Checklist S33630160

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Owner Larry Arnold

Other participating eBirders
Stationary
  • 2

Observations

  1. Number observed: X
  2. Number observed: 4
  3. Number observed: X
  4. Number observed: 2
  5. Number observed: X
  6. Number observed: X
  7. Number observed: X
  8. Number observed: X
  9. Number observed: 4
  10. Number observed: 8
  11. Number observed: 4
  12. Number observed: 1
  13. Number observed: 2
  14. Number observed: 2
  15. Number observed: 1

    Comments: This smallish bird wasn’t just crossing the water like a shorebird would, but was flying back and forth and circling, very near the water surface, obviously foraging. We knew this was a swallow, but we weren’t seeing the colorful markings, long tail, nor the buoyant/gliding flight pattern of BARS. Missy noticed a bluish hue on the bird’s back, and re-emphasized how white the underside of the bird looked, i.e., not a NRWS. Bird didn’t leave the area or stop foraging while we watched, and I followed it in the scope as much as possible, since it was our bird of the day.

    Overall, the bird was darkish above, very white below, and we could not make out extensive white flanks (sides of rump) that VGSW shows from above or when the bird banks in a turn. To our eyes, TRES can be confused with VGSW if not carefully noting the sides of the rump when seen from above. Our other typical swallow species do not look dark above, pure white below, and/or look drabby or have apparent field marks to set them apart. Admittedly, a Blue-and-white Swallow (Central and South America) in flight would look quite similar to TRES.

    TRES isn’t expected in Idaho until late Feb or early March. But Hagerman Valley hosts numerous hot springs, providing the Snake River with warm water, above ambient winter temperatures, thereby attracting species that might not otherwise be there in January.

    This swallow was observed again at the same location on the following day, and video was obtained by Pat (see Pat Weber's eBird entry).

  16. Number observed: 2