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Red-flanked bluetail        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Red-flanked bluetails are small Asian -- mainly Siberian -- thrush relatives (or perhaps Old-World Muscicapid flycatchers) that occur occasionally in the Aleutian Islands but very rarely elsewhere in North America.   These are the third and fourth California records.   One showed up in 2019 in a small off-campus UCLA library near downtown Los Angeles, and stayed long enough for hundreds of birders to see it.   The second bird (on natural vegetation) was found in late 2022 in a coastal park in Santa Cruz; it also stayed for a while and was seen by many.   Both birds were shy, skulking, and seldom sat in one place for more than a few seconds.

  • Canon 7D2, 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, electronic flash, or Olympus E-M1X with 150-400 zoom plus 1.4X converter (2019, 2023)