Date: 11/16/20 8:31 am From: Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes <cth4...> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Really late Empid
I’m not great with western flycatcher ID’s but there have been several vagrant western species this year throughout the East. I guess, this time of year, and this year in particular, don’t rule out rare western vagrants. :-)
Any opportunity to get pictures, videos, and audio recordings (voice memo function on smart phones) in response to playbacks made to illicit call notes, will help in narrowing down species ID.
Well, this was a shock. I haven't seen an Empid in over two months, and yet here was one this morning in my yard in Cornwall, braving the mid-November chill. This was one extremely tardy (and probably cold and hungry) flycatcher.
Here are the notes I submitted to eBird: My first impression was that of a stubby, short-tailed flycatcher that suggested Eastern Wood-Pewee, but the combination of bold white wing bars and obvious eye ring made it clearly an Empid. Constant wing-flicking and tail wagging. Gray throat, grayish sides. The prominence of the eye ring has me leaning towards Alder over Willow, but this time of year with fresh plumage, who knows? I also can't rule out Least, but the behavior seemed more Alderish. Found in the wild raspberry patch between our yard and the adjacent farm fields.
I'm trying to recall if I've seen Least Flycatchers do that constant nervous wing-flicking thing, but I can't recall, and my field guides don't note that for Least.
Any flycatcher gurus want to weigh in? Whatever it was, it was certainly unexpected!
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