Yes, interesting. When Lois & I first spotted the WIFL on Thursday, both it and 2 PSFL were staying pretty low in the willow patch. In fact, at one point, there was a bit of a kerfluffle between one PSFL and the WIFL. I was also a bit surprised to see in my photos unmistakable signs that the WIFL had been eating the blackberries that ramble through the willows. I had thought of them as insect eaters only.
From: <mbbirds...> [mailto:<mbbirds...>] On Behalf Of Glen Tepke
Sent: Sunday, September 6, 2020 3:27 PM
To: Laura Paulson
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] WIFL
That's interesting - I think of PSFLs as birds of the understory, favoring smaller trees and lower branches of large trees, though not necessarily as close to the ground as the bird today was staying. And, of course, there are always exceptions. Perhaps the difference is that Oregon spruce forests have less understory that is good for flycatching? Maybe the PSFL I saw today was staying especially low to avoid conflicts with the WIFL. Or maybe it was just trying to stay out of the sun on a hot day. I saw the WIFL sitting with it's beak open - see attached photo - which I think is a cooling mechanism, but didn't see the PSFL doing that.
On 9/6/2020 1:27 PM, Laura Paulson wrote:
This behavioral comment is interesting to me. I spend the summers in Oregon with many Pacific Slope Flycatchers but mostly only hear them because they are high in the spruce trees. When one comes down to eye level it is always a treat.
The (or another) Willow Flycatcher continued at Lighthouse SB in Santa Cruz mid-day today. It was flycatching on the north side of the aforementioned eastern willow patch, not far from the northeast corner, around a very tall cedar(?) with a striking silver trunk. A Pacific-slope Flycatcher foraging in the same area valiantly tried to distract me from my target, but behavioral differences gave it away - the PSFL tended to stay in the lower 2/3 of the willows, while the WIFL tended to stay near the top - they go low, we go high.
Sharon and Lois's WILLOW FLYCATCHER continues in the Lighthouse SB fields as of this morning approx 10:45a. In the northwest quadrant of the fields there are 2 large willow patches and it was flycatching out of the the eastern patch, southeastern corner (the side with more large cypress).
Feels like migration is in full swing this week! Enjoy!