Date: 10/21/18 7:50 am From: Stefan Martin via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: [CT Birds] CAS Smith Richardson preserve, Westport- Cassin's Vireo 'type' 10/19/18
Hey all, As some of you may have heard rumblings of a potential Cassin's Vireo in Westport on Friday, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few things. Patrick Comins and I met over at the 'lower' Smith Richardson preserve on Friday morning to discuss the upcoming projects on the property for the volunteer day on Sat, Nov 3 at 9am (should be a good day!) and were greeted by 100's of sparrows feeding in the plots by the entrance. After picking through these for a few minutes I decided to continue West down the main trail so I could check on one of the areas sighted for planting. Maybe 75 yards from the main entrance, I noticed a very drab 'Solitary Vireo' on the South side of the path and fairly low. The bird was very drab in appearance with virtually no contrast between the malar and throat region (huge pro-Cassin's feature) and a grayish head (vs. blue) that faded into the greenish back. The flanks were a bit more on the greenish-yellow side vs. lemon-yellow. I immediately began taking photos of the bird and noting field marks while Patrick walked up behind me. He asked 'what you got?' I knew by that point this was a potential Cassin's Vireo so I replied with urgency so he would get on the bird. We were able to watch and photograph the bird for about 3 min before it disappeared towards the NW corner of the property. Efforts to relocate the bird proved futile. The identification of this bird is a very difficult one and the photos are being carefully scrutinized with detailed feedback being given by experts from across the country. With this said, ID is still uncertain but thoughts are mainly pro-Cassin's at this point. I will be adding some photos and a description to the 'advanced bird ID/ Facebook page but at the moment, you can see a couple photos on the Connecticut Audubon FB page.