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Santa Maria Valley

Wes Fritz
 

SB Birders,
I birded up in SMV today, not much to report but this may be of some interest.

I slowed down for the formally flooded field on Black Road where the Sandhill Crane was chilling for a while. The field had a little mud in it but no birds. And now the interesting part, they ( somebody?) has been bringing in fill dirt for over a month now. The amount of fill dirt is starting to worry me. It looks like they plan on filling in the “vernal pool” mini wetland? Or simply a great birding location. I am not clear on the number of days this situation needs too hold water to be considered a wetland or a vernal pool, or if it can be saved?

The SMSW “ Santa Maria Sewage Works” is starting to look pretty good. Here I saw 22 Greater Yellowlegs, 18 Wilson’s and 4 Red-necked Phalaropes, 8 Dowitchers and one looked to be a Long-billed. The other shore bird that is rarely seen there was a Willet, also present was 100ish Least and Western Sandpipers, oh one Yelllow-headed Blackbird.
I then checked out Jack O’Connell Park, way sucky. I then moseyed on down to the SMRE ( Santa Maria River Estuary) did not walk out to the lagoon but scoped it from a distance and counted 13 White Pelicans mixed in with the Brown Pelicans. My mini seawatch was just that, watching the ocean. But as I was leaving I scoped back over the estuary from the high point of the road and I was able to see the Reddish Egret. This was kinda cool because, I saw a Reddish Egret on 7-2-19 at Devereux, 7-17-19 at Ocean Park in Lompoc and today the 31st at SMRE, I guess the 4th time was the charm. It was pretty cool to see Reddish Egrets at three different locations within one month and they were fairly distant from each other. I am not claiming they were all the same bird, or different birds, just Reddish Egrets.

Good birding,

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

Florence Sanchez
 

Dear Wes et al.,

I also noticed the earth dumping and wondered if it was being done to eliminate the wetland and discourage birders.  I'd sure like to know who trespassed into that field last winter--they may have caused more grief that they realized.  Also, I'm glad you saw the Reddish egret at the Santa Maria River mouth--I looked for it assiduously when I walked out to the estuary edge and did not find it!  Rats.  Also decided to pass up going to the sewage treatment plant because the previous report was pretty barren.  Sounds like that was a mistake too.

Florence


On Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 11:15:46 PM PDT, Wes Fritz via Groups.Io <wes-fritz@...> wrote:


SB Birders,
I birded up in SMV today, not much to report but this may be of some interest.

I slowed down for the formally flooded field on Black Road where the Sandhill Crane was chilling for a while. The field had a little mud in it but no birds. And now the interesting part, they ( somebody?) has been bringing in fill dirt for over a month now. The amount of fill dirt is starting to worry me. It looks like they plan on filling in the “vernal pool” mini wetland? Or simply a great birding location. I am not clear on the number of days this situation needs too hold water to be considered a wetland or a vernal pool, or if it can be saved?

The SMSW “ Santa Maria Sewage Works” is starting to look pretty good. Here I saw 22 Greater Yellowlegs, 18 Wilson’s and 4 Red-necked Phalaropes, 8 Dowitchers and one looked to be a Long-billed. The other shore bird that is rarely seen there was a Willet, also present was 100ish Least and Western Sandpipers, oh one Yelllow-headed Blackbird.
I then checked out Jack O’Connell Park, way sucky. I then moseyed on down to the SMRE ( Santa Maria River Estuary) did not walk out to the lagoon but scoped it from a distance and counted 13 White Pelicans mixed in with the Brown Pelicans. My mini seawatch was just that, watching the ocean. But as I was leaving I scoped back over the estuary from the high point of the road and I was able to see the Reddish Egret. This was kinda cool because, I saw a Reddish Egret on 7-2-19 at Devereux, 7-17-19 at Ocean Park in Lompoc and today the 31st at SMRE, I guess the 4th time was the charm. It was pretty cool to see Reddish Egrets at three different locations within one month and they were fairly distant from each other. I am not claiming they were all the same bird, or different birds, just Reddish Egrets.

Good birding,

Wes Fritz
805 895 0685
Solvang CA