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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 03:56   #1
djleahy
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northern rough-winged swallow? Pescadero Beach, California

There was a a decent flock of these, maybe a dozen, flying around the shoreline of the lagoon right on Pescadero Creek. They were uniformly very brown, so definitely no adult tree or violet-green swallows among the dozen swallows. I did not see a breast band that would have indicated bank swallow. However, from my pictures alone, it seems difficult to rule out juvenile tree or violet-green swallow. The throat is somewhat dusky, but this guy refused to turn towards the light for a better view. As always, with my long lens on my camera, I found it very difficult to get a in-flight shot.

Any thoughts? Based on my observations, I'm pretty confident that they are northern rough-winged, but I was hoping the photos would be conclusive on their own.
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 04:04   #2
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Hey DJ,

Agree that these are Northern Rough-wingeds. Juvenile Violet-greens shouldn't be showing up just yet (they're not born yet!), but other keys are that the primaries don't stretch beyond the tail and the rump doesn't have white on the sides (in shot3, bird in flight).
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 04:17   #3
djleahy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
Hey DJ,

Agree that these are Northern Rough-wingeds. Juvenile Violet-greens shouldn't be showing up just yet (they're not born yet!), but other keys are that the primaries don't stretch beyond the tail and the rump doesn't have white on the sides (in shot3, bird in flight).
Hehe, good point about the juveniles. A bird approaching one year would have fully adult plumage, I suppose? Also thanks for the other ID tips, I should be able to remember those.

I was also a little worried by possibility of a drab brown female tree swallow. But another thing I see in my pictures is dusky streaks on the sides (more clear than the throat and chest area), which seem like a pretty good indication for northern rough-winged, yes?
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 06:12   #4
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One of the three Bank Swallow colonies in coastal California is at Ano Nuevo, but away from there and the two other colonies, you're about 1,000 times more likely to see Rough-winged than Bank.
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 06:19   #5
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One of the three Bank Swallow colonies in coastal California is at Ano Nuevo, but away from there and the two other colonies, you're about 1,000 times more likely to see Rough-winged than Bank.
Bank Swallows at Ano Nuevo? Whereabouts? Definitely one my favorite places to visit, now I have one more reason to go! Thanks for the info on the relative abundance of northern rough-winged.
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 14:01   #6
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Just for comparison, I found a Bank Swallow just the other day in San Luis Obispo County. Here are a couple of digiscoped shots:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/almiyi/
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Old Monday 7th May 2007, 18:04   #7
emupilot
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Bank Swallows at Ano Nuevo? Whereabouts? Definitely one my favorite places to visit, now I have one more reason to go! Thanks for the info on the relative abundance of northern rough-winged.
I've seen them on the main trail to the Elephant Seal beaches. I understand their colony is on the sea cliffs, so watch along there and at the pond on the way out. Black Swift is also there in mid-summer, but they're late arrivals so they might not be there yet. The other Bank Swallow colonies are at Fort Funston in S.F. and at the mouth of the Russian River.

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Just for comparison, I found a Bank Swallow just the other day in San Luis Obispo County. Here are a couple of digiscoped shots:
Good job! I have yet to find a Bank in migration in California, although that might be due to a lack of patience to pick through swirling mixed flocks of swallows.
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