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Hi all,

A few thoughts and queries regarding the intriguing swallow at Viera:

There have been several reports as to the plumage details of the bird, but
few have alluded to the method of observation (e.g. scope or binocs, flying
or sitting.)

What about the time of day, lighting angle, etc.?

The bird has been described as "streamlined."  When I observed the bird,
prior to 0800, it was certainly not streamlined or slender looking.  It was
very much like the Cave swallows with which it loosely associated.  Perhaps
this is a function of temperature?

While feeding at this early hour, it did not seem to associate with any
particular swallows.  The flock consisted of 5-6 Barns, 2-6 Trees (two
before the larger flock arrived, 5-6 after they left), and at least 8,
probably more, Cave swallows.  After feeding  for a little while several of
the swallows began to take short rests on the dead vegetation.  At this time
the Viera Swallow would sit for very brief periods with any other swallows
(Barn, Cave, or Tree) not showing any particular preference.

During several brief observations in the early morning light the back of the
auriculars showed a definite contrast as did the forehead.  These
characteristics were obvious with binoculars and scope, flying and sitting,
at all times.

I've been thinking about the swallow all day.  I have no experience with
Violet-green, but I have seen Mangrove swallow in Costa Rica.  That was
during a six day period in which I got 209 life birds in a whirlwind tour.
However, I can't help but think that the rump of this bird matches well with
what I observed on Mangrove swallows in Costa Rica.

Why does a potential first US record show up when I am scheduled to work 70
hours in 5-6 days?  If I work 14 hours per day, I can be off on Sunday.
Will it stay until then?  Will I survive to see it again?

David Simpson
[log in to unmask]
Fellsmere, FL

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