[CT Birds] Swainson's

Steve Mayo rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Fri Oct 7 17:59:56 EDT 2011

Per Dana Cambell's post, we presumed a subadult light morph, but it could also have been an adult (perhaps even adult female) light morph.  
At about 11 am, Judy Morre noted a buteo over the oaks to the north of the Park.  My first impression was of an immature Red Tail, because of the lankiness of the wings (upon further inspection they were very long and tapered), brown upperparts, and a very diffuse band of paleness at the base of the tail.  However, all of the underwing coverts and chest were bold "white" in extremely sharp contrast to "black" flight feathers.  This stunning contrast was also noted by Dana Campbell.  I looked immediately for the head (I just spoke to Julian Hough and he reminded me that it tends to be in front of the bird) but noted no details at all.  The whiteness went "straight across" the leading edge of the wing; there was no bib.  I did not notice the undertail or undertail coverts.  
Upperparts were tawny or brown.  Fortunately, Alan Nordell was also on it with a scope, and he noted the subtle contrast between the light brown upper wing coverts and the medium gray upper flight feathers.  This bird was a considerable distance away, and soon turned and headed up and northwest over the Harbor.
Steve Mayo

--- On Fri, 10/7/11, streatham2003 at aol.com <streatham2003 at aol.com> wrote:

From: streatham2003 at aol.com <streatham2003 at aol.com>
Subject: [CT Birds] Swainson's
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Date: Friday, October 7, 2011, 12:05 PM

Hi All at Lighthouse etc,

Any details on age and morph of the Swainson's? 

Luke Tiller, Greenwich
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