Rufous-backed Robin sighting at the 29 Palms Inn ~ Reported by Tom Benson of San Bernardino, California
“After I had made a loop around the property, I found a female-type Summer Tanager drinking at the north edge of the lagoon, but she flew up at my approach. I worked my way around to the northwest corner, looking out over the north part of the lagoon trying to refind her, when a Rufous-backed Robin landed in the small willow on the northeast corner of the lagoon. It quickly disappeared, but soon returned to the edge of the lagoon several more times to drink, and then settled into one of the palms foraging on the palm fruit for the next hour and a half. While I was keeping tabs on the robin for inbound birders, a female-type Painted Bunting flew in and landed 15 feet in front of me in the same small willow, but after 30 seconds or a minute, made its way out the back of the willow and out of sight. I got off a few identifiable shots of the bunting before it disappeared, but it was not seen again as of 2 PM when I left. After birders started to arrive at noon, the Rufous-backed Robin became more skittish and was lost and re-found several times as it flew all around the property. A Purple Finch and a late Western Tanager at the inn were also noteworthy.”
To read Tom’s full account visit The Birding List Digest: http://digest.sialia.com/?rm=message;id=937018
All images are copyright of Tom Benson
Notes from Pat Flanagan
One place the robin has been seen is on the lawn foraging with American Robins for dates from the Washingtonian fan palm. If the robin isn’t posing for a calendar shot, a quick way to distinguish it from the American Robin is the lack of a white eye ring and the vivid black streaks on the throat.
I’d like to thank Tom and all our visitors for sharing these incredible findings, and encourage everyone to continue to record these sightings at the eBird website (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/)
The 29 Palms Inn welcomes birders and is offering a special hotel rate for mid-week reservations. Enter the coupon code Birding while reserving your room online at www.29palmsinn.com or mention this special over the phone (760) 367-3505. Special rate valid Oct 27th – Nov 13th, 2014 (Sunday – Thursday)