Monday Morning Mystery Mussel
Friday's Fyke Meeting: Kumar Patel on Panama!

Monday Morning Mystery Bird

A local birder writes:

A little while ago, I looked out the back door and caught glimpse of a bird which proceeded to go under a hosta and then disappear into my neighbor's yard.

It was a split second look but I was struck by very dark and thick black stripes along the outer edges of its wings and very dark black stripes from front to back on its head.

I can't swear by it, but it appeared gray with a light breast. It was standing sideways and had a slender profile with a bill that wasn't short.

It hopped over to the hosta before disappearing. It was bigger than a warbler but smaller than a robin.

I keep looking through Sibley's but the only thing that seems to come close is a northern shrike and, to quote the illustrious Seymour Drakes, when you hear hoofs, think horses, not zebras.

Therefore I doubt it's something weird or unusual. Any ideas on what I can zero in on in a bird guide to try and find a bird that matches the impressions remaining in my head? (I know it's not a catbird or white-crowned sparrow, or a hosta la vista.)

Any ideas?