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Malibu Lagoon Trip Report: 27 July, 2014

July 31, 2014

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Artist's perspective of west channels view from SW corner (RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

2012 Artist’s perspective of west channels view from SW corner (RestoreMalibuLagoon . com)

The above 2012 Artist’s Perspective of the proposed channels bears a remarkable similarity to July’14 reality.

Lagoon looking east - compare to Artist's Perspective (R. Ehler 7/27/14)

View to east across channel towards lagoon (Randy Ehler 7/27/14)

I thought it was hot, the many surfers and sunbathers thought it was hot, but the weather service claims it was 66-72° while we were at the lagoon, so that’s what I’m reporting. As expected, species present rose from the annual low in June, which you can see from the trip list below.

Snowy Plover have returned to their wintering roost (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Snowy Plover have returned to their wintering roost (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Semipalmated Plovers stop here briefly during their southward migration (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Semipalmated Plovers stop here briefly during their southward migration (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Also as expected, the Snowy Plovers have begun to return, with sixteen resting on the beach at the edge of their ‘enclosure.’ One Semipalmated Plover, a species who stops briefly during their spring & fall migrations, also made an appearance. We will probably see them here in August and September as well, then not again until next April.

 

Birds new for the season were: Black-bellied Plover, Snowy Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Western & Least Sandpipers, Least Tern, and Spotted Towhee. A Little Blue Heron, an east- & gulf-coast bird, was spotted by early arrivers on the beach but missed by the later group, despite intensive searching. We have recorded it – always a single bird – only three times previously: 10/23/88, 6/25/00, 6/24/07.

Question: Do two heads help a Brown Pelican catch more fish or just confuse him? (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Question: Do two heads help a Brown Pelican catch more fish or just confuse him? (J. Waterman 7/27/14)

Two-headed birds, especially two-headed pelicans, are uncommon at the lagoon, so keep an eye out for this unusual bird. The other Brown Pelicans didn’t seem to notice anything odd about it.

Our next four scheduled field trips:   Malibu Lagoon, 24 August, 8:30 & 10am; Lower Los Angeles River, 6 Sep, 7:30am; Coastal Cleanup, 20 Sep, 9am–noon; Malibu Lagoon, 28 Sep, 8:30 & 10am.

Our next program: Tuesday, 7 Oct., 7:30 pm. To Be Announced.

NOTE: Our 10 a.m. Parent’s & Kids Birdwalk meets at the shaded viewing area. Watch for Willie the Weasel.
Links: Unusual birds at Malibu Lagoon
Aerial photo of Malibu Lagoon from 9/23/02.
Prior checklists:
2013:   Jan-June,   July-Dec
2012:   Jan-June,   July -Dec
2011:   Jan-June,   July-Dec,
2010:  Jan-June,   July-Dec.
2009:
  Jan-June,   July-Dec.

As promised last month, we now return to our pre-project style of trip-list recording. The 10-year comparison summaries created during the project period remain available on our Lagoon Project Bird Census Page. Results unexpectedly indicate that avian species diversification and numbers improved slightly during the period Jun’12-June’14.   [Chuck Almdale]

Malibu Census 2014 1/26 2/23 3/23 5/25 6/22 7/27
Temperature 58-68 60-65 62-70 64-69 68-74 66-72
Tide Lo/Hi Height L -0.17 L +0.31 L +0.39 H +3.94 H +3.48 H +4.21
Tide Time 1224 1104 1010 0810 0712 1100
Gadwall 21 30 25 12 21
American Wigeon 11 20 31 2
Mallard 10 18 19 26 32 55
Northern Shoveler 15 25
Green-winged Teal 17 12 4
Redhead 1
Surf Scoter 3
Bufflehead 10 8 1
Red-brstd Merganser 1 6 7 3 2 3
Ruddy Duck 51 70 23 6
Pacific Loon 1 1 1
Common Loon 2 1 1
Pied-billed Grebe 2 4 2 2 1 6
Horned Grebe 3
Eared Grebe 1 3
Western Grebe 22
Blk-vented Shearwater 55 many
Brandt’s Cormorant 2 2 1 4
Dble-crstd Cormorant 50 33 45 31 37 35
Pelagic Cormorant 1 1 1
Brown Pelican 100 5 390 37 63 78
Great Blue Heron 1 2 2 4 2 4
Great Egret 2 4 2 2 2 4
Snowy Egret 8 8 8 12 10 22
Little Blue Egret 1
Blk-crwnd N-Heron 2 1 1
Osprey 1 2 1 1
White-tailed Kite 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2 1 1 1
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 1 1
Peregrine Falcon 1 1
American Coot 60 210 104 2 4 14
Blk-bellied Plover 93 3 25
Snowy Plover 45 24 5 16
Semipalmated Plover 1
Killdeer 2 6 6 4 10 8
Black Oystercatcher 2 2
Spotted Sandpiper 3 2 1 3 1
Willet 10 5 4 1 5
Whimbrel 1 3 5 4 5 28
Marbled Godwit 11 3 4
Ruddy Turnstone 1 2
Sanderling 26 140
Western Sandpiper 1
Least Sandpiper 3
Long-billed Dowitcher 5
Boneparte’s Gull 2 1
Heermann’s Gull 2 3 155 2 4 8
Ring-billed Gull 4 35 18
Western Gull 46 70 190 64 57 71
California Gull 120 110 135 1 1
Herring Gull 1
Glaucous-wingd Gull 3 1
Least Tern 3
Caspian Tern 1 17 3
Common Tern 1
Forster’s Tern 2
Royal Tern 1 6 8 8 18 11
Elegant Tern 135 37 23 127
Rock Pigeon 5 4 4 6 6 16
Eur. Collared-Dove 1
Mourning Dove 2 2 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 1 1 2 2
Allen’s Hummingbird 2 4 4 5 4 3
Western Wood-Pewee 1
Pac.Slope Flycatcher 1
Black Phoebe 5 6 8 6 3 11
Say’s Phoebe 3 3
Cassin’s Kingbird 1 1
Western Scrub-Jay 1
American Crow 11 4 6 6 9 4
Rough-wingd Swallow 20 2 8 7
Tree Swallow 1 8
Barn Swallow 12 19 40 35
Cliff Swallow 6 10 7
Bushtit 20 2 6 8 2 7
Bewick’s Wren 2
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2 2
Hermit Thrush 2 1
American Robin 1 2
Northern Mockingbird 2 2 7 3 3 6
European Starling 35 15 8 12 22
Phainopepla 1
Ornge-crwnd Warbler 1 1 1
Yellow-rumpd Warbler 30 28 18
Townsend’s Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 2 5 4 3 1
Spotted Towhee 2 2
California Towhee 2 1 3 3 3 3
Savannah Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 3 18 14 11 10 11
White-crwnd Sparrow 6 15 2
Red-winged Blackbird 12 6 30 8
Western Meadowlark 3 3
Great-tailed Grackle 3 3 4 2 4 16
Brwn-headed Cowbird 2 2 2
Hooded Oriole 2 1
House Finch 6 8 11 13 11 14
Lesser Goldfinch 8 12 28 2 2  4
House Sparrow 12
Totals by Type Jan Feb Mar May Jun July
Waterfowl 137 192 110 49 55 58
Water Birds-Other 272 259 566 77 106 138
Herons, Egrets 11 14 12 20 15 32
Raptors 7 7 0 3 1 1
Shorebirds 99 278 35 11 16 90
Gulls & Terns 179 224 643 132 106 221
Doves 5 5 4 8 8 18
Other Non-Pass. 2 4 5 6 6 5
Passerines 122 156 189 104 152 161
Totals Birds 834 1139 1564 410 465 724
             
Total Species Jan Feb Mar May Jun July
Waterfowl 9 9 7 5 3 2
Water Birds-Other 8 7 9 8 5 6
Herons, Egrets 3 3 3 4 4 5
Raptors 5 6 0 3 1 1
Shorebirds 8 9 9 3 3 10
Gulls & Terns 8 5 8 8 6 6
Doves 1 2 1 2 2 2
Other Non-Pass. 1 1 2 2 2 2
Passerines 20 23 20 20 17 18
Totals Species – 103 63 65 59 55 43 52
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2 Comments
  1. August 4, 2014 6:58 am

    A two-headed pelican? Are you just joking?

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