Monday, August 5, 2013

Willow Fly update + armchair lifer!

On Saturday I went out to Gros Cap with Ken, hoping that the NW winds would blow in a jaeger or a red-necked phalarope - that was not to be but we did have 79 Red-necked Grebes and 9 Common Loons migrating past. Perhaps they are failed breeders heading back early?

Afterwards we made a stop at the Locks to check in on the flycatchers and after a brief search we found one. But wait - that's a fledgeling!

After a few minutes of watching we eventually found 4 fledgelings semi-hidden in the shrubs, as the adults came in to escort them away from us!

There was also another bird 'whit'-ing further back, for a total of 7 (3 adults, 4 fledgelings). Nice definite confirmation of breeding!

On another note, the AOU has published its update for 2013 and I get an 'armchair' lifer as they split Bell's Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow (out of Sage Sparrow) - I saw Bell's Sparrow in California in 2005 and a number of Sagebrush Sparrows on our CA/AZ trip in 2011. Past lifers I've gotten in this way include Eurasian Wren, Pacific Wren, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Eurasian Magpie and Common Moorhen (maybe a few others, these are just off the top of my head).

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