Sunday, January 27, 2013

Searching for Flycatchers, Finding Kingbirds

Have been hearing an Ash-throated Flycatcher was haging out at Lust Road for a while. The last time I was there a couple of weeks ago it was getting near dark and I didn't not find it. I had a short window to head back there after banding so off I went. Again, no flycatcher. I did easily locate the reported Western Kingbird, though.

Western Kingbird

The Kingbird flew off every time I got too close in the van so I parked at the gate and walked the road. A Sharp-shinned Hawk bolted out in front of me along the way and flushed any birds at that end. Halfway down the road, the Kingbird flew over near me and landed on another wire.

Western Kingbird

Out over the fields I noticed my first Northern Harrier of the year.

Northern Harrier

A few sparrows, like this Savannah Sparrow, flew around in the low grass and through the chain-link fences.

Savannah Sparrow

I completed a full walk up and back but still could not find the Ash-throated Flycatcher. Gray Catbirds were getting loud and feeding on the trees just beyond the gate.

Gray Catbird

I was about to leave when I saw the Kingbird land nearby again so I decided to take one more shot. Oddly, when I was on foot, the bird was a lot more approachable. Even when I had to make my way through some noisy grasses it stayed and watched.

Western Kingbird

I got nice and close, in fact. After a few more shots I left the bird to continue its hunting.

Western Kingbird

On the way out of the area, a Northern Mockingbird said goodbye.

Northern Mockingbird

Flycatchers remain a nemesis species for me. Sigh.

The Great Backyard Bird Count for 2013 is February 15-18th.
Click the icon to learn more!

Great Backyard Bird Count

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