A sprinkling of rarities brightened up December. An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was found at the Yolo County Central Landfill on Dec 26 and remains present (TE). A Long-eared Owl was photographed on private property near Esparto on Dec 13 (RW). A Lapland Longspur was heard among a thousand Horned Larks near Rds 27 and 103 on Dec 20 (KB). November’s Northern Shrike remains at the Woodland Wastewater Treatment Plant thru the month, and a second bird was found on Dec 1 near Plainfield Elementary School (SH, MP).
The most noteworthy out-of-season surprises were a Pacific-slope Flycatcher at Putah Creek Reserve on Dec 28 (SH) and a Bullock’s Oriole in West Sacramento along the Sacramento River on Dec 22 (EC, EI). For both species, the only previous winter record was last winter. A Marbled Godwit at Winters Wastewater Treatment Plant on Dec 3 (MP) is unusual but not unprecedented. Finally, October’s Grasshopper Sparrow west of Winters is apparently over-wintering; it was seen several times thru mid-December.
Thanks to the following for their reports: Keith Bailey (KB), Elliot Chasin (EC), Todd Easterla (TE), Steve Hampton (SH), Emmett Iverson (EI), Michael Perrone (MP), Rick Williams (RW).
Checklists with Photos:
Northern Shrike (WWTP): https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50825325
Northern Shrike (Plainfield): https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50346820
Lesser Black-backed Gull: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51050961
Grasshopper Sparrow: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50603990
Long-eared Owl: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50648065
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA