Date: 4/8/18 1:29 pm From: John Weeks via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: [CT Birds] Bohemian Waxwing -- Granby, Holcomb Farm
I can't wait for the pushback on this one. What we saw, we saw well, though. My eBird report is below.
John Weeks Chris Chinni North Granby, CT
Holcomb Farm, Hartford, Connecticut, US Apr 8, 2018 12:39 PM - 2:30 PM Protocol: Traveling 1.4 mile(s) Comments: Mostly sunny; temp 43 F; wind 5-10, gusting late to 15-20 mph. 25 species
Turkey Vulture 6 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Mourning Dove 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker 3 Downy Woodpecker 1 Northern Flicker 2 Eastern Phoebe 2 Blue Jay 4 American Crow 4 Common Raven 1 Tufted Titmouse 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet 2 Eastern Bluebird 4 Two pairs, one of which visited a nest box. The female of the pair entered the box. American Robin 3 Northern Mockingbird 2 European Starling 20 Bohemian Waxwing 1 At approximately 1:45 PM, Chris and I were observing four waxwings perched on the left side of a bare deciduous tree between 20 and 30 ft up and about 60 ft from us. Facing the tree, we were looking WNW; the sun was still quite high overhead and slightly to our left. The birds were thus in bright but not harsh light, and were neither shaded nor bleached out. I noticed right away that the topmost bird, which was turned 3/4 away from us, bore two distinct white patches on its left wing. The other three birds had the normal appearance of Cedar Waxwings, with a single white line along the rear edge of the folded wing. Chris saw the same difference in the wing pattern as I did. We were able to study the bird of interest for about a minute, during which time it never turned to reveal its underparts, so we had no opportunity to see the rufous undertail coverts. The bird was also separated from the other three waxwings, so a size comparison was not possible, nor, given the lighting, could we discern a difference in the overall coloration of the four birds.
The four birds then flew from the isolated tree into a tree belt where they were in moderate shadow. I was unable to locate the target bird there, but Chris saw the bird briefly before all four flew out and joined six other waxwings to depart the area. She noted the dual white patches again when the bird was in the shaded tree belt, so we know that this field mark was not the result of a freak lighting effect.
I see no way to call this bird anything other than a Bohemian Waxwing. For 45 minutes, we searched for the flock of ten birds, but never relocated them. Cedar Waxwing 9 Dark-eyed Junco 1 White-throated Sparrow 4 Song Sparrow 9 Northern Cardinal 2 Red-winged Blackbird 1 American Goldfinch 2 House Sparrow 1