Ellensburg Hoary

Scott G. Downes Downess at cwu.EDU
Thu Jan 3 15:24:42 PST 2002

This morning, Megan Humphrey and I were birding the Ellensburg valley. Just north of the intersection of Smithson and Robbins Rd, on Evans Rd. We encountered a large flock of redpolls, I estimated this flock around 200. It was a pure flock. In this flock I found what I am confifent is a male hoary redpoll.
It was paler overall than the nearby commons, As it perched vertically on the grass stems in the field I was able to see the rump and undertail coverts both very clearly. They were both unstreaked. There was a slight pinkish wash on the breast, but nothing compared to what the commons had. Other hoary marks did not appear obvious to me on this bird. This bird was about 50 yards away and viewed both through bins and scope. The flock then flew to the nearby bushes and perched in the trees here, this is where I got the best estimate to size of the flock but it was harder to pick out the hoary here as the redpolls were so concentrated on the branches.
We went back about an hour later to try to see if the flock was still there and the flock had apparently moved on as we saw no sign of it. Hopefully it is still in the general area. The time was around 10:30 and this is north of the town of ellensburg.

Good birding all.

Scott Downes
downess at cwu.edu
Ellensburg WA

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