Exceptionally early Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Feb 2nd, Concord, CoCo County.


I recorded the first of this year's Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Three exceptionally early northbound no-shadow Phils or Phillipas (perhaps both) were seen and photographed at Ellis Lakes Park in Concord, Ca, February 2nd, 2020. This record represents this year's first occurrence of this species in the Bay Area and the second for all of Northern California ( 20th January, Santa Cruz Co.)

Compared with other years it is also the second to earliest for Contra Costa County, Jeff Acuff reported one individual in early January, 2015, ( also  from Concord, Central Contra Costa).

Generally for the whole Bay Area, over the years there are some observations from early Winter, i.e. from December and January, however, these observations (at least some of them) may possibly also apply to wintering birds.

For Contra Costa County, usually the first individuals (migrants) appeared after February 17-20, while our local birds return about two weeks later, usually around mid-March.

Good pre-Spring Birding,

Albert W. Linkowski