Date: 7/18/20 2:39 pm From: Dave Compton <davcompton60...> Subject: [sbcobirding] SYRE and Surf
I visited the Santa Ynez River estuary (Ocean Park) and Surf beach today. My feeling is that shorebirding at the estuary is going to be frustrating this fall migration. There were about 100 peeps there (mostly, if not all, WESTERN SANDPIPERS), and they were close enough for ID for about 5 minutes of the time I was there, spending the rest of the time north of the island, where they were shielded from view and/or too far to ID. Not a ton of birds overall, either: a couple of WILLETS, maybe 15 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, and of course KILLDEER and SNOWY PLOVER. The REDDISH EGRET was in easy view west of the island when I arrived, but soon flew upriver. After a walk to the west side of the railroad tracks, I couldn't refind the egret. Only one LEAST TERN around, but there was a flock of 10 CASPIANS about.
Later, I visited Surf Beach, where I did a sea watch from just west of the tracks. There was a nice size feeding frenzy within a mile of shore, with bunches of gulls, pelicans, and cormorants around a pod of common dolphins. Two humpback whales were closer to shore than I think I have seen this species. It appeared two more were well off to the northwest, where I was lucky enough to see one breeching. Five or six PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were scattered about in the water. No other alcids. I had one each of PACIFIC and COMMON LOON.
Dave Compton Santa Barbara
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