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The most elegant of terns: Refugio State Beach


Steven Gaulin
 

I birded the S. end of Refugio Road and Refugio State Beach this AM. The creek crossings were dead, though a Merlin flew through, and the lerpy Eucs in the State Park produced only common warblers. The "ghostly Empid" put it cameo appearances at the N. end of the lagoon, but not sufficient to evaluate its specific status. What most caught my attention was the very pinkish breasts of the 8 Elegant Terns on the beach (along with 2 adult and 2 immature Royal Terns showing no such hue). I know this blush is well known but it was as intense as I've ever seen it in these birds. A friend had a camera and perhaps photos will follow. 

Steven Gaulin
Santa Barbara


Florence Sanchez
 

Many of the terns in the East Beach flock still show peachy colors on their breasts.

This morning in dense fog, I counted about 625 Elegant Terns on West beach, along with 3 Royal Terns.  Thankfully, they were very quite while I was trying to get a fairly accurate count.  I then made a quick check of East Beach where I found another flock just east of the Mission Creek outfall,  I went back to my car for the scope and in the short time it took to do that, someone arrived who promptly turned their dog loose on the beach to chase the Terns and then poop (not cleaned up by owners). AAUGH! 

So I can only estimate that there were at least 200 Elegants there this morning in addition to the ones I had at West Beach.

Florence Sanchez
  

On Sunday, September 13, 2020, 08:29:52 PM PDT, Steven Gaulin <gaulin@...> wrote:


I birded the S. end of Refugio Road and Refugio State Beach this AM. The creek crossings were dead, though a Merlin flew through, and the lerpy Eucs in the State Park produced only common warblers. The "ghostly Empid" put it cameo appearances at the N. end of the lagoon, but not sufficient to evaluate its specific status. What most caught my attention was the very pinkish breasts of the 8 Elegant Terns on the beach (along with 2 adult and 2 immature Royal Terns showing no such hue). I know this blush is well known but it was as intense as I've ever seen it in these birds. A friend had a camera and perhaps photos will follow. 

Steven Gaulin
Santa Barbara