As far as I can tell there probably is a Stellerís Eider here in Humboldt County. Many parties have tried to see this bird so far and weather and ocean conditions have confounded most parties except for a party of four that reportedly saw the bird yesterday afternoon, despite birders looking in the morning, too.
Jeff Allen first noted this possible sighting to a couple of us on Wednesday but wasnít comfortable with calling it 100%, despite having previous experience with this species in Alaska. Jeff briefly saw the bird again on Friday and thought it was probably the same bird and became more confident about the bird after looking at some photos online of the recent Oregon female Stellerís. I then decided to let birders know on our back channel Humboldt birders Facebook chat about this possibility yesterday morning but held off posting it publicly because Jeff was still not 100% on it (but overall felt pretty good about it). A couple of parties tried yesterday and only one party reportedly saw the bird in the afternoon. I think they probably did see the bird but I think that people might understand that we do want more locals to also see it and 100% confirm it despite the decent details that were included in the eBird report that got posted on the eBird alerts. I hope the observers donít take this as a slight in their abilities because it is certainly not meant to be.†
It is worth noting that Jeff Allen discovered last years Common Pochard, discovered a female King Eider north of Redwood Creek in 2014, and has found many other notable birds.
So as it stands right now there is probably a female Stellerís Eider with scoters north of the Redwood Creek mouth here in Humboldt County but as of yet few have gotten eyes on it due to mostly to weather and ocean conditions at this location. It can be a tough spot to get good looks at many of the birds and today the fog rolled in for most of the day and hampered viewing for most of it.
We will promptly report the sighting more widely with more details once we got this bird 100% firmed up...if we do.†
Some of us will be looking for this bird tomorrow before rain comes in for most of the upcoming week.
Also, it is worth noting that I and others are easily reachable via the various modern methods of communication and could have been asked directly about this.†
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDSfirstname.lastname@example.org >
Date: Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 7:11 PM
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Eider a steller bird or a joke
To: CALBIRDS < CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com >
† I, along with others I talked to, determined from the deafening silence that the report was bogus.
On Mar 11, 2018, at 5:47 PM, Kimball Garrett kgarrett@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDSemail@example.com > wrote:
I am assuming that since a bird representing a fourth California record, and the first record in over 26 years (which is greater than the birding lifetime of most current California birders) has not merited even a single posting to this statewide list serve or to the local (NWCalbirds) list serve,†either (1) the sighting is well-known to be bogus and has been summarily dismissed by Humboldt birders), or (2) list serves have now officially and completely outlived any function in disseminating news of rare birds. Could somebody closer to the scene please enlighten the rest of us birders on the status of the reported female Steller's Eider at the mouth of Redwood Creek, Humboldt Co.†on 10 March †
Kimball L. Garrett Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 900 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA (213) 763-3368 kgarrett@...