Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wrapping up a Week of Phoebes; the Say's Phoebe

Apparently not wanting to be shown up by its less common cousins, this representative of the Say's Phoebe species but on a show for me last evening, wrapping up a week of seeing all three of the North American Phoebe species.

This individual worked its way between several perches, making occasional flights to pick off the insects rising from the marshy area between us.

The Say's Phoebe features the tell-tale, dirty white over orange underparts, and blurry long wingbars on a dull gray back. The Black Flycatcher is distinctive with it's highly contrasting white and black sections, and the Eastern can be identified by it's lack of eye-rings, wingbars or other distinctive fieldmarks.
As a flycatcher it helps to keep an eye on the little critters buzzing around the area.

Flycatchers are a welcome returning resident. Their repeated, short flights from obvious perches make for good places to stake out to attempt some flight shots. We'll see if that can pan out this summer.

Inevitably, the opening Avs, Sharks game in the first round of the playoffs went down to the final minute. At least, the game that started at almost 9:00 pm locally ended in regulation and didn't end up being a triple overtime marathon affair. Fortunately for the hockey fans in Colorado the outcome was good for the Avalanche, but when my alarm went off at 4:30 I decided that sleep was more important than another visit to the owl nest, and crawled back under the covers for another couple of hours.

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