Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Willow Flycatchers - in the Sault!

And at one of my patches no less!

Since it was nice out today, I decided to head down to the Locks after work to look for some butterflies, as I had been down there on Sunday but didn't see much due to the cool weather and clouds. The butterflies weren't cooperating today either but while I was wandering through the overgrown field at the east end I heard a flycatcher 'whit' call. My first thought was "hmm that really sounds like a Willow...", so I checked it out. I got a brief look at the bird from a pretty good distance (didn't have my binoculars, just my camera!) and then spent the next few minutes playing hide-and-seek with it constantly calling before I finally found it, sitting not 15 feet in front of me, low in a shrub. Willow Flycatcher!!! It was carrying food too, and as I stood there I heard a second bird. They seemed pretty attached to a certain shrub and I suspect there is a nest in there somewhere, but I didn't want to disturb them any more than I already had so I made a quick sound recording (on my new phone - old phone couldn't do such things!) and left.

Willow Flycatcher is a rare breeder in the area, probably less than annual, although it has been seen more frequently in recent years. I only got my first one for the Sault last year, and that was just a few calls at night, so I didn't actually see the bird. This was also my 204th species for the 'Locks' area (Whitefish and South St. Mary's Island), which has a total combined list of about 220-225 species. On the second atlas it was listed as a 'possible' breeder, so I'm not sure if breeding has been confirmed in Algoma before??? Anyone??

Adult with food

The second adult, both were giving incessant 'whit' calls but didn't sing - might have to go back in the early morning for that.

Link to sound recording: https://soundcloud.com/david-bell-64/wifljul302013 (you might have to turn up the volume).

No comments: