Quintana Rd BLUE GROSBEAK & Swainson's Thrush

Rubba Johanna

Was in Morro Bay this afternoon and swung by the Indigo Bunting stakeout location. Saw a small bird on the telephone wire in the usual place for the Indigo Bunting. In the binoculars the bird was blue, but had rusty and brown in the wings. I though it might be an artefact of the light--then the bird descended into the weeds at the side of the road, where it perched for a long time, picking at seeds. The light was ample. The wings had strong rusty and brown markings. Also, the black marking on the face was larger and stronger than on the Bunting. The tail was uniformly black, with no blue. As for relative beak size and overall bird size, that's difficult without having the birds side by side. 

Maybe somebody could swing by there and verify that I was not hallucinating.

All the while as I was observing the grosbeak, a Swainson's thrush was singing in the tall hedge of bushes and trees directly across the road from the vet clinic. The singing was extremely close to the road. I went over and stood in front of the hedge where the song was issuing from. There was a gap in the foliage and I was able to get inside the hedge, where there was space around a tree, lots of dead twigs, and foliage only very low to the ground. I was within feet of the bird; it was singing loudly, but I could not see it! It then moved to bushes east of those I was in. I came out and watched for it. I saw it--or a brown birdy body that I assumed to be it--flash from one bush to another, then heard it singing, once again embedded in the brush. A most elusive bird, the Swainson's thrush.

Also had a good walk at Cerro Alto. No Kentucky warbler. Saw Steller's jays and Wilson's warblers, and heard many house wrens. 

Johanna Rubba
Grover Beach


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