Monday, June 27, 2016

We started the day in Locarno, Switzerland.

Since arriving in Europe, we forgot that there were not just House Sparrows, but also Tree Sparrows (which look similar). We had been ignoring the many “House” Sparrows all along. We finally wizened up and started to pay attention.

The Tree Sparrow is first recognized by a red cap (instead of gray on the House Sparrow). So this morning while birding a local park, we spotted some red-capped “House” Sparrows. Ahah! Well — not so fast.

They turned out to be Italian Sparrows (A cross between House and Spanish sparrows) now considered by some authorities as a separate species. The Italian Sparrow has the red cap, but also has the black chest of a House Sparrow and lacks the black cheek and white collar of the Tree Sparrow.

So we are still looking for Tree Sparrows.

We also added Water Pipit to our trip (and life) list. The Water Pipit was split from what is now known as the American Pipit several years ago.

Tomorrow, we head north towards Zurich.

The trip list is 93 with 73 lifers.

Only two photos today.

Wood Pigeon, Locarno, Switzerland, June 27, 2016

Wood Pigeon, Locarno, Switzerland, June 27, 2016

Italian Sparrow, Locarno, Switzerland, June 27, 2016

Italian Sparrow (with breakfast), Locarno, Switzerland, June 27, 2016