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By ThomasB

This evening I encountered a small group of birds (maybe around 7?) that I didn't recognize. Unfortunately I didn't have binoculars with me and was not able to get close to them. Even being super rusty with bird IDs these birds didn't seem too familiar to me.

They looked light brown with a lighter underside had white outer tail feathers like juncos. I didn't notice any streaking or spotting but they were a bit backlit so I may have missed it. When standing and walking the bobbed up and down like a spotted sandpiper, and when they walked their head bobbed slightly, a bit like a pigeon or chicken. They were slender and had a relatively straight posture. Compared to a junco they were more slender, taller and overall a bit larger.

When I first saw them the birds that first came to mind were Townsend's Solitaire (because of the posture) and American pipet. When they flew they flew as a loose group and gave a short, high pitched flight call. It sounded similar to some of the calls on the iBird pro app for American Pipets.

These birds were on a mossy hilltop surrounded by arbutus and douglas firs. From my very limited experience with pipets, this doesn't seem like pipet habitat.

Any ideas what these birds may have been? I should go back with binos and a camera!

American pipits are migrating through the region right now and the bobbing motion described would be consist with pipits. I have seen pipits in all sorts of areas, the common theme being there is open space for them. If this was a flock, I would again suspect pipits.

Not confirmed, but that would be my guess.


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