It was March Madness from day one in Yolo County when a young male Garganey was discovered at Bridgeway Island Pond in West Sacramento on Mar 1 (GE). The finder, Gil Ewing, also discovered the only other Garganey record in the county approved by the California Bird Records Committee, back in 1988. Probably over a thousand birders came from near and far to see this teal from Asia, which was present thru Mar 20.
The Garganey discovery actually came on the heels of a Red-throated Loon, found nearby in the Deepwater Shipping Channel on Feb 27 (KB). It was the county’s first in sixteen years, and that bird was only seen once. The three other county records for this species come from the 1980s.
True the “Patagonia Effect”, where one rare bird leads to the discovery of more, a Franklin’s Gull visited Bridgeway Island Pond briefly on the morning of Mar 16 (PH).
In other news, a Common Loon was found a Lake Solano on Mar 14 (EI), which led to the discovery of a second individual, this one in adult breeding plumage—a rare treat for the county.
Finally, noteworthy was a rare winter sighting of a Common Poorwill, flushed from the road near Davis Creek Reservoir on Mar 23 (JR).
Thanks to the following for their reports: Keith Bailey (KB), Gil Ewing (GE), Paul Hurtado (PH), Emmett Iverson (EI), Jason Riggio (JR).
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA