderlings, Western and Least Sandpiper sprinkled up the river as far as I could see, decent numbers, but not crazy. The best birds of the day for me that were East of the train trestle was one Ruddy Turnstone and two Black Turnstones.

I did not seawatch from Surf Beach today.

Good birding,

Wes Fritz
805 895 0685
wes-fritz@...
Solvang CA

On Aug 25, 2020, at 4:58 PM, Florence Sanchez via groups.io <sanchezucsb11@...> wrote:


Uj headed for the Santa ynez River Mouth this morning.  I got there right at low tide, but it was still fairly foggy, though off the ground enough to see the birds.  I saw no sign of the Reddish Egret this morning.  Other Haron species included Great Blue, Great Egret, and lots of Snowy Egrets.  At least a dozen Double-crested Cormorants were hauled out on the branches near the end of the island.  Waterfowl in the Lagoon consisted of Pied-billed Grebes and Mallards.  There was a nice assortment of shorebirds but none in large numbers:  Semi-palmated Plovers (about 12), Long-billed Curlew (1), Marbled Godwit (6), Willet (4), Short-billed Dowitcher juvenile (1), Dowitcher sp (1), Western Sandpiper (about a dozen), Least Sandpiper (2), and Rednecked Phalaropes (20 or more).  There were a few Elegant Terns resting with various gulls at the River mouth and 2 Caspian Terns flew overhead.  One Least Tern was foraging over the Lagoon.

I moved on to the Santa Maria River Mouth and found it was still foggy there, but the ceiling lifted a little as the morning wore on.  At least a couple hundred Brown pelicans were roosting at the estuary's edge along with about 20 White Pelicans. Gulls grouped mostly on the beach and included Heerman's (about 80) California (15) and Western (7-8, including one juvenile).  I had 2 Caspian Terns, 40 Elegant Terns, and 1 Least Tern up in the air at various times, but no sign of a Black Tern.  There were plenty of Coots in the estuary along with Pied-billed Grebes and 1 Eared Grebe.  Ducks included Mallards, Ruddy Ducks, a female-type Red-breasted Merganser, and another Merganser that looked much more like a Common.  Its head was very red vs the more orangey-color of the other Merganser and there was sharp contrast between the white on the neck and the red on the head.  However, the white seemed to go continuously up the neck to the chin and didn't stop at a collar of red as one wouldexpect in Common.  Both birds were hauled out on a far bank with Mallards and Cormorants, and even with my scope zoomed in at 40 power, clarity in the hazy air with some heat shimmer coming up from the water made getting clear views of the details very difficult.  My other interesting observation was looking down on the river from the road in and spotting what looked very much like a Reddish Egret flying downriver with a white Egret.  It was the same size as the white Egret and the Reddish color stood out even in the hazy conditions.  I could not re-locate this bird while scanning on my way out. 

I stopped at the Santa Maria Sewage Plant and it was not worth the visit.  1 Greater Yellowlegs, a few Mallards, a few Great-tailed Grackles, and at lest 2000 Starlings were all I found.

Florence Sanchez