Merlin: Fast flying falcon, larger than Kestrel; pointed wings, slate gray back;
barred.tail. Bird emerged from hedgerow trees and flew swift and low to ground
directly Into other trees and disappeared, which is very characteristic of this
species. Seen by both observers ■'or 5 seconds in excellent light from 30 to 40
feet. —Jim Morgan
StiIt Sandpiper: 4 seen, +wo wi+h heavy barring on breas+. Long non-yellow legs,
and long, sllgh+ly decurved bill and Lesser Yellowlegs size also no+ed. Seen near
several Lesser Yellowlegs. —Steve & Sandra Calver
White-winged Dove: 100+ In trees late In the afternoon at Public Health Hospital
in Galveston. The ones in our yard all month were not around at all during January.
—Jane HamlI ton
BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD: Reported by feeder owner to have been present for +wo
weeks prior +o slgh+lng on 7+h. Very cold and windy day, bird was observed feeding frequently, each time returning to perch low, about 2' above ground In hedge
at side of yard. Large hummer, larger than Rufous and possible Black-chlnned
female, also present. Chased Rufous, but would allow female to stay on side of
feeder. Large size, green throat and buff belly convinced observers of identification. (An interesting note: both this bird and the Buff-bellied at the Cureton's
last winter were observed to perch very low In bushes. Does anyone know if this
is a characteristic of Buff-bellies as a rule?) —Margaret Anderson fide MJ
Sprague's Pipit: streaked back, pink legs; lone bird with Water Pipits in grassy
area. —Ron Braun
Oriole, NorthernCBullock's): Bird observed coming to humming feeder five and six
'times a day; only difficulty seen in feeding from this type feeder was in finding
a-steady perch, but bird apparently learned how to "hold on" while eating, with
only an occasional slip after the few days. Building activity on rear of house
kept bird away for several days at the end of February, but he soon returned to
his"-usual feeding habits. —Shirley Wright
Black-headed Grosbeak: a male Is being seen 3-5 p.m. daily In the yard of a nelgh-
bor In Angleton—where he Is being supplied with sunflower seeds. —Mary Reed
Lapland Longspur: Rattling call in flight; black tails with white borders, sparrow-
sized, walking through stubble; wing bars, striped sides and back, eye stripe and
cheek patch somewhat buffy; some with smudge of black on breast; seen at 100 yard:;
through 30 power scope for 10 minutes; familiar with bird from northeast coast.
SPECIAL REPORT TO THE CLEARING HOUSE
Abird I had never seen before is the subject of this report. Observed Feb. 20, 1979
at Boy Scout Woods, High Island between 2:00 and 2:45 p.m. approximately, in sunny
weather, using 8x binocs at a distance of 15-40 feet. Total observation time was
approximately 90 seconds. There were no"other'observers to my knowledge.
The bird was Immediately striking on initial notice as being an alI cinnamon bird.
Judging size from nearby Brown Thrashers, I woul put the overall length at about 8".
The rather slim bird had no belly streaking or spots, no wing bars, no eye ring.
The face about the eye was a bit lighter tint than the rest of the visible head,
which was a cinnamon-rufous color; the bill was a medium gray In appearance and rathe
vlreo-like, with the suggestion of a slightly decurved tip on one view. The
throat was the same cinnamon-rufous color, without noticeable lightening at the
throat, this color continuing essentiallyunchanged onto the breast and belly. The
undertail coverts were a bright cinnamon-buff, the medium length unnotched tail a
darker cinnamon brown, as were the wings. The rump was a brighter cinnamon than the
surrounding plumage of the tail, wings and back. The legs appeared dark, as were
When first seen the bird was perched in the low canopy in rather erect, upright position. After a phoebe-like flicking of the tail twice the bird flew across the woods.
When relocated, the bird's posture was noted to be very slightly hump-backed, much
less extreme but vaguely reminiscent of the photograph of the Eared Trogon that appeared in American Birds of March 1978. The bird again flew off across the woodlot
and could not be relocated. No voice was heard that could be attributed to this
bird. I never saw the top of the head.
I considered several birds among the possibilities. Say's Phoebe has generally
rus+y belly and undertail coverts, but beyond that has little similarity of plumage.
Clay-colored thrush is a browner bird, lighter under the chin and has a very different body comportment. I also considered some transition plumage of a tanager but
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