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More shorebirds, South Bay Salt Works, 8/16

3:17 pm

Robert Patton, Lea Squires, and I did the weekly monitoring of Snowy Plovers, Least Terns, and other nesting species today in the Saltworks. Pond 20, a half-mile to the east of 13th, is being lowered today and should be good this afternoon and hopefully tomorrow morning. Lea Squires and I unfortunately watched the best bird take off to the south not long after we spotted it, a juvenile Stilt Sandpiper, along with seven juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs. Maybe they ended up somewhere in one of the Tijuana River Valley wet spots…. Dairy Mart have any shoreline? The river itself? The total count of LEYE in Saltworks was somewhere around 13-15, all juvs. We estimated 7-8 Baird’s Sandpipers, most in pond 20, often hiding in the hard to see corners close to the bike path, but occasionally calling, flying around, and landing out on the exposed mud or islands. I had a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper in the interior of Saltworks on 8/14, but this bird could show up in pond 20 with the several thousand Western Sandpipers in there now, if it hasn’t already. Phalarope numbers have been fluctuating, with WIPH peaking at 162 on 7/28, and RNPH then outnumbering them on 8/14 with 520 present. Most of the phalaropes feed in the northern ponds, but a small number of both species do pop up in the southern ponds near the bike path.

Pond numbers refresher:
Pond 20: E of 13th, 32.593293, -117.100935
Pond 22: At 13th, 32.591178, -117.105366
Pond 23: At 10th, 32.592055, -117.111224
Pond 10: N of 7th, 32.594007, -117.118680
Pond 10A: SW of 7th, 32.590355, -117.120676
Pond 11: SE of Hwy 75 parking, 32.599671, -117.119364
Emory Cove mudflats: N of Hwy 75 parking, 32.607017, -117.126891

Matt Sadowski
La Mesa/Chula Vista