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Tricolored Blackbird west of Toppenish-2 November

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  • Andy Stepniewski
    Yakkers, I spotted a male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD among several thousand blackbirds. This large field is just west of the flooded field on Marion Drain Road
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2008
      Yakkers,

      I spotted a male TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD among several thousand blackbirds.
      This large field is just west of the "flooded field" on Marion Drain Road
      west of Old Goldendale Road. The Tricolored Blackbird was perched close by
      the road on an irrigation wheel. I had excellent scope views for about 3
      minutes.It had a wide bright white shoulder patch below a deep red epaulet.
      As Red-winged Blackbirds perched on the irrigation wheel line next to this
      bird, I was also able to contrast the Tricolored's "spiky" bill with the
      shorter, deeper Red-wings. This is a very impressive flock of birds,
      containing mainly Brewer's and Red-wings, but with a sprinkling of
      Brown-headed Cowbirds, starlings, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. I looked for
      Rusty Blackbird but the Birding Gods must of thought I had enough good
      fortune for the day. I did see a yellow-eyed female type Brewer's that made
      me question whether it was a Rusty.

      I had started the morning at Fort Simcoe which was a bit above the fog. I
      was looking for a Blue Jay. There wasn't even a Steller's Jay around.
      Lewis's Woodpeckers, as usual, were calling and flying about.

      At Lateral C bridge over Toppenish Creek I had good looks at an "almost RED
      FOX SPARROW." It had all the features shown in Sibley save the rufous
      facial streaks on an otherwise grayish head. It really was the reddest Fox
      Sparrow I've ever seen. I've seen a number of really red Fox Sparrows in
      Nome Alaska and there not seen one as red as this bird. I admit lighting
      there is typically very dull; keep in mind that's on the Bering Sea!

      I paid a short visit to the Bus Road ponds south of Mabton and found
      shorebirds still passing through:

      Killdeer - 5
      Greater Yellowlegs - 3
      Pectoral Sandpiper - 2
      Dunlin - 4
      Long-billed Dowitcher - 25
      Wilson's Snipe - 1

      A great day in the Lower Yakima Valley!

      Andy Stepniewski
      Wapato WA
      steppie@...
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