Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Great-crested Flycatchers Brighten the Morning

I stopped by Mead Garden to see if I could chat with a couple of birders that usually hang out there and see if any migrants were in yet. Of course, this turned out to be the first time the birders weren't there. Plus, I heard no birds. Only the whirring of insects all over the place.

I began my walk and made it almost all the way to the cement bridge when I heard a loud chip call above me. A lone American Redstart was foraging through the oak branches. At least I got one migrant for the morning.

American Redstart

I continued down the trail and found a Blue-ringed Dancer near the wooden bridge. Man, that thing needs some work.

Blue-ringed Dancer

I walked all the way down to Penn. Ave. but there was nothing of interest there. I walked back near the boardwalk in search of any more migrants but only found a Katydid braced against the foliage.


I was looking for a Waterthrush but the entry to the boardwalk was quiet. I figured it would be an uneventful walk to the butterfly garden but something caught my eye. A pair of Great-crested Flycatchers were silently foraging in the understory.

Great-crested Flycatcher

They came out for a few seconds but my first shots were taken by dialing in through branches just to get any focus. That orange-rust is so striking.

Great-crested Flycatcher

Great-crested Flycatchers are amazing to watch. I sat with this pair for 20 minutes before letting them forage without me. If I had time I would have stayed there for another hour. It was fun watching them glean insects from spot to spot and then come closer to me like I wasn't there.

Great-crested Flycatcher

But I had to head home. Sigh. Soon, migrants will be flooding in and the Great-crested Flycatchers will head out. They have raised young here, already. Nice to have a quiet session between us before they are gone.

1 comment:

Robert Stalnaker said...

The spores with that orange zig-zag is really interesting. Is that Great Crested Flycatcher a juvenile? It almost looks like a slight gape flange at the bill base. Awesome photos.