Date: 7/23/19 10:09 am
From: sandy leaptrott <sandyleapt...>
Subject: [obol] Confirmation of bird sightings and a mystery bird
Good Morning,

Regarding unconfirmed sightings on this website, one of the reasons I so enjoy OBOL is I can ask a question on this website and often get an answer to something that has me completely stumped. I also consider it a good place to float a sighting for confirmation. Sometimes other people frequent the same places I do and so they can be on the lookout for an odd bird, thereby confirming my sighting. What caught my attention today was Tim's Fox Sparrow example. I did get help from a member of OBOL confirming a sighting of a Fox Sparrow fledgling in my garden in July 2017 that came about from a question I posted in September of 2017. I never would have figured out what my mystery fledgling was on my own because it did not belong in Northeast Portland. Thanks OBOL!

Actually, I have another such bird. And of course, because I was gardening, no camera in hand. While working with a friend in her Welches, Oregon garden I saw a bird that I just assumed was a Mt. Chickadee until I got home and looked through my books this morning the head striping is all wrong. My friend and I stood looking at and talking about the bird. I have ruled out White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Black and White Warbler as I've seen all of these up close and personal over the years. I could hear Red-breasted nuthatches but this bird's tail was way too long, the head striping and head shape, as well as the body shape were all wrong.

So, if you have any ideas what this might be, I'd like to know:

Sighting occurred about 2:30 pm in bright, unfiltered sunlight in an ornamental garden surrounded by natural forest, lots of red huckleberry bushes fruiting. Lots of big conifers including fir and hemlock, sapling Golden Chinquapin trees, Cascara tree fruiting right now.

I viewed the bird from 25 to 30 feet away without binoculars. It was perched in direct sunlight on a branch at about knee height with its back to me, it turned its head a couple times. It was the size and shape of a Chickadee including the tail shape. The entire nape, back, wings and tail appeared to be an even, dark gray that leaned toward blue rather than brown. The tail feathers were glossy.

The puzzle is the head striping and behavior. The median crown-stripe was white, the lateral crown stripe was black, there was a white supercillium stripe. Also, the bird perched quietly for some time (maybe a fledgling?) before it flew off. When it flew it went low into the forest understory, and I did not see any white in wings or tail. Other birds present, male Western Tanager and American Robins.

Thanks for your help.

Sandy Leaptrott

NE Portland

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