[Tweeters] ID Help

fremontinn at aol.com fremontinn at aol.com
Sat Sep 6 12:16:43 PDT 2008


It's not often I am at a total loss regarding a bird ID but today is one of those days.

I was watching a DE Junco in our bird bath remarking to my wife how I hadn't seen any for a couple weeks or so.? Then another flew in.? Then a young robin.? Seemed like some migrants were dropping in.? Unfortunately, a flock of House Sparrows joined in as well.? This flock has been growing over the past week or two.? :-(

THEN a bird flew in and landed on a long plant stem hanging over the bird bath looking like it wanted to join the crowd in the bird bath.? It hopped to change direction on the plant, then flew a few feet to the porch railing.? This is all at a distance of 10 feet or less from me but only lasted 3 or 4 seconds.

Here is what I can recall seeing.? A black face patch on a WHITE face (sim. to a Townsend's Warbler but with a white face instead of yellow).? A white patch on top of its crown (sim. to a Golden-crowned Kinglet but NO color).? So I THINK it had a black cap.? I believe it was dark overall on back but as it flew away it showed some white outer tail feathers.? It's breast had some rufous color turning to white below.? Didn't get bill size or shape!? :-(

My sense, in that brief look, was that it was slightly smaller than the House Sparrows in the bird bath.

I thumbed through Sibley's while trying to keep an eye out in case the mystery bird returned.? Nothing seemed to fit.? My first thought was some intermediate molt.? I need to leave the house but wanted to write this while it was still relatively fresh in my head.? Recall is bad enough sometimes even when fresh.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Bruce Jones
Shoreline, WA

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