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Winter Birding | Devereux Slough, Goleta, CA

This post is about the 2nd week class of 2020 Birds of the Santa Barbara Region: Intermediate.

We started the week 2 class in Isla Vista at the end of Camino Majorca where it meets with the West Campus Bluff Trailhead. We identified 69 bird species!

Several Western Meadowlarks were foraging in the grass decorated with dew, while patiently waiting for those of us that were still looking for a parking spot.

On a short walk on the trail along the bluffs toward Coal Oil Point, we recognized Anna's Hummingbirds, finches as well as a Says' Phoebe and a Great Egret. We reached our first destination to enjoy the shade and an amazing view of Devereux Slough!

As we walked along the Slough, we spotted California Thrashers, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Black-crowned Night Herons, Snowy Egrets, American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants, Mallards, Redheads, Lesser Scaups, Great Blue Herons, Ruddy Ducks and American Wigeons.

Male Northern Shoveler and its reflection.

In the distance, we identified a Cooper's Hawk and a Cassin's Kingbird.

As we reached the road between the Slough and North Campus Open Space (NCOS), we observed an American Kestrel and debated whether the Kingbird actively feeding on insects was a rare Tropical Kingbird or just a Cassin's Kingbird.

Indeed it was a Tropical Kingbird, the first rare bird for the 2020 class.

While standing on the road looking towards NCOS, we admired Song Sparrows and Canada Geese. Here is a pair of Redheads...

... and more American Coots! This one was sunbathing and showing off its rather long lobed toes very useful to propel it in the water or standing on rocks.

Today, I added a new bird to my life list: the Greater White-fronted Goose.

While we continued our journey back into Coal Oil Point Reserve, we took a peek at a Red-shouldered Hawk and a White-tailed Kite perched high in trees.

We stopped to observe a Red-throated Loon and continued on the trail along the slough.

We arrived at the pond and noticed that most birds were hiding from us!

Yes, these were Mallards and an American Coot. The group moved on without me.

As I was scanning the pond, a Great Blue Heron caught my eye as it was thoroughly "washing" a gopher before gulping it down.

I finally reached the Snowy Plover habitat by the beach and caught up with the group. Birds seen were Turkey Vultures, Spotted Sandpipers, Pied-billed Grebes, Semipalmated Plovers, Snowy Plovers and more shorebirds.

An all fluffed up Black Turnstone.

While surfers were chasing waves, Marbled Godwits were being chased by the same waves as they reached the shore.

On Devereux Beach, a Greater Yellowlegs was carefully inspecting rocks.



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