[va-bird] Empidonax (Least Flycatcher?) at Sunrise Valley Park
- From: "Andy Rabin" <andyrabin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: "vabird" <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 23:10:04 -0400
I spent about an hour and a half before sunset at the park (Reston, Fairfax County) this evening. Highlights were: * Empidonax flycatcher (described below) * Eastern Kingbird * 8 Solitary Sandpipers - 6 in the ditch in front of the smaller parking garage * 2 Killdeer * some goslings * 14 ducklings * many visible and vocal towhees * an Eastern Phoebe with obvious black flanks - I've seen this bird twice now. Both times flying under the far end of the boardwalk, where I'm guessing it is working on a nest, so it should be easy to relocate. Any idea why it would have this coloration? I saw the flycatcher when I first arrived at the park. It was in a willow just before the boardwalk to the left of the path. I saw it up close (approx. 15 feet away) and in good light for about 45 seconds before it flew across the path. I'm pretty sure it was a Least Flycatcher, but I'm hesitant to make that call because 1) I've never seen a Least Flycatcher before, and 2) it was silent. Here are the notes I took just after it flew off (and before looking in any field guides). Any comments regarding a potential life bird would be appreciated! * prominent eye ring - wider in back than in front (probably not a Willow or Alder) * prominent bold wing bars - wide, bright/white (suggests Least, Acadian, Yellow-bellied) * closer to medium than to short primary projection (not long like the depictions of Acadian in field guides) * light/white throat (probably not Yellow-bellied) * olive/gray sides (I didn't notice any yellow on the underside of the bird) * head and back colored light gray/olive (consistent with Least, but I hesitate putting much emphasis on my perception of the drab colors of those birds) * appeared "big-eyed" (suggests Least?) * reminded me of a kinglet when flitting & flycatching from branch to branch - small, active, short wings, didn't simply fly out and return directly to branch like a phoebe, much more active in the air, flapping quickly I couldn't find much info on behavior in my books, so it would be great to get feedback about Empids' behavior (or any feedback at all!). Still waiting for the warblers to come to Reston, Andy Rabin Reston, VA andyrabin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx To unsubscribe, send email to va-bird-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.
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