Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eastern Towhee at Quinta Mazatlan

I went to Quinta Mazatlan after lunch today with the idea of taking a quick look around in the rain and then heading home quickly. One of the first flocks that I encountered had 3 Spotted Towhee (a male and two females) and this Eastern Towhee.
It was great to hear this bird "chewink"-ing near the mansion later in the afternoon. The towhee flock moved off and this Tropical Parula came in with a flock of Orange-crowned Warblers. At one point it nearly landed on me! Later I saw it feeding on the orange bars by the amphitheater. The yellow breast is very extensive, extending to the legs rather than ending on the upper breast as in Northern Parula; the yellow breast is lacking a crescent (again as in Northern) but rather has an orange wash across the breast. The pale around the eye is more visible in the photo than it was in the field. I have noticed other Tropical Parulas here losing the pale edgings through the winter. This bird sang a few times in a large live oak near the amphitheater.
A quick call to Dan Jones and he came over to look for the Eastern Towhee with success. As we were birding around, this Broad-tailed Hummingbird appeared at one of the feeders at the mansion. Not the greatest photos here in the rain, but the tail had broad blue-green central tail feathers and rusty edges on the outer tail feathers. The throat lacked color in the gorget, and the lores lacked any rufous. It seemed to duck into the feeder when the Buff-bellieds were away.