I'm going with the Black-throated Blue vote myself. The facial pattern is 
quite distinct and doesn't match anything I've seen on a Pine - especially 
the dullest ones (which this would have to be).

As for the "likelihood" of a given species in winter, this winter is 
throwing any such rules on their collective heads. In the last month there 
have been parulas, Nashvilles, Cape May, BT Green, and redstart in various 
New England locations, to say nothing of the more expected winter warblers 
like Yellow-rumped, Pine, Palm, and Orange-crowned. Granted, most of these 
are in the southern coastal areas, but there was (and may still be?) a 
redstart in Brattleboro through mid-month.

Keep finding good stuff everyone!

Pam Hunt
Concord NH
New England Winter Editor for North American Birds

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Guthrie" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Winter Mystery ID

> My first reaction was, as Bob suggested, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet - based on
> general shape, color, and bill size. But the perspective and lighting 
> could
> alter those features as they appear in the photo. More clues would be
> helpful. Were there any additional photos - maybe some with a better
> profile?
> I don't see the facial pattern I would expect in a female Black-throated
> Blue Warbler, nor the breast/flank streaks of the Pine Warbler. In 
> addition,
> the overall color seems too bright for a dull Pine. And, the wing mark is 
> a
> bit strong for any stage of Yellow for me.
> I might add that my batting average at identifying birds from photos is
> pretty low. I tend to need a few more "live" clues in coming to an ID. Can
> we get it to sing? (just kidding)
> All that said, it is a nice photo and surely one that should yield an
> identification - given enough time and further study.
> Rich Guthrie
> New Baltimore, NY (and also Vermont - but not enough)
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Randy 
> Schmidt
> Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 3:36 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Winter Mystery ID
> I had a customer send me a photo of a bird that showed up yesterday on 
> their
> deck in Arlington, VT - Have had a couple of guesses at the ID, but 
> thought
> I would put it out there for more input.  Have had a couple of votes for
> female American Redstart, or maybe what Sibley calls Brownish 1st year
> Yellow Warbler??
> Any thoughts or input appreciated -
> Thanks -
> Randy
> The Vermont Bird Place & Sky Watch
> Manchester Center, VT