Date: 1/4/18 2:46 pm From: justin streit <000000260acb25c4-dmarc-request...> Subject: PURPLE FINCHES, Pine Creek, Red Rock Canyon NCA, Clark County
At 1245 today, I had a male and a female Purple Finch come into the watering hole on the Fire Ecology Loop Trail in Pine Creek. I only saw the female at first, but instantly noticed the smudgy streaks on the breast and flanks and then noticed that the bird had a distinctly greenish color to the back. After a little while, the bird flew to the west up the drainage. I followed it, but quickly lost it. I then played a Purple Finch flight call and the female flew right at me, this time accompanied by a male. The male had a noticeable amount of red in the back and wings, particularly in the coverts. The back and wings also exhibited a significant amount of brown and green in areas where the red was absent. Both birds lacked any hint of an eyering, had slightly curved culmens, and exhibited a medium-length primary projection, noticeably shorter than would be expected on Cassin's Finch. Many close range photos can be seen on my ebird checklist:
The Fire Ecology Loop is a side trail less than a half a mile into the Pine Creek Trail once you leave the parking lot. Once on the Fire Ecology Loop, hike until you cross the creek and post up there. This is an excellent area to photograph birds at close range. Also present today was a continuing Lewis's Woodpecker. I was unable to find the Black-and-White Warbler farther up the canyon or the Varied Thrushes that Doug Chang and company had reported previously.