Table

 

Red-throated Pipit – Accepted

1-17. 12–27 Oct 1964

≤ 17 (2-3 AHY)

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-031

10,30

ph., SDNHM 35097 (HY &), MVZ 154172 (HY)

18-27. 09–30 Oct 1966

10 (some AHY)

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-032

10

LACM 46029 (HY %)

28-37. 22 Oct–04 Nov 1967

10

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-033

10

 

38. 03 Nov 1968

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1984-013

9

ph., Roberson (1980)

39. 17 Oct 1970

AHY

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-086

6

 

40-45. 19–27 Oct 1974

6

Tijuana R. valley SD

1984-061

9

 

46-47. 20–21 Oct 1974

2

San Nicolas I. VEN

1980-006

6

 

48. 10 Nov 1974

 

Santa Cruz I. SBA

1980-007

6

 

49. 13–15 Oct 1977

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1978-058

5

 

50. 20–21 Oct 1977

 

Carson LA

1978-005

4

 

51. 28 Sep 1978

 

San Nicolas I. VEN

1979-018

5

 

52-54. 30 Sep–24 Oct 1978

≤ 3

Pt. Reyes MRN 1978-111/1988-070

5

ph., three of five reported

 

55. 04–09 Oct 1978

 

Oxnard VEN

1980-064

6

 

56. 12 Oct 1978

 

Goleta SBA

1980-111

7

 

57-59. 13–15 Oct 1978

≤ 3

Oxnard VEN

1980-065

6

 

60. 17 Oct 1978

 

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1980-112

7

 

61-62. 26–27 Oct 1978

≤ 2

Goleta SBA

1980-113

6

 

63. 08 Oct 1979

AHY

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-162

8

 

64. 11 Oct 1979

 

Goleta SBA

1980-114

7

 

65. 11 Oct 1979

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-163

8

 

66. 22 Oct 1979

AHY

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-164

8

 

67. 24 Sep 1980

 

Goleta SBA

1980-215

7

 

68. 28 Sep 1980

 

Santa Clara R. mouth VEN

1987-225

14

 

69-70. 18–31 Oct 1980

2

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1980-216

7

 

71. 09–11 Sep 1981

AHY

Goleta SBA

1982-003

7

 

72-73. 10–25 Oct 1981

2 (1 AHY)

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-084

7

 

74. 25–28 Oct 1981

 

Pt. Loma SD

1981-087

7

Fig. 391, ph., Binford (1985)

75. 01 Nov 1981

 

Goleta SBA

1982-009

7

 

76. 10 Oct 1982

 

Gold Bluffs Beach HUM

1986-200

12

 

77. 10–11 Oct 1982

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1982-117

8

ph.

78. 16–17 Oct 1982

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1982-108

8

ph.

79. 06 Nov 1982

 

Goleta SBA

1986-238

12

 

80. 07 Nov 1982

AHY

Tijuana R. valley SD

1982-112

8

ph.

81. 05 Oct 1985

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1986-083

14

 

82. 06–11 Oct 1985

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-065

11

 

83. 24–27 Sep 1986

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-055

12

ph.

84. 05–06 Oct 1986

 

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1986-469

12

 

85-86. 06–11 Oct 1986

≤ 2

Pt. Reyes MRN

1987-019

12

 

87. 07 Oct 1986

 

Bolinas MRN

1987-008

12

 

88. 12–18 Oct 1986

 

Moss Landing MTY

1986-385

12

 

89. 14–15 Oct 1986

 

Goleta SBA

1986-445

12

 

90-92. 14 Oct–02 Nov 1986

≤ 3

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-470

12

 

93. 04–15 Nov 1986

 

Goleta SBA

1986-444

12

 

94. 19–20 Sep 1987

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1987-258

13

 

95. 06 Oct 1987

 

Goleta SBA

1987-378

13

 

96-97. 07–10 Oct 1987

≤ 2 (1 AHY)

Tijuana R. valley SD

1987-289

13

 

98. 09–17 Oct 1987

 

Morro Bay SLO

1987-377

13

 

99. 10–13 Oct 1987

 

Virgin Creek mouth MEN

1988-173

13

ph.

100. 11 Oct 1987

 

Carmel R. mouth MTY

1987-394

13

 

101. 15 Oct 1987

 

Goleta SBA

1987-379

13

 

102. 02–03 Oct 1988

 

Goleta SBA

1988-210

13

 

103. 03 Oct 1988

 

Salinas R. mouth MTY

1988-184

13

 

104. 06–07 Oct 1988

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1988-212

13

ph.

105. 08 Oct 1988

 

Goleta SBA

1988-273

13

 

106. 09 Oct 1988

 

Goleta SBA

1988-199

13

 

107. 11–15 Oct 1988

 

Oxnard VEN

1989-085

13

 

108. 16 Oct 1988

 

Santa Maria R. mouth SLO/SBA

1988-274

13

 

109. 16 Oct 1988

 

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1988-275

13

 

110-111. 17–27 Oct 1988

2

Goleta SBA

1988-244

15

 

112. 21 Oct 1988

 

~69 nmi. sw San Miguel I. SBA

1989-084

13

 

113-114. 23 Oct 1988

2

Tijuana R. valley SD

1988-223

13

 

115. 27 Oct 1988

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1988-286

13

ph.

116. 27 Sep 1989

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1989-170

15

 

117. 14 Oct 1989

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1989-171

15

ph.

118. 24–27 Sep 1990

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-010

16

ph.

119. 30 Sep–04 Oct 1990

 

vic. Port Hueneme VEN

1990-149

16

 

120. 01 Oct 1990

 

Goleta SBA

1990-180

16

 

121. 06–07 Oct 1990

 

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1990-181

16

 

122. 07 Oct 1990

 

Oxnard VEN

1990-182

16

 

123-124. 13–24 Oct 1990

≤ 2

Tijuana R. valley SD

1990-158

16

 

125. 26 Oct 1990

 

Santa Catalina I. LA

1991-038

16

 

126. 20 Sep 1991

 

China Lake KER

1991-206

17

 

127. 20 Sep 1991

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

1992-069

17

 

128. 21 Sep 1991

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1991-115

17

 

129. 21–22 Sep 1991

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-153A

17

ph.

130. 22 Sep 1991

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-153B

17

 

131. 22 Sep 1991

 

California City KER

1991-125

17

 

132-133. 22 Sep–09 Oct 1991

≤ 2

Hayward Regional Shoreline ALA

1991-220

17

 

134. 23 Sep 1991

 

Cow Creek INY

1991-127

17

ph.

135. 26 Sep 1991

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-154

17

 

136. 28 Sep 1991

 

San Pedro LA

1992-037

17

ph., AB 46:166

137-142. 29–30 Sep 1991

6

Bolinas MRN

1991-222

17

 

143. 29 Sep–03 Oct 1991

 

Pigeon Pt. SM

1992-021

17

 

144. 30 Sep 1991

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-155

17

 

145. 03 Oct 1991

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

1991-221

17

 

146. 04–05 Oct 1991

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1991-133

17

ph.

147-150. 04-20 Oct 1991

≤ 4

Moss Landing MTY

1991-178

17

 

151-153. 05 Oct 1991

3

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-156

19

 

154-161. 06–14 Oct 1991

8

Pt. Reyes MRN

1991-144

17

audio

162-173. 06–16 Oct 1991

≤ 12 (1 AHY)

Tijuana R. valley SD

1991-173A

17

Hollister Ave. (cf. table entries 184-198)

174. 06 Oct 1991

 

Goleta SBA

1991-233

17

 

175. 07 Oct 1991

 

Salinas MTY

1992-025

17

 

176-177. 10–13 Oct 1991

≤ 2

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1992-007

17

 

178. 11–24 Oct 1991

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1991-140

17

ph.

179. 16–18 Oct 1991

 

Coyote Creek near Alviso SCL

1991-148

17

 

180-181. 16–20 Oct 1991

2

Sepulveda Basin LA

1991-207

17

 

182-183. 17 Oct 1991

2

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1992-011

17

 

184-198. 18 Oct–11 Nov 1991

≤ 15

Tijuana R. valley SD

1991-173B

17

Dairy Mart Rd. (cf. table entries 162-173)

199. 20–26 Oct 1991

 

Santa Maria Valley SBA

1991-223

17

 

200. 21 Oct 1991

 

Montezuma Slough SOL

1993-045

21

 

201-202. 21–22 Oct 1991

≤ 2

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1992-012

17

 

203. 26 Oct 1991

 

vic. Oxnard VEN

1991-226

17

 

204. 27–28 Oct 1991

 

Goleta SBA

1991-224

17

 

 

Red-throated Pipit – Not accepted, identification not established

17 Nov 1976

 

Pacific Grove MTY

1986-353

14

 

04 Sep 1977

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

1978-042

5

 

28 Sep 1977

 

Grizzly I. SOL

1978-103

5

 

21 Oct 1979

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-105

14

 

07 Nov 1979

 

Auburn PLA

1979-073

5

 

28 Sep 1980

 

Cape Mendocino HUM

1987-213

17

 

01 Oct 1980

 

Arcata HUM

1989-104

17

 

06 Nov 1980

 

Westley STA

1986-166

12

 

29 Sep 1984

 

Salinas MTY

1984-226

10,28

see Roberson (2002:483)

17 Apr 1987

 

Tennessee Cove MRN

1987-128

12

 

11 Oct 1987

 

Oxnard VEN

1990-044

13

 

27 Nov 1988

2

Lanphere Dunes HUM

1988-269

15

 

22 Sep 1990

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

1990-216

17

 

26 Sep 1991

 

Princeton Marsh SM

1992-081

17

 

02 Oct 1991

 

Arroyo de la Cruz SLO

1991-232

17

 

02 Oct 1991

2–3

Arroyo Laguna SLO

1991-231

17

2-3 birds fide C. A. Marantz

 

 

 

 

 

contra Patten et al. (1995)

13–19 Oct 1991

≤ 2

Oxnard VEN

1991-225

20

 

14 Oct 1991

 

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

1992-026

21

 

16 Oct 1991

 

Salinas R. mouth MTY

1992-027

21

 

17 Oct 1991

 

Moss Landing MTY

1992-028

21

see records not submitted

22 Oct 1991

 

Bolinas MRN

1991-157

18

 

29 Oct 1991

 

Half Moon Bay SM

1992-090

17

 

09 Nov 1991

 

vic. Palmdale LA

1992-038

17

 

 

Red-throated Pipit – Not submitted

03 Nov 1976

 

Arcata bottoms HUM

 

 

Harris (1996)

07–24 Oct 1978

2

Pt. Reyes MRN

 

 

AB 33:211, see table entries 52-54

12 Oct 1978

 

San Miguel I. SBA

 

 

AB 33:216

18–24 Oct 1978

≤ 2

Oxnard VEN

 

 

Webster et al. (1980)

20 Oct 1978

 

Santa Clara R. mouth VEN

 

 

Webster et al. (1980)

19 Oct 1979

2

Oxnard VEN

 

14

AB 34:202

24 Sep 1981

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

 

 

AB 36:215

18 Oct 1981

 

Pt. Reyes MRN

 

 

AB 36:215

04 Oct 1982

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

14

AB 37:225

28 Sep 1991

 

Bodega Bay SON

 

 

Parmeter (2000)

04–20 Oct 1991

3

Moss Landing MTY

 

 

Roberson (2002); see also record 1992-028 under “Not accepted, identification not established”

29 Oct 1991

 

north spit, Humboldt Bay HUM

 

 

Harris (2006)

 

 

 

 

 

Figures

Image3131.TIF

Figure 269. In California, the great majority of Red-throated Pipits are first-fall birds found in October, although records of this species extend from 9 September to 20 December. This one—with a smidgen of orange at the side of the upper breast suggesting that it may be an adult—was present from 8 to 25 November 2003 at San Joaquin Marsh in Irvine, Orange County (Bob Steele).

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 391. Following an unprecedented 1991 invasion that involved at least 79 individuals in 12 counties, the Committee ceased reviewing California records of the Red-throated Pipit. The species remains a scarce, but nearly annual, fall vagrant along the coast, with flocks and interior birds very rarely encountered. This late October 1981 photograph shows the first individual ever found at Pt. Loma in San Diego County (1981-087; Richard E. Webster).

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 392. California’s 204 accepted Red-throated Pipits through 1991, showing distribution primarily along the southern and central coasts, including 90 individuals from the Tijuana River valley in San Diego County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-throated Pipit

RED-THROATED PIPIT Anthus cervinus (Pallas, 1811)

Accepted: 204 (89%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 26

CBRC review: records through 1991

Not submitted/reviewed: 17

Large color image: see Figures

This pipit breeds from the northern coast of Scandinavia east across northern Eurasia to the Chukotskiy Peninsula, possibly to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. The species also breeds locally/sporadically on Alaska’s western mainland (mostly on the western Seward Peninsula) and on St. Lawrence Island, and a single bird was collected in summer in northern Yukon (Sinclair et al. 2003). The winter range extends from northern Africa east to Southeast Asia and the East Indies. This bird is a regular migrant through the Bering Sea islands and western Aleutian Islands. Fall vagrants occur casually around the Gulf of Alaska and in southeastern Alaska, southern Yukon (Sinclair et al. 2003), and coastal British Columbia (20+ records including the continent’s latest: 22–28 December 1990 in Delta, near Vancouver). Washington and Oregon claim one fall record each (NAB 58:134), as does Arizona. Fall migrants occur rarely on the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. A specimen was collected on 26 January 1883 at San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur (Ridgway 1883), and more than a century later a second overwintering bird was documented at the same location 1–3 February 2005 and 17–22 Mar 2006 (NAB 59:329, 330; 60:289). Additional individuals that overwintered in the New World were recorded in Michoacán on 11 April 1988 and in Colima during March 1992 (Howell and Webb 1989, 1995). On the heels of a fall 2003 incursion of Red-throated Pipits along the Pacific coast, two birds were present from 28 to 30 April 2004 in coastal Oregon and another was recorded in coastal Washington on 7 May 2004 (NAB 58:425). Another spring vagrant was photographed on 7 May 2006 in central Baja California (NAB 60:448).

At least 17 Red-throated Pipits present between 12 and 27 October 1964 in the Tijuana River valley, San Diego County, were the first to be recorded in the contiguous United States. An adult female and a probable first-fall male were collected from this flock on 13 October (McCaskie1966a). After being found during only half the years between 1964 and 1977, the species went on to be recorded in 22 of the next 24 years through 1991, the last year of Committee review. The month of October accounts for 85% of the accepted individuals. The only record earlier than 19 September is of an apparent adult in Goleta, Santa Barbara County, 9–11 September 1981, and in the post-review period three have been recorded after 15 November: Irvine, Orange County, 8–25 November 2003 (fide D. R. Willick, Figure 269) and 22 November–20 December 2006 (fide D. R. Willick); and Pacific Beach, San Diego County, 19–27 November 2003 (fide G. McCaskie contra Unitt 2004 and NAB 58:145). California’s only record of a spring vagrant refers to a bird photographed on 26 April 2006 in Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County (NAB 60:434).

Both adults and juveniles molt on the breeding grounds (Cramp 1988), so all southbound Red-throated Pipits wear fresh plumage. A handful of accepted records—most from the early 1980s—involve birds that showed a reddish, orange, or conspicuous peachy-buff wash on the throat and/or head, and such birds may be safely aged as adults. First-fall birds lack reddish in the plumage, but some basic-plumaged adults do as well, and other age criteria are too subtle to be useful in the field. Thus, although most birds lacking color are probably in their first fall, we have made this determination only for specimens. Approximately 24 accepted records involve birds that offered little or no opportunity for on-the-ground study, and instead were seen in flight and heard giving the species’ characteristic speee call note. Most of the observers involved in these records had prior experience with this vocalization, and all were able to convincingly eliminate other species, especially the Eastern Yellow Wagtail (by noting the pipit’s relatively short tail, compact size, heavily streaked body, etc.). Several fly-by records are from Southeast Farallon Island, where the species has been detected almost every fall since 1985 (Richardson et al. 2003).

More than 70% of the CBRC-endorsed Red-throated Pipits—including 37 of the first 38 birds and all double-digit flocks—come from the state’s southern half, and only two individuals were accepted from the state’s northern third (Figure 392). Migrating Red-throated Pipits show a strong affinity for the coast. The CBRC accepted records of only eight birds from California’s interior—six from Furnace Creek Ranch in Inyo County and two from eastern Kern County—and all but two of these came during the 1991 influx discussed subsequently. Another seven or eight birds were found inland between 1992 and 2006, three or four of them associated with a 2003 influx.

About one-fourth of the accepted records involve multiple birds, and the species’ abundance has been found to vary considerably from year to year. Excluding the exceptional year of 1991 (see below), fall records averaged 4.4 ± 4.7SD individuals between 1964 and 1992. The flight of 1991 generated accepted records of 79 individuals in 12 counties, 19 of them somewhat early birds during the period of 20–30 September. An additional four birds were found that fall on the Baja California Peninsula (Howell and Pyle 1993). The similar 2003 flight involved reports of at least 73 birds in California and 29 on the Baja California Peninsula (NAB 58:139, 145, 149). In the years that followed these invasions, only two Red-throated Pipits were found in California in fall 1992 (NAB 47:146, 150), but in fall 2004 observers found as many as 18 birds in California and on the Baja California Peninsula (NAB 59:145, 150, 155). At least four of the fall 2004 records in California are of adults (fide G. McCaskie), leading some to postulate that these were second-year birds that overwintered in the New World, completed a successful migration cycle, and then headed south again along the same California route (NAB 59:155, Sullivan and Wood 2005). None of the 204 accepted records was treated as pertaining to a returning bird, but note that five from the Tijuana River valley involve adults seen between 1979 and 1982.

Accompanying the Red-throated Pipit “invasions” of 1991 and 2003 were seemingly correlated, but much smaller, flights of vagrant American Pipits showing characters of A. r. japonicus, a taxon sometimes referred to as the Siberian Pipit (but see Lehman 2005 regarding this subspecies’ unsettled taxonomy). In a thorough review of the “co-vagrancy” of these pipits to North America and the Baja California Peninsula, Sullivan (2004) offered evidence that most of the pipits that reached California from Asia in 2003 (and presumably other years) did so by crossing the Pacific Ocean, rather than by traveling down the coast. The main competing hypothesis—that considerable numbers of these birds pass undetected along the islands and coastline of the Pacific Northwest—fails to explain the dearth of fall records from Washington, Oregon, and California north of Pt. Reyes (but note that British Columbia claims more fall records than these other areas do, combined).

King (1981), Heard and Walbridge (1988), Mlodinow and O’Brien (1996), and Alström and Mild (2003) reviewed the field identification of the Olive-backed, Pechora, and Red-throated Pipits.