For the past few weeks, I’ve had the responsibility of monitoring Malibu Lagoon State Beach in search of any Least Terns and Snowy Plovers. And, during that time, I’ve seen a wide variety of birds (Brown Pelicans, cormorants, different types of gulls, Snowy and Great Egrets, an Osprey, and different types of sparrows, Killdeer, Semipalmated Plovers, etc.). It wasn’t until this week, however, during a monitoring session at Malibu Lagoon, that I saw my first tern nest in Los Angeles County of this season. It was super exciting, but at the same time a little alarming given that the beach is public space. The nest is inside of the Snowy Plover enclosure that was put up about two months ago, but it is still easily accessible and very well camouflaged. I’m happy to say that even though it is in a pretty dangerous spot, the nest has made it to two eggs (which is fantastic!). This weekend, volunteers, and Los Angeles Audubon and State Parks staff will be installing a sturdier fence in hopes that it might deter people from entering the area, and I’m sure that signs will be put up to bring a little more awareness to more frequent beachgoers.
I’m really hoping that this nest makes it through these coming weeks in order to produce a healthy chick. Although it might be pretty challenging for the adult (and especially the weeks after if the chick hatches), I’m still very hopeful and excited for this nest! And if we’re lucky, and the conditions are just right, we’ll be seeing more!