Date: 1/10/18 12:03 am
From: Jed Pitre <feralbiologist...>
Subject: [LABIRD-L] Interesting swallow

While trying to keep up my eBird-checklist-a-day for the month of January,
I noticed an interesting swallow in a flock of ~25 Tree Swallows (TRES). Of
course I did not have my camera with me, so no photos. I don't have a huge
amount of experience with either Cave or Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon sp.).
I realize that Cave is the more likely species, but for now I'm calling it
a swallow sp.

Other codes used below:
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (NRWS)
Barn Swallow (BARS)

Here are the details per my eBird report:

Swallow sp. observation
Location: Adley Landry Water Reservoir, Thibodaux, Lafourche, Louisiana, USA
Time: 4:45 pm
Stationary count @ 29.80274N, 90.81812W (WGS 84)
Weather: temperature-55F, wind-NNE 5-10mph, clouds-100%.

Petrochelidon sp.
While observing and trying to count a flock of TRES with the naked eye, I
noticed a
swallow with a paler rump. When the bird circled back around, I also
noticed a pale
"collar" that stood out. I eventually sighted the subject in my binoculars
(8x42) and
noted the following field marks: blue/black upperparts (not brown); paler,
rusty rump
that contrasted with the darker back and tail; forehead had a rusty/rufous
patch with
no white markings observed; the terminal margin of the spread rectrices was
straight compared to the slightly notched tails of nearby TRES; not a lot
of contrast
between crown, auriculars/face and throat with strong contrast between pale
and the rest of the head, which appeared almost hooded. I recognize that
this feature
could be an artifact of the overcast/low light levels at this time of the
day, but the
contrast between the white throat and the rest of the head was clearly
visible on the
nearby TRESs. Separated from TRES by pale/rusty rump and rusty/rufous
from NRWS by lack of brown upperparts; from BARS by straight edged

I am planning on trying to re-find and photograph the swallow around 4ish
on Wednesday.
If anyone is interested, you can contact me off-list for directions. If you
do come out, wear
amour for protection against the fierce Muscovy hoard!

Jed Pitre
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