UCSB Campus Beaches

Florence Sanchez

Low tide was well before dawn this morning, but the conditions were still good for beach walking at 6:15 this morning.  I walked both the east-facing and south-facing beaches.  Most of the action was on the east-facing beach near Campus Point.  I had at least a dozen Greater Yellowlegs working at the surf edge and a flock of similar size of Black-bellied Plovers.  Small groups of Semi-palmated Plovers were flying by or dropping in on the beach, joined from time to time by a few Sanderlings.  One Whimbrel was also at surf's edge.  Near the plovers I found an adult still-reddish Red Knot.  This was a pleasant surprise as I normally encounter only dun-colored juveniles around September first or so.  I also had an Acorn Woodpecker down on the sand below the bluff, feeding on something busily.

The rocks at campus Point had 2 Wandering Tattlers and a Black Turnstone.  On the south facing beaches, there had been a good-sized flock of small sandpipers, but they were scared off by two runners.  I only had them flying by and could pullout Sanderlings and more SP Plovers, but the others remained unidentified.  Another Whimbrel was on the beach and there were 2 very fresh juvenile Heerman's gulls feeding on hatching flies in the drier hard sand.  About a dozen Black-necked Stilts were at the Lagoon outfall mouth. 

I went to NCOS afterwards but the rails at the north bridge were silent and invisible while I was there.  I found 3 nearly identical juvenile Western Sandpipers in the mud at the little finger of water nearby.  Try as I could, I was not able to make one of them a Semi-palmated Sandpiper.  With them briefly were 3 Wilson's Phalaropes.

Florence Sanchez