From Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO) on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.
An account of the trials and tribulations of conducting ecological fieldwork on a small, rocky island 28 miles west of San Francisco (37.7 N, 120 W)
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The day after a big storm usually brings strong NW winds and no birds, but we were actually between storms and so we were blessed by light winds and decent visibility. The best two arrivals were a male Blue-winged Teal and a female Black-throated Blue Warbler. These are both vagrants from the east.
Although, the Blue-winged Teal is far more common in California during the fall, it is much more rare on the Farallones - there were only 8 previous records. This individual was an adult male with a white crescent on a blue face so it was easy to separate from its close, western relative the Cinnamon Teal. Unfortunately, it was only seen well by one person on the island so the rest of us don't get to count it on our Faralist. Oh well, we'll just have to spend another 5 years or so to see the next one.
Although the Black-throated Blue Warbler is far more rare in California than a Blue-winged Teal, there are many more records of it on the Farallones. In fact, this one was the 127th record for the island. This individual was a female, which looks quite different than the male. The female, as can be seen in the photo, is a little, brown bird with yellowish buff underparts and a thin, white supercilium. The white patch at the base of primaries was quite large and may indicate that this bird was an adult.