Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Transmitting

I want you all to know that I carry you round in a little bundle in the back of my head, pretty much all the time. I spend an inordinate amount of time at work bragging about you (and my supervisor, btw, is totally in love with you all after you identified her little baby cedar waxwing). I pounce upon things I think you might like, and if those things happen to belong to other people, I beg them to share (just you wait until you see the rock I’ve got for ye!). And, of course, I’m always on the lookout for UFDs. I think my friends are flummoxed by the sudden bird obsession, but I don’t care. It doesn’t matter where we go now, I’m all I MUST GET A UFD FOR MY READERS!!! while also collecting mystery flora and delicious geology and pretty much anything else I think may delight you.

So when I saw this lovely UFD sitting on a transmission tower whilst walking around Brier, WA, I would have jumped up and down and screamed if I hadn’t been so afraid of scaring it away before getting the camera aimed.

Mystery Bird I

It was all like, “Wut?” and I stood there in the middle of the path, crooning, “Oh, you beauty, you, my readers are gonna love you!” and it was all, “Well, in that case, allow me to sing lustily while you try to figure out how to get a good shot despite difficulties with distance and lighting.”

Mystery Bird II

I’m so damned grateful for that 10x optical zoom. This little crooner was pretty far away, and since the trail is lined with impenetrable thickets of blackberry brambles and some other thick bushy bushes, I couldn’t get closer. Also, the sun was in a rather icky spot. But we managed.

Mystery Bird III

The bird helped by shifting around a little bit, showing off various bits, like that fabulous white-tipped tail. And it didn’t hurry away when I stopped shooting and tried to find a better angle. For once, this was a UFD willing to join in the fun. And it’s so patterned!

Mystery Bird IV

I’ll have to head back out there one of these afternoons when I haven’t got much time but can spare an hour or two. Brier isn’t far from Bothell, and it’s got some of the best birds I’ve seen. The place was crammed with finches (and yes, although you’ve identified those, I’ll be posting them one day. I got some very nice shots!). Who knows what else may be lurking up there? Who knows what the changing seasons will bring?

Mystery Bird V

When the little bastards are hopping away into the underbrush, never to be seen again, I curse the day you lot decided you enjoy this UFD stuff. But when I get a good set of shots of a very nice UFD, I love it. And I’m actually paying attention to birds now, watching their habits, listening to their songs as more than background noise. They give me something to look forward to on walks when I can’t leave the area due to time constraints, and have already seen most of the local geology. And, most important of all, it makes you guys happy. Total win.

Mystery Bird VI

Incidentally, if anyone’s interested in mystery moss, I can totally accommodate your request. I’ve got lots.

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Transmitting
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10 thoughts on “Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Transmitting

  1. 6

    Spitting image of Jeph Jacque’s Yelling Bird.

    That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the second picture! Although Yelling Bird is more likely an Evening Grosbeak.

  2. Rob

    I’d agree with towhee, but not juvenile. Juveniles are all brown spots and streaks, they don’t show the red patch on the sides until they’ve molted into adult plumage, and it’s way too early for that. The big white patches on the wings are abnormal, probably due to partial leucism.

  3. 8

    #7: Searching “towhee juvenile” in Google I found birds that looked just like that. I think it’s in the molt. We’ve had an exceptionally warm spring, although I’m not sure that makes any difference.

  4. Rob


    it hasn’t been a warm spring in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been cooler than normal. And towhees around here are just now fledging, so they won’t begin molting into until August.

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