Date: 8/7/17 2:03 am From: Dave Compton <davcompton60...> [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply...> Subject: [sbcobirding] Santa Ynez Estuary
One juv Reddish Egret was visible near the mouth of the Santa Ynez River Estuary at Ocean Park late this morning, 6 August. It was in clear view when I arrived, but later settled in behind a large snag, where it was barely visible. Not a lot else of interest. I counted at least 20 Least Terns, and I suspect there were more. At least three Aechmophorus grebes had established nests well upstream of the parking lot. One nest was occupied by a Western, but the others were too far out for me to ID the occupants. With some patience, I was able to get a respectable shorebird list at the mouth (west of the RR), but the birds were coming and going, and few individuals were present at any one time. Some Willets and dowitchers (all juvs, and at least one a Short-billed) were playing hide and seek in a side channel. Also in the area at one time or another were 2 curlews, small numbers of Western and Least Sandpipers, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, a Black Turnstone, and a sprinkling of Greater Yellowlegs.
One last note about habitat conditions: water is much lower than it was in the past couple of years, so don't expect the large numbers of shorebirds along the road, or east of the railroad in general. In fact, vegetation has grown over much of the mudflat area where we watched scores of shorebirds the past several years.