We were treated to a late fall mega-rarity, a reasonably cooperative Worm-eating Warbler, a first county record and one of very few for the Central Valley. Despite howling winds, the bird was found Oct 27 in south Davis near Willowbank Ditch (ZP) and was enjoyed by dozens the following day. The other bird that brought birders (and local neighbors) together was a Northern Saw-whet Owl, found at Slide Hill Park on Oct Oct 17 (KS). A Common Poorwill on the valley floor during migration is always a treat; one was at the Sacramento Bypass on Oct 8 (MP).
Shorebird migration continued to produce some late gems. A Stilt Sandpiper was found Oct 13 at the Woodland Davis Clean Water Facility (WDCWF) (SH) and continued for four days. Either it or another was at the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant on Oct 20 (KD, LW). Unusual for October, as many as three Marbled Godwits were at WDCWF thru much of the month. At least one continued thru the end of the month. More remarkable was a Semipalmated Sandpiper, well photographed at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area on the late date of Oct 31 (TE). September’s Buff-breasted Sandpiper made a brief appearance again on Oct 3 (BW).
The on-going Red-breasted Nuthatch irruption has been accompanied by a flurry of Evening Grosbeak reports, all early morning flyovers. Similarly, a calling Red Crossbill flew over Willowbank Ditch on Oct 28 (TE, MP).
Finally, we’ve received feedback on a banded Vesper Sparrow photographed last winter on Rd 41 near Rumsey; it hails from a rare subspecies near Corvallis, Oregon. Three more Vesper Sparrows were seen there this year on Oct 31 (HC, EI).
Thanks to the following for their reports: Holly Coates (HC), Konshau Doman (KD), Todd Easterla (TE), Steve Hampton (SH), Emmett Iverson (EI), Michael Perrone (MP), Zane Pickus (ZP), Kirk Swenson (KS), Bart Wickel (BW).
Checklists with Photos:
Worm-eating Warbler: https://ebird.org/checklist/S61003689
Northern Saw-whet Owl: https://ebird.org/checklist/S60707957
Stilt Sandpiper: https://ebird.org/checklist/S60597680
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: https://ebird.org/checklist/S60321914
Compiled by Steve Hampton, Davis, CA