I agree that having a nice photo of the tail that shows R3 (T3 in the book Sparrows and Buntings) would be very helpful. I think you can see R3 on Diana’s photo #9. There is some black coloration on the outer portion of that feather, but the inner portion appears to be white. In any case, I think that the pattern on the coverts and the scapulars is much more consistent with a first winter female than an first winter male. The illustration of a first winter female in the book Sparrows and Buntings is almost an exact match to the bird at Clatsop Beach except that the bird at Clatsop Beach is paler on the mantle than the bird in the illustration.
From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Bob Archer
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2018 10:40 AM
Subject: [obol] Re: Snow Bunting Flock: Yes
Maybe I missed a photo, but before we call it a McKays we need to see R3, to see black pattern on tip. And need to see no black even on the tips of the outer two. My point of posting paper was to show importance of the details on scapulars as to sexing the bird first before an id can be made. I think in general it looks McKays but one good photo could dump it into hybrid or Snow. Thinking of Portland bird in 2011.