Santa Barbara County island rarities chase
- My apologies for the cross-posting.
Several very rare birds have been reported from the Channel Islands in the
last week or so, as many of you know. Two birds, a reported EMPEROR GOOSE at
Santa Rosa Island and a reported AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER from San Miguel
Island, are in the northern Channel Islands and are potentially chaseable.
Apparently, no commercial trips are scheduled for these locations in the
next couple of weeks (Truth Aquatics in Santa Barbara has a boat to Santa
Rosa on March 30, but that could be too late).
Paul Keller and I are trying to arrange a trip out of Santa Barbara to chase
both the goose and the oystercatcher this Friday, March 8. So far, we have
15 or 16 people interested, but we need at least 20 people COMMITTED to
schedule the trip. Anyone interested, please e-mail me. I'm hoping to have
this all worked out by some time Monday, or at the latest Tuesday.
The cost should not exceed $100, but depends on how many people we get. I
speculate that the trip would take 10-12 hours and that we would leave very
As for the reliability of these two reports, I think the goose report sounds
really good. Separating American Oystercatchers from hybrids, however, is
trickier than IDing an Emperor Goose. But the observer who reported the
oystercatcher to me was very aware of the hybridization issue (she has
experience with both Americans and hybirds) and her description was good,
although not terribly detailed. She observed the bird from close range in
Of course, as always, there are no guarantees.
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