Black-vented Shearwater

Biologist, botanist, enthnobotanist, bird enthusiast and Friend of LoCO Gary Lester sent over an email alerting us to the sighting of not just one, but two different species of birds seen none-to-hardly-ever in our part of the world.

“Here’s something that in my 45 years of Humboldt birding experience have never witnessed,” Lester wrote, referencing an Oct. 7, 2015 post from a Yahoo list-serv, “nwcalbird” in which Brad Elvert shares an amazing experience:

This mid-morning Samantha Bacon and myself went to the North Jetty and immediately encountered an almost steady stream of Shearwaters that was  99.9% BLACK VENTED SHEARWATERS. Conservative count was 3500+ with probably more than 5000+ birds total within an hour and a half. Only about 10 or so SOOTY SHEARWATERS were seen and 1 PINK FOOTED SHEARWATER. I also had a large all dark type of Shearwater that I was unable to I.d..  So if you need or want to see a BVSH then now is the time to do it!

In simarly thrilling birds-not-normally-seen-here news, Elvert, with Tristan McKee, came across a CERULEAN WARBLER, “the holy grail of warblers for California birders.” Once the sighting is verified, according to a post on eBird Checklist, it will be the 19th overall California record. (The last record for the state was also from Humboldt, a hatch-year female banded on Oct. 3, 2003.) 

Cerulean Warbler by Rob Fowler.

In the eBird post, Rob Fowler writes:

I arrived around 1:30 and m.ob was present. The bird was foraging in the pines right above the stairs that go down to the tennis courts. It then flew across the street to other pines and then flew north to a pine across the driveway opposite of Fenwick… The bird basically circled around the basketball courts in the pines and then ended up right above the stairs down to the tennis courts again. So, I think the key is to find the flock and the Cerulean is associating with. What a spectacular looking bird…

UPDATE: Local wildlife artist extraordinaire Gary Bloomfield’s drawing of the pretty feathered friend is a must-see. Also, bird-lovers, do check out Birding California on Facebook for more stunning photos.


By Gary Bloomfield.


The CERULEAN WARBLER was sighted again this morning – if this “spectacular looking bird” is on your Life List, hie thee hither to Samoa with your field guide, sharp eyes and good binocs!