Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge


The day after a big storm usually brings strong NW winds and no birds, but we were actually between storms and so we were blessed by light winds and decent visibility.  The best two arrivals were a male Blue-winged Teal and a female Black-throated Blue Warbler.  These are both vagrants from the east.

Although, the Blue-winged Teal is far more common in California during the fall, it is much more rare on the Farallones – there were only 8 previous records.  This individual was an adult male with a white crescent on a blue face so it was easy to separate from its close, western relative the Cinnamon Teal.  Unfortunately, it was only seen well by one person on the island so the rest of us don’t get to count it on our Faralist.  Oh well, we’ll just have to spend another 5 years or so to see the next one.

Although the Black-throated Blue Warbler is far more rare in California than a Blue-winged Teal, there are many more records of it on the Farallones.  In fact, this one was the 127th record for the island.  This individual was a female, which looks quite different than the male.  The female, as can be seen in the photo, is a little, brown bird with yellowish buff underparts and a thin, white supercilium. The white patch at the base of primaries was quite large and may indicate that this bird was an adult.

Location: Southeast Farallon Island

Observation date: 11/2/08

Number of species: 35
Greater White-fronted Goose 1
Cackling Goose 2
Blue-winged Teal 1
Pacific Loon 5
Eared Grebe 1
Pink-footed Shearwater 9
Buller’s Shearwater 29

Sooty Shearwater 11
Black-vented Shearwater 44

Brown Pelican X

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Peregrine Falcon (Continental) 2
Black Oystercatcher 45
Wandering Tattler 1
Whimbrel 9

Ruddy Turnstone 1

Black Turnstone 66

Least Sandpiper 3

Heermann’s Gull 2

Western Gull X

California Gull 70
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Common Murre X
Rhinoceros Auklet 1

Burrowing Owl 4

Black Phoebe 8
Say’s Phoebe 2
Rock Wren 1
House Wren 1
Black-throted Blue Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Clay-colored Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 1
Western Meadowlark 2
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(