Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Northern Rough-winged Swallows on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail
I took my customary stroll on the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail (still not completed!) this afternoon, and wasn't seeing a lot of bird activity, but the river was running clearer than normal, so I found spot where I could watch the water flowing from about 20 feet above. I finally realized that there were several small birds perched on a willow branch above the water. I zoomed in and got some pictures.
The pair of birds were unfamiliar to me, although their extremely long wings suggested that they were swallows of some sort. My best guess is that they are juvenile Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), but as always I am pretty new at bird identification and would welcome an expert's judgement here [Postscript: Silver Fox is suggesting Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis), and I find it convincing; see comments].