Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Red-throated Pipits in San Francisco

For the past few days there have been many reports of several RED-THROATED PIPITS at Crissy Field in San Francisco's Presidio. I have seen this species once before just north of that location on Point Reyes several years ago. I decided to have a go at it last minute. After surviving the Bay Area traffic, I arrived at approximately 9am. I soon located a large flock of AMERICAN PIPITS that quickly took flight and vacated the premises. I walked the length of the field and became distracted by a SAY'S PHOEBE on the beach. As I returned to the field I immediately flushed 2 RED-THROATED PIPITS from very near the walking path. They flew a short distance and allowed approach but remained wary. It became apparent that there were at least 3 individuals present from 9am-11am. My 100-400 zoom lens was a bit short but I was able to get some images.

Alvaro Jaramillo was present recording the flight calls of the pipits. His excellent recording can be heard here.

Also present was a LAPLAND LONGSPUR which was (unexpectedly) associating quite closely with the Red-throated Pipits.