THE BIRDING COMMUNITY E-BULLETIN: January 2013
This Birding Community E-bulletin is being distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.
This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics: http://www.zeiss.com/SPORTS
You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):
Last month, we highlighted the amazing appearance of a Critine Wagtail in British Columbia; this month we have a closely-related species that appeared in coastal southern California. The December rarity is a White Wagtail, a fundamentally Eurasian species that is a very rare nester in extreme western Alaska in North America, mostly in the vicinity of the Bering Straits. In this region, it may sometimes be found nesting in and around remote villages, often frequenting beaches, rocky breakwaters, rusting detritus, and old buildings.
The White Wagtail in California was a surprise find on the morning of 8 December, when Bernardo Alps was leading a bird walk for whalewatch naturalists at Outer Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California. The White Wagtail was observed flying back and forth along much of the length of the beach. The bird was seen in the same sort of habitat where it is found in Alaska, except it was in far southern Los Angeles County! It hung around the base of a low bluff with rocks and kelp, and also visited the sandy beach.
Remember, this is a bird that may normally be found wintering in Southeast Asia!
There are slightly more than two dozen records for California since the early 1970s. Other West Coast records – outside Alaska – include about four in British Columbia, three in Washington, and three in Oregon.
Many birders visited Cabrillo Beach last month to see this bird, which cruised the area until it was last reported on the morning of 18 December.
To see photos by Dinuk Magammana from the day of discovery, check:
or you can watch a short video by Chris Taylor from 10 December (note the coastal riprap):
A REPEAT APPEARANCE
Exactly a year ago, we highlighted as our rarity of the month, a stunning Falcated Duck that appeared at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour drive north of Sacramento, California. For details see our January 2012 E-bulletin: