goose, flyc and other vagrants
- Dear All,
The Emperor goose was at Moon Glow Diary today until about 8:45 AM,
at which time it was flushed by gunshots fired somewhere inside the
farm area (apparently to scare away some rock doves). It then moved
all the way up the slough, briefly entering Sta Cruz Co. airspace
(and probably making me the only person to have it on my Sta Cruz Co.
list, if I ever decide to start one).
The Nutting's flycatcher was still in place at 9:45 AM, best located
by crowd of happy birders. I wish we had these southern winds more
I didn't find the Magellanic goose, despite some search. Anyway, I
think that, following the recent visits by Pink-backed pelican and
Demoiselle crane, the words "obvious escapee" should be banned in
California. Isn't it time for CBRC to take a more scientific
approach, which is, a bird is considered a natural vagrant until
proven otherwise? I call this approach more scientific because,
although it is often possible to proove that a bird is an escapee, it
is almost never even theoretically possible to proove it is a natural
The current policy seems to be a bit destructive. Just one example.
There have been a few records of Great tit (Parus major) in
California. Most, if not all, went unreported as "obvious escapees",
and even if they were reported, their chances of being taken
seriously were nil. As far as I know, nobody even bothered to try to
identify the subspecies, which could well be a Siberian one.
This species has shown up in NE North America, and there's no reason
for it not to get to California once in a while. There is also
another species, Oriental Great tit (P. minor), which is sympartic
with P. major in parts of E Siberia, but is migratory (it is not
generally recognized in the West, but has long been considered an
obvious split by Russian ornithologists).
If you look at the list of species rejected by CBRC with "natural
occurence questionable" remark, you'll see that most such
decisions either proved wrong (Caracara, Barnacle goose), or were
kind of illogical (accepting some eiders and rejecting others).
As a person with no state or North American list, I don't really care
what is countable and what isn't, but I think the current position
of CBRC and other similar organizations is leading to loss of
P.S. Anybody been to, or knows someone who's been to, Zaire (a.k.a.
Congo-Kinshasa) recently? I'm going there in September,
and getting any recent info seems very difficult. Sorry for off-topic