UCSB Beaches

Florence Sanchez

I walked the UCSB Beaches this morning, when we again had a very early minus tide.  Consequently, conditions were good and I found a nice assortment of birds in spite of a loose dog on the east-facing beach.  It put to flight a lot of things, but I pulled out 3 Long-billed Curlews, 4 Whimbrels, and 5 Greater Yellowlegs from the birds it disturbed.  On the ricks at Campus Point, there were 8 Least Sandpipers, a Semi-palmated Plover, and three Black Turnstones.  The south facing beaches and the sand below the bluffs had a good-sized mixed flock of small shorebirds.  The most numerous were the SP Plovers (30 or so).  Also present were about a dozen Sanderlings, a few Western Sandpipers, and 10 more Least Sandpipers.  Further along the beach, there was a single Black-bellied Plover.  Near the Lagoon outfall, there were 2 Whimbrel.  The UCSB Lagoon was pretty dull. The only shorebirds there were a few Black-necked Stilts.

I stopped at Goleta Beach, where the only shorebird found was a single Willet resting with the Western Gulls on the mud spit in the channel.  With the Gulls were 2 Caspian Terns.

I apparently missed something in regard to Willets.  Why are "Western Willets" showing up as rare birds in eBird reports?  I presume that the proposed split between Eastern and Western Willet is finally official (AOS), but if that is the case, wouldn't "Western Willet" be the expected species here and therefore not reportable as rare?

Florence Sanchez