Trip report for Malibu Lagoon State Beach - Saturday, February 21, 2015 


Number of participants: 42 + 2 leaders
Start time 8:15am
Finish time 10:25am
Distance covered: .75 mile
Weather:  cool and overcast with no wind


Wild Wings joined forces with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) for a fruitful morning of coastal birding and plant identification.  As each month passes the newly planted vegetation around the lagoon fills in a little more, and will soon create many new habitats within the park.  At the moment, plant life is perfect for Western Meadowlarks and we followed many of them throughout the morning. As the walk progressed, we noticed the water level in the lagoon was low enough to use a path that is normally under water. There is now a natural ebb and flow of water in the lagoon, a very important aspect to a healthy ecosystem.  Many species of birds like to feed in the mud exposed by these tidal fluctuations. The Long-billed Curlew is a wonderful example of a species adapted to feed on tidal mudflats, capturing shrimp and crabs that live within deep burrows with its fantastically long bill!  Scanning the ocean was a bit tough going due to wind-chop, but we were still able to find many birds on the water, including all three of our expected cormorant species.


Birds - 54 species


From top: Ring-billed Gull (photo: Tom Morga), Northern Shoveler, American Avocet, Royal Tern, California Brown Pelican, Long-billed Curlew (photos: Paula Maxwell).
Gadwall
American Wigeon  
Mallard  
Northern Shoveler  
Northern Pintail  
Green-winged Teal  
Surf Scoter  
Bufflehead  
Red-breasted Merganser  
Ruddy Duck  
Red-throated Loon  
Pied-billed Grebe  
Horned Grebe  
Eared Grebe  
Western Grebe  
Brandt's Cormorant  
Double-crested Cormorant  
Pelagic Cormorant  
California Brown Pelican  
Great Blue Heron  
Great Egret  
Snowy Egret  
American Coot  
American Avocet  
Black-bellied Plover  
Killdeer  
Spotted Sandpiper  
Willet  
Whimbrel  
Long-billed Curlew  
Marbled Godwit  
Heermann's Gull  
Ring-billed Gull  
Western Gull  
California Gull  
Royal Tern  
Mourning Dove  
Allen's Hummingbird  
Black Phoebe  
American Crow  
Common Raven  
Bushtit  
Northern Mockingbird  
European Starling  
Common Yellowthroat  
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee  
California Towhee  
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch

 


Mammals

California Sea Lion
Coyote - heard only

 

 


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