Monday, July 6, 2009

A flycatcher I could identify (I believe)

For all the United States based readers, I hope you had a good holiday. I had a short week in the office and ended up taking some time away from cameras, birds, and the outdoors in general. It was great. Today I headed out for an early lunch, and ended up with a newly identified life bird as a result. I headed down to the Bobolink Trailhead in Boulder to get a short walk in the shade before it got too hot. As I walked I stopped to get a few frames of a flycatcher. It was high on a dead limb, and as I shot I expected that it would be yet another dismissed as unidentifiable - it wasn't vocalizing so I didn't even have that option. However, when I got back and took my obligatory closer look I found that this flycatcher was different from the others I have puzzled over, it didn't have an eyering. After identifying that the Willow Flycatcher matched this description I compared the other field marks I could see and strengthened my confidence in the ID based on the many large willows in the riparian habitat along the creek. If anyone knows that this is incorrect please let me know, but based on the field marks and habitat I am confident it is a Willow Flycatcher.
Next I had this fun shot of a female House Finch back lit among the leaves. The lighting, combined with the dark green leaves in the background shows the two patches of molting feathers on her head. It looks like she had Horned Lark envy.

While I was on my walk I also got to enjoy a couple of species that I hadn't seen in a few weeks or longer. One species, the Yellow Warbler, was represented by a group of three individuals who were constantly moving between three trees, and singing back and forth. Fun to watch, but a photographic challenge facing the southeast.

One of the first birds I saw was this Hairy Woodpecker. I hadn't seen one in a while, and this guy just popped onto a branch a few feet from me at eye level. I got exactly one shot before the Hairy decided it was too close and headed off to a more distant perch.

So, a nice reward for some down time and a return to the outdoors.
2009 Count: 164
Lifetime: 175

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