Date: 11/1/17 3:09 am
From: 'Willick, Doug' <doug.willick...> [OrangeCountyBirding] <OrangeCountyBirding-noreply...>
Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] Red-throated Pipit follow-up

For folks that may be looking for the Red-throated Pipit at the San Joaquin Wildlife Area, on Tuesday evening (31 October), it seemed the flock of American Pipits (AMPIs), with which the Red-throated (RTPI) was associating, was unusually skittish. From about 4:45pm, when the RTPI was first observed, to when the entire flock seemed to have flown off to the west, the pipits were quite active, and were flushing frequently (with no obvious cause of disturbance) and moving around considerably. However, until they were seen to leave the immediate area around 5:45, they would generally reassemble, eventually, in the same open dirt area at the northeast corner of Pond C. At times I saw the pipit flock fly up and go over the block wall to the southeast (where there are concrete lined ponds of the Irvine Ranch Water District). But sooner or later it seemed those birds would return to the NE corner of Pond C. I'm not sure if there is any better foraging area for pipits within SJWS, so if the pipits remain in the SJWS area, I'd think sooner or later they'd return to the Pond C area. I only heard the RTPI call once, when it flushed after being rushed by a nearby AMPI. If not familiar with a RTPI's flight call, it might be good to listen to a recording of this call before heading out to look for the bird. It stands out well from the typical calls given by the AMPIs; I'd describe it as a high-pitched, drawn out "pssseeee" (but it's probably better described in field guides).

Jeff Bray has some nicer images posted to his eBird checklist ( ), but below are links to a few photos I managed to obtain before my battery completely died:

I was trying to find when we had our last Red-throated Pipit in Orange County, and apparently the last one was at Harriett Wieder Regional Park, on 1-5 November, 2007.

Doug Willick
Orange, CA

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