[Tweeters] MEGA? RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL!? - Hell's Gate State Park, Lewiston, Idaho - Story and Photo below

John Hanna johnwalterhanna at gmail.com
Mon Dec 26 19:15:00 PST 2016

I think I saw a RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL (female or immature male) today. The
location is Hell's Gate State Park just south of the beach area.

Good luck and good birding!

John Hanna
Lewiston, Idaho


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Hanna <johnwalterhanna at gmail.com>

My story for today.

Have a bad head cold and feel achy all over but decided to go try to get
the Lewiston raptor run done anyway. Started off well with Barn owl and
three Red-Tailed Hawks. I got caught up on a small bird though. I was first
thinking Kinglet or Warbler as this bird was bouncing all around. Then I
saw a blue-tail! Texted Ben Bright and asked him if he would look for
warbler like birds with a blue tail. The birds he came up with and
everything on my iBird App did not seem to match. I did not immediatly
think Bluebird because of the size and behavior. Bird kept jumping from the
ground to branches and I noticed it once flicking its tail rapidly 5-7
times in quick succession. Missed sevral photos by seconds and got a blurry
one. Spent about an hour and a half trying to get a photo and then I could
not find the bird. Walked to the end of Hell's Gate and back and then the
bird reappeared and I snapped a quick photo. I was kinda delirious at this
point from my cold and forgetting to bring tissue to blow my nose. I looked
quickly at the photo and decided it must be an odd lone Bluebird (my first
for Hell's Gate SP?).

I left Hell's Gate and picked up a few more nice hawks including a
Rough-legged but a mile into Volmer road I encountered large unplowed
snowdrifts and was unable to continue. I was able to drive to Mann Lake and
found it frozen over. The road to the south was plowed to single lane but
looked sketchy for turning around if more snowdrifts were to be
encountered. I went north and then hills were pretty icy and I was feeling
miserable so I decided to head home. So I will not be able to get raptor
run results for December with the road conditions we now have.

When I got home I just sat in bed for 4 hours feeling out of it. Then I
went backed and looked at my last photo of the suspect bird. It did not
take too long to look at Bluebird in the Stoke's guide and zero in on a
different bird. RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL! I had looked at Red-flanked Bluetail
on my iBird Pro App but they only have a drawing of a male so I kept
passing it over. The photo of the female in Stoke's looks a lot like the
bird I finally got a decent photo of!?!?

Sorry no raptor run data but a good birding day for me even while feeling

John Hanna
Lewiston, Idaho

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