Rarities & records in April

From: Tom & Jo Heindel
Date: 5/7/00
Time: 2:43:48 PM
Remote Name:


We’d like to thank all the observers for taking the time to post all the interesting sightings the last two weeks of April. For those who travel out of the area it is great to check-in and read what was seen while you were gone. We have some comments we’d like to add to some of the sightings posted.

Some were new record dates such as: 1) Purple Martin (4/18) was an early county sighting by 2 days and only the 8th reported in the spring. 2) Common Moorhen (4/18) is only the 19th reported in the spring. 3) Blue Grosbeak (4/18) was an early county sighting by 5 days. Western Tanager (4/16) was an early county sighting by 2 days (and it was a teenage boy born last year).

Some were extremely rare sightings such as: 1) Pectoral Sandpipers (4/25) - there are only 2 spring records for the county. 2) Virginia’s Warbler (4/25) - there are no records of spring migrants in the Owens Valley. 3) Swamp Sparrow (4/20) - there is only one other April record and the species is casual (not found every year) from Dec to 27 May and most of these are from Death Valley.

All of the above are such unusual reports that the field notes taken at the time of the observation should be submitted for consideration in the Inyo County spring report to North American Birds and as a county record. They can be mailed to Box 400, Big Pine, CA 93514 or sent email to tjheindel@qnet.com.

We want to commend Chris Howard on his Franklin’s Gull post (4/21) which very briefly described the critical marks he saw that completely eliminated all gulls except the Franklin’s. We also want to encourage the posting of all Burrowing Owl sightings as that species is in trouble and we have very few reports.