Monday, January 23, 2012

Pelagic cancelled... but we still added birds!

Rain and wind cancelled our California pelagic trip... big bummer. But we didn't let that bump in the road prevent us from adding over three dozen birds to our photo tally for the year! We hit several spots around the LA/Santa Barbara area, getting good looks from several speciality birds. We also stumbled onto a pair of Egyptian Geese, which while won't be added into our official count was still a nice surprise.

Anybody know the way to Cairo?
We also hit on a bird that we're at a bit of a loss to identify. The first we thought was a juvenile Townsend's, but it just didn't look right. Young European Starling? Maybe. Send us a note if you can help with the ID. (EDIT: We have concluded, with much assistance, that this is a female Tri-colored Blackbird! See the comments for a helpful link.)

We head back to Houston today. We have a quiet period coming up until mid-February, when we pack up and head to Minnesota for the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Birding Festival!


  1. If you are still having trouble IDing ur two birds I'd suggest
    that is where I go when I'm having troubles with a bird and they are really fast at replying every knowledgeable ppl over there.

  2. Hey guys, sorry your trip was cancelled. Glad you still had fun! My guess is that the unknown bird is an immature blackbird of some sort, possibly a Tricolored Blackbird. I'm not very familiar with the species since I've never seen one, but I know they're in California.

    By the way, I went to look for the Tundra Swan and it was still at Salt Lake. If you head back that way, it might be worth a look. I posted on Texbirds, but my report never went through. I suppose you can keep track of it on ebird.

  3. I would say Starling. You can see the spotting on the breast.

  4. Looks similar to a female tricolored blackbird... Fits with the region too.

    Keep up the good birding!

  5. Yes! That's it. I found this link earlier... and it looks like it is indeed a female Tri-colored!

  6. Hey Guys,
    Great work on your Big Year so far! See you at the Bog! (Be sure and bring some heavy clothes)