[Tweeters] Re: Mystery Birds at Tahuya

Jason Hernandez jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 31 21:00:05 PDT 2014

Clearly, I need to provide more information.

First: I am not a rank novice.  I have been birding for many years, and I know the difference between a bird and a mammal (for one thing, mammals do not have feathers).  So they definitely were not flying squirrels.  When I said, "they repeatedly glided downward from a high branch of one tree to a lower branch of another," I did not mean to imply that this was the only flying they did; just that it was the most distinctive, setting them apart from what I have seen robins do.  They also did some flycatcher-like moves, but I couldn't fit their appearance into that of any flycatcher I know -- although I really don't know the Western Kingbird, the only one large enough in this range.

Second: the gray jay suggestion was intriguing, although I know gray jays fairly well and do not think that was it either.  Yes, gray jays do travel in flocks.  But would they be found in lowlands, which Tahuya State Forest is?  I have only seen them in mountains before.  I did say these birds were about robin size; but as I looked longer, I concluded they were a bit smaller than robins -- maybe between robin-size and towhee-size.

Third: at one point, I thought of Mockingbird, because of the long, narrow tail with possible white edges, but thought better of it because mockingbirds should not be here at all -- especially a flock.  I did not see the black and white wing markings of a mockingbird, either.

Fourth: Somehow, Townsend's Solitaire suggested itself after they were gone, so I was not able to concentrate on looking for the wing pattern.  But, would they be in lowlands this time of year?  I do not know that species well at all, having only had brief sightings, years apart.  There were some thrush- or robin-like songs going on; but there are various birds that sound like robins to me; I am not as good at birding by ear.

In light of this new information, does anyone have additional suggestions?

Jason Hernandez
jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

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