Seeing the seasons change through the changing plumages in shorebirds has been my favorite part of this week. I’m not seeing as many peeps in my Ballona Creek shorebird surveys, but there has been an incredibly large influx of Surfbirds who have decided to forage in the muddy flats alongside the creek. In a few weeks I think a lot of the birds will have migrated, but right now I’m definitely enjoying seeing all of the different shorebirds.
During the week I was able to help with the Snowy Plover roost surveys again. Starting from Zuma Beach to Hermosa, Tom Ryan, Carlos Jauregui, and myself surveyed five beaches for Snowy Plover roosts (two of those beaches have enclosures meant to protect them). Their numbers were down from the previous surveys I helped with, but that could be for a number of reasons.
Aside from the Snowy Plover surveys at the beaches, I was also able to remove vegetation at the Venice Beach Least Tern colony this week. Maybe because more space has been cleared of thick vegetation, the terns will have a larger area to nest and hopefully we’ll see a successful colony this year. However, during my time at the colony this week I noticed a fair number of crows flying over and landing inside the area. They’re incredibly clever birds, so I’m crossing my fingers that the predator control methods that are currently in place at the colony will make a difference once the terns arrive and especially if they decide to nest.
This week I also spent some time at West Los Angeles Community College for a Career and Transfer Fair. I was able to talk to students and faculty about volunteer opportunities with Los Angeles Audubon and, of course, Environment for the Americas! Maybe I’ll see some familiar faces once I start tern monitoring at Venice later this month!