1-A-2017 Red-flanked Bluetail
On Monday, December 26th, 2016 I had a bad head cold and felt achy all over but I decided to go try to get the Lewiston raptor run done anyway. The day started off well with Barn Owl and three Red-Tailed Hawks. However, I got caught up on a small bird though. I was first thinking of a Kinglet or a Warbler, as this bird was bouncing all around. Then I saw a blue-tail! I texted Ben Bright and asked him if he would look for warbler-like birds with a blue tail. Unfortunately, the birds that he came up with and also everything on my iBird App did not seem to match. I did not immediately think Bluebird because of the size and behavior. This bird kept jumping from the ground to the branches and I noticed it once flicking its tail rapidly 5-7 times in quick succession. Unfortunately, I missed several photos by seconds and got a blurry one. I spent the next hour and a half trying to get a photo and then I could not find the bird. I walked to the end of Hells Gate and back and then the bird reappeared and I snapped a quick photo. I was kinda delirious at this point from my head cold and forgetting to bring tissue to blow my nose. I looked quickly at the photo and decided it must be an odd lone Bluebird.
I left Hell's Gate and picked up a few more nice hawks including a Rough-legged Hawk but a mile into Volmer road I encountered large unplowed snowdrifts and was unable to continue. I was able to drive to Mann Lake and found it frozen over. The road to the south was plowed to single lane but looked sketchy for turning around if more snowdrifts were to be encountered. I went north and then hills were pretty icy and I was feeling miserable so I decided to head home and decided I would not be able to get raptor run results for December with the current road conditions.
When I got home I just sat in bed for 4 hours feeling out of it. Then I went back and looked at my last photo of the suspect bird. It did not take too long to look at Bluebird in the Stoke's guide and zero in on a different bird. RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL! I had looked at Red-flanked Bluetail on my iBird Pro App but they only have a drawing of a male so I kept passing it over. The photo of the female in Stoke's looks a lot like the bird I finally got a decent photo of!?!?
Sorry no raptor run data but a good birding day for me even while feeling miserable!
Equipment was 8x42 Vanguard Sprit XF Binoculars and Nikon Coolpix P900 Camera.
Link to photo: https://flic.kr/p/QxNtsu
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Photo is of a Red-flanked Bluetail.
There's no question about the veracity of this identification.
While this report is more of a nice, exciting story than a clinical filing, there is enough description of plumage and behavior, but more importantly a diagnostic photograph of an adult (?) female Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)! A great State record.
Great documentation (& I saw the bird :-)
This bird was well documented and seen by many
What an awesome find!