January 24, 2009
Recently a Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamander was found in one of the Research buildings at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
This salamander is roaming wild once again.
What’s the big deal? This rare species – Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum – is a federally listed endangered species found only in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.
Photo by Bree Candiloro, Stewardship Specialist at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
January 20, 2009
This is from an email sent out 1/2/09 by Don Roberson (of http://montereybay.com/creagrus/ fame):
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve has been my CBC territory on the Moss Landing CBC since 1983. Late this afternoon I happened to be entering the 1986 totals from the Reserve into ebird [I've been entering old data in small bits when time permits]. Boy, how some things have changed in 23 years here!
Gadwall 500 in 1986, 40 in 2009, more than 12 times fewer
N. Pintail 3400, 215 almost 16 times fewer
Green-winged Teal 1200, 135 almost 9 times fewer
ducks are generally down in California in recent years, but the totals at
ESNERR are waaaay down because the reserve has changed. In 1986, the
water areas were a freshwater/brackish mix. Since then the levees have
been breached and the water areas are almost entirely tidal. Now, those
areas are heavily used by tidal mudflat waders and gulls. Some examples
California Gull 12, 1800 150 times greater
Western Gull 3, 225 75 times greater
But some ducks may benefit with the salt water: for example, Bufflehead
numbers (126 yesterday) are double the 60 in 1986.
Back in 1986, the marsh was full of avocets (60) and a few BN Stilts (3);
none yesterday. Because the marsh had fresh or brackish water, it was
cruised by swallows (9 Trees, 1 Violet-green) in ’86; no swallows
yesterday. But yesterday a pair of Raven flew over — that would have
been astonishing in 1986.
Although the Reserve water areas are much changed, the land portions are
pretty much the same and are surveyed in pretty much the same way. I keep
these numbers in a notebook during the day’s walk one by one, so these are
not estimates, and the numbers are damn close:
Anna’s Hummingbird 11 in ’86, 11 yesterday [and no, they are not the same
birds . . . ahem]
CB Chickadee 27 in ’86, 21 yesterday
Oak Titmouse 4 in ’86, 10 yesterday
RC Kinglet 24 in ’86, 29 yesterday
Don’t know what it all means, but doing the same territory year after year
does give one some perspective on how things do change, and on things that
do not …..
January 13, 2009
Elkhorn Slough Safari reports on their Christmas Bird Count numbers…
January 12, 2009
South Marsh Loop: Common Loon; Pied-billed, Horned, Eared & Western Grebes; Brown & American White Pelicans; Double-crested, Brandt’s & Pelagic Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egrets; Black-crowned Night Heron; Buffleheads; Red-breasted Mergansers; Common Goldeneye; Canada Goose; Mallard; Greater Scaup; Northern Harrier; Sharp-shinned Hawk; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered, Red-tailed & Cooper’s Hawks; Peregrine Falcon; American Kestrel; Black-bellied Plovers; California Quail; Killdeer; Willets; American Avocets; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew; Whimbrel; Marbled Godwit; Spotted Sandpiper; Sandpiper spp.; Dowitchers; Ring-billed & Western Gulls; Elegant Tern; Band-tailed & Rock Pigeons; Mourning Dove; Great-horned Owl; Forster’s Tern; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Acorn, Downy, Hairy, & Nuttall’s Woodpeckers; Northern Flicker; Black & Say’s Phoebe; Steller’s &Western Scrub Jay; Hutton’s Vireo; American Crow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; European Starling; Bushtit; Bewick’s & House Wrens; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Hermit Thrush; American Robin; Wrentit; Northern Mockingbird; Orange-crowned, Wilson’s, Yellow, & Townsend’s Warblers; Common Yellowthroat; Spotted & California Towhees; Dark-eyed Junco; Black-headed Grosbeak; Brewer’s Blackbird; House Finch; Lesser Goldfinch; Purple Finch; American Goldfinch; White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Song & House Sparrows
North Marsh: American White Pelicans; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egrets; Blue-winged, Cinnamon, and Green-winged Teals; Northern Shovelers; Northern Pintails; Mallards; Sandpipers spp.; Black-necked stilts; American Avocets; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Western Gulls
Parsons Slough/Five Fingers: Western & Clark’s Grebes; Brown & American White Pelicans; Brandt’s & Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great Egret; Canada Goose; Mallard; Northern Shoveler; Buffleheads; Red-breasted Merganser; Northern Harrier; Red-tailed Hawk; Spotted Sandpiper; Marbled Godwits; Willets; Western Gulls; Anna’s Hummingbird; Acorn Woodpecker; Black Phoebe; Western Scrub Jay; American Crow; Oak Titmouse; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Bushtits; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Western Bluebird; Cedar Waxwings; Townsend Warbler; California & Spotted Towhee; Dark-eyed Junco; House Finch; Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow; House Sparrows
Hudson’s Landing: Eared & Western Grebes; Brown Pelican; Great Egret; Greater Scaup; Buffleheads; Common Goldeneye; Ruddy Ducks; Mallards; Green-winged Teals; American Coots; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Long-billed Curlew; Marbled Godwits; Western & Least Sandpipers; Dowitchers; Western Gull
Jetty Rd.: Eared & Western Grebes; Brown Pelican; Brandt’s & Pelagic Cormorants; Great & Snowy Egrets; Mallards; Buffleheads; Red-breasted Merganser; Black-bellied & Semipalmated Plovers; Willets; Marbled Godwits; Western & Least Sandpipers; Dowitchers; Western & Herman Gulls; Elegant Terns
Visitor Center area: American Pipit; Say’s Phoebe
Thanks again to our spotters: Annie McNeill, Plant ladies; Colette Darocy Kathleen Klein, Linda Jordan, Shirley Murphy and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein
January 12, 2009
South Marsh Loop: American White Pelicans; Brown Pelicans; Brandt’s Cormorants; Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egrets; Mallard; Northern Shoveler; Buffleheads; Red-breasted Merganser; Northern Harrier; Turkey Vulture; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Red-tailed Hawk; Black-bellied Plovers; Killdeer; Willets; Greater Yellowlegs; Long-billed Curlew; Marbled Godwit; Spotted Sandpiper; Sandpiper sps.; Ring-billed Gull; Western Gull; Mourning Dove; Band-tailed Pigeon; Anna’s Hummingbird; Belted Kingfisher; Acorn Woodpecker; Hairy Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Northern Flicker; Black Phoebe; Say’s Phoebe; Steller’s Jay; Western Scrub-Jay; American Crow; Chestnut-backed Chickadee; Oak Titmouse; Western Bluebirds; Hermit’s Thrush; European Starling; Bushtit; Bewick’s Wren; American Robin; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Yellow Warbler; Townsend Warbler; Spotted Towhee; California Towhee; Savannah Sparrow; Song Sparrow; Dark-eyed Junco; White-crowned & Golden-crowned Sparrow; Brewer’s Blackbird; Purple Finch; House Finch; House Sparrow
North Marsh: American White Pelicans; Golden Eagles; Red-tailed Hawks
Parsons Slough: Common Loon; American White Pelican; Western Grebe; Double-crested Cormorants; Great Blue Heron; Great & Snowy Egret; Mallard; Buffleheads; Black-bellied Plovers; Black-necked Stilt; American Avocets; Greater Yellowlegs; Willets; Long-billed Curlew; Sandpiper sps; Spotted Sandpiper; Whimbrel; Gull sps.; Marbled Godwits; Black Phoebe; American Crow; Song Sparrow
Thanks again to our spotters: Plant ladies; Annie McNeill, Marth Kenner, Shirley Murphy, Ron Eby and your reporter Sheryl Gaebelein