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.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

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