Date: 7/24/19 2:25 pm
From: Florence Sanchez via Groups.Io <sanchezucsb11=<>
Subject: [sbcobirding] Devereux Birding July 24
I walked out to sands beach at low tide this morning hoping for a good show of shorebirds, but that was not the case today.  The only species I found on the beaches was Black-bellied Plover, a few still in good breeding plumage. I didn't pick up any shorebirds to speak of in the main estuary and the Neo Corm was not on his usual roost. The bog show was the Heron family.  The water level is dropping and the herons move in to catch prey in shallow waters.  I counted 15 Snowy Egrets, 5 Great Egrets, and 3 Great Blue Herons in one location.  There were two Black-crowned Night herons near the bridge (adults) but no juvenile night herons of either species.
I then decided to walk out to the dune pond.  Crossing the road between Devereux and NCOS, I spotted two Whimbrel in the Slough.  Continuing on down the path on the west side of the estuary, I had a juvenile White-tailed Kite in a tree and an Ash-throated Flycatcher in the brush.  The Dune pond itself did not have a lot of activity,  The exception was a large flock of Cliff Swallows that would fly into the tules and then fly out again en masse.  There were Red-winged Blackbirds present--I could not pull out a female Yellow-headed Blackbird like Mark found yesterday.   The only waterfowl I found were a couple of Coots, a Pied-billed Grebe, and a Mallard.  
The bird of interest here was a WESTERN Kingbird.  I spotted it in a dead tree next to the pond, from which it would fly out and catch big black insects from the pond's edge.  But then things got even more interesting.  I looked at something else for a while and when I looked back at the tree, I saw a Western Kingbird again, only this one looked smaller with a shorter bill.  While I watched, the Kingbird I saw earlier flew in with another black bug in its beak, which it fed to the now-screaming youngster.  Apparently we had nesting in the area, always a bit unusual in the coastal zone for this species.  I watched them for a long time to be sure there was just one fledgling, not two, and I think there was only one.
Finally, walking back along the path, I saw a good-sized flock of small shorebirds near the western shore of the estuary where there had been none on the way out.  A scan of the flock turned up Semi-palmated Plovers, Kildeer, Western Sandpipers, and a Spotted Sandpiper.  There were more birds a little farther out, but I did not have my scope.
The water level in the dune pond is too high for shorebirds right now, but it may drop as summer proceeds.
I stopped at Goleta Sanitary District, but found the patch of mud I've been watching in the north pond is now mostly underwater, so there was nothing of interest there.
Florence Sanchez

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