Date: 1/10/19 5:33 pm
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta...> [NEBirds] <NEBirds...>
Subject: Re: [NEBirds] BOL Mountain Bluebird: maybe a Western?
Have you posted the photos on ebird yet? I am very interested to see what you got, and I’ll probably go out there tomorrow to try to find the bird...
On Thursday, January 10, 2019, 4:29:12 PM CST, Daniel Leger <dleger1...> [NEBirds] <NEBirds...> wrote:


Hi folks,

I went out to Branched Oak Lake this morning hoping to see the Mountain Bluebird most recently reported by Larry Einemann.  After 4+ hours birding over the west end of the lake, I finally got a look, although from too far away to be satisfactory.  It flew off and I followed, eventually getting good looks and fairly good photos.  My conclusion at the time was an adult female Mountain Bluebird.  It showed a pale rufous wash to the breast, which is consistent with female Mountain.  However, when I got home and looked at my photos in more detail, I'm torn.  No, not Eastern Bluebird.  But maybe Western.  To my non-expert eyes, it looks to be at least as good a match to what Sibley calls "Drab adult female" Western as to anything Mountain.  I'm looking at tail projection, blue on the nape, and other details.  Yes, I know Western is a very long shot, but so was Fulvous Whistling-duck a few months ago!  I'll post a few photos on eBird shortly; that should get them riled up! 

If anyone wants to give chase, I found it around the place Larry described.  Area 1 upslope a bit from the kiddie playground area.  It was with about 10 Eastern Bluebirds in a loose flock, moving from place to place..  Several of them even went down to the ice just east of the picnic shelter to drink from a puddle that had formed next to a branch laying on the ice.  I hope someone can find it and get some more photos.  Good luck.

Dan Leger


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