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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 11:52 am | A Few Clouds 59º


Birdwatchers Flocking to Santa Maria’s Waller Park to View Rare Duck

Common in Europe and Asia, a garganey has not been spotted in the United States since 1999

A small duck called a garganey, extremely rare in North America, has been sighted in Santa Maria’s Waller Park, bringing flocks of birdwatchers to the area. Click to view larger
A small duck called a garganey, extremely rare in North America, has been sighted in Santa Maria’s Waller Park, bringing flocks of birdwatchers to the area. (John Deacon photo)

Visitors to Waller Park in Santa Maria may have noticed that there has been a tremendous increase in "birders" over the last few days. 

That's because a small duck called a garganey showed up on Saturday, and has been causing a nationwide stir. 

The garganey, common in Europe and Asia, is very unusual in the United States. In fact, it hasn't been reported in California since 1999.

Known for its long-distance migrations, the garganey sometimes gets way off course, and can end up almost anywhere in North America, according to the National Audubon Society.

On Tuesday, birders from as far away as Buena Park were observing and photographing this rarity.

Nobody knows how long this bird will stick around, so birderwatchers should take this opportunity to check out this rarity, and others, at Waller Park.

Waller Park is recognized nationwide as one of the best birding spots in California.

John Deacon is an avid local birdwatcher.

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