The NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW is a rare but regular wintering bird in coastal salt marshes in California. Spring & fall vagrants elsewhere are even rarer.
All of my California records are listed below. Those preceded by H were found or co-found by me personally; those preceded by K receive some partial credit (e.g., I was involved in sorting out i.d. of a previously discovered bird or refound a vagrant that had been thought to have left). My notes in the 1970s do not always sort out credit issues so it is possible additional birds might have been "self-found." As with many eastern vagrants, many more were seen during active rarity chasing throughout the state in younger days, and a higher percentage of records are from my local county (MTY) in recent years.
These are most of my personal Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow records (there are a few more to be extracted from notes):
12/31/75 Upper Newport Bay ORAI have a sketch and typed description of the Carmel R. mouth bird that I set out below:
5/26/76 Oasis MNO description sent to CBRC; no copy kept
5/27/76 Furnace Creek INY description sent to CBRC; no copy kept
12/7/86 Arcata HUM typed description & marginal photo
12/13/93 Palo Alto Baylands Refuge SCL brief description in notes
11/6/94 Carmel R. mouth marsh MTY sketch & typed description (below)
1/19/97 Morro Bay SP marsh SLO brief description in notes
1/13/02 Elkhorn Slough MTY photos (above)
See the family page for county abbreviations. All photos & text © 2002 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
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Page created 18 July 2001, updated 5 Feb 2002