Willow Flycatacher


Thomas Turner
 

I poked around Camino Corto Open space a little this morning. I had a Willow Flycatacher, which seems a little early. I don’t see hardly any others on eBird yet for the whole region. I wanted to turn it into some better empid, but didn’t manage to. It has that very liquid ‘whit' that matches my Sibley app recording very well, big body, flat head, and long bill. It was rather gray, rather than brown. 

The bird was foraging among the coyote brush and scrubby oaks, South and East of the IV elemenatry backyard, and just North of the nice riparian area with red bridges, which is itself just North of Tierra de Fortuna Park. 

The only other notable bird was a MacGillavray’s Warbler. Uncharacteristically, it was also out in the coyote brush where the flycathcer was, rather than in the riparian. It had the typical annoying Mac behavior, though, foraging deep inside the brush and being obnoxiously hard to see well.

Tom Turner

Isla Vista



Thomas Turner
 

Hugh asked me if I considered Gray Flycatcher. The answer is “well sure”, but I am replying to the whole list, because if someone wants to go make sure I would be grateful! Empids are empids, and I have seen Gray Flycatcher only a few times, and none recently! The bird did seem grayer than Willow’s I’ve seen in the past, but the call seemed like Willow. It was bobbing its tail down, but I seem to recall that character isn’t that useful. 

It was right here: 34.414317, -119.867509



On Apr 28, 2022, at 9:13 AM, Hugh Ranson <hranson@...> wrote:

Nice, Tom. Did you consider Gray Flycatcher?

Hugh

On Thu, Apr 28, 2022 at 9:08 AM Thomas Turner <habarimbu@...> wrote:
I poked around Camino Corto Open space a little this morning. I had a Willow Flycatacher, which seems a little early. I don’t see hardly any others on eBird yet for the whole region. I wanted to turn it into some better empid, but didn’t manage to. It has that very liquid ‘whit' that matches my Sibley app recording very well, big body, flat head, and long bill. It was rather gray, rather than brown. 

The bird was foraging among the coyote brush and scrubby oaks, South and East of the IV elemenatry backyard, and just North of the nice riparian area with red bridges, which is itself just North of Tierra de Fortuna Park. 

The only other notable bird was a MacGillavray’s Warbler. Uncharacteristically, it was also out in the coyote brush where the flycathcer was, rather than in the riparian. It had the typical annoying Mac behavior, though, foraging deep inside the brush and being obnoxiously hard to see well.

Tom Turner

Isla Vista






Thomas Turner
 

I and others tried to refind this Camino Corto flycatcher without success. Nonetheless, I am changing my ID to Gray Flycatcher after reading up on it & hearing from others. I didn’t realize Gray makes a wit call, but there are recordings matching the call I heard on xento-canto. Everything else about my description fits Gray better, including the fact that it was distinctly Gray, the tail bobbing behavior, and the time of year. 

Tom

On Apr 28, 2022, at 9:32 AM, Thomas Turner via groups.io <habarimbu@...> wrote:

Hugh asked me if I considered Gray Flycatcher. The answer is “well sure”, but I am replying to the whole list, because if someone wants to go make sure I would be grateful! Empids are empids, and I have seen Gray Flycatcher only a few times, and none recently! The bird did seem grayer than Willow’s I’ve seen in the past, but the call seemed like Willow. It was bobbing its tail down, but I seem to recall that character isn’t that useful. 

It was right here: 34.414317, -119.867509



On Apr 28, 2022, at 9:13 AM, Hugh Ranson <hranson@...> wrote:

Nice, Tom. Did you consider Gray Flycatcher?

Hugh

On Thu, Apr 28, 2022 at 9:08 AM Thomas Turner <habarimbu@...> wrote:
I poked around Camino Corto Open space a little this morning. I had a Willow Flycatacher, which seems a little early. I don’t see hardly any others on eBird yet for the whole region. I wanted to turn it into some better empid, but didn’t manage to. It has that very liquid ‘whit' that matches my Sibley app recording very well, big body, flat head, and long bill. It was rather gray, rather than brown. 

The bird was foraging among the coyote brush and scrubby oaks, South and East of the IV elemenatry backyard, and just North of the nice riparian area with red bridges, which is itself just North of Tierra de Fortuna Park. 

The only other notable bird was a MacGillavray’s Warbler. Uncharacteristically, it was also out in the coyote brush where the flycathcer was, rather than in the riparian. It had the typical annoying Mac behavior, though, foraging deep inside the brush and being obnoxiously hard to see well.

Tom Turner

Isla Vista







Dave Compton
 

Thanks, Tom. That's a good bird in Santa Barbara County, although it's more common in migration as you go farther east in California.

This is a perfect time for a migrant Gray Flycatcher, and way early for a migrant Willow Flycatcher. Of course, a lot of species are showing up earlier these days compared to past trends, but this is about 10 days early for the traditional Willow Flycatcher window.

I know people would rather look at eBird for such things, but a great resource for checking on issues like this is Paul Lehman's The Birds of Santa Barbara County:


There should be a newly updated version available at this location soon.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara

On Thu, Apr 28, 2022 at 1:10 PM Thomas Turner <habarimbu@...> wrote:
I and others tried to refind this Camino Corto flycatcher without success. Nonetheless, I am changing my ID to Gray Flycatcher after reading up on it & hearing from others. I didn’t realize Gray makes a wit call, but there are recordings matching the call I heard on xento-canto. Everything else about my description fits Gray better, including the fact that it was distinctly Gray, the tail bobbing behavior, and the time of year. 

Tom

On Apr 28, 2022, at 9:32 AM, Thomas Turner via groups.io <habarimbu@...> wrote:

Hugh asked me if I considered Gray Flycatcher. The answer is “well sure”, but I am replying to the whole list, because if someone wants to go make sure I would be grateful! Empids are empids, and I have seen Gray Flycatcher only a few times, and none recently! The bird did seem grayer than Willow’s I’ve seen in the past, but the call seemed like Willow. It was bobbing its tail down, but I seem to recall that character isn’t that useful. 

It was right here: 34.414317, -119.867509



On Apr 28, 2022, at 9:13 AM, Hugh Ranson <hranson@...> wrote:

Nice, Tom. Did you consider Gray Flycatcher?

Hugh

On Thu, Apr 28, 2022 at 9:08 AM Thomas Turner <habarimbu@...> wrote:
I poked around Camino Corto Open space a little this morning. I had a Willow Flycatacher, which seems a little early. I don’t see hardly any others on eBird yet for the whole region. I wanted to turn it into some better empid, but didn’t manage to. It has that very liquid ‘whit' that matches my Sibley app recording very well, big body, flat head, and long bill. It was rather gray, rather than brown. 

The bird was foraging among the coyote brush and scrubby oaks, South and East of the IV elemenatry backyard, and just North of the nice riparian area with red bridges, which is itself just North of Tierra de Fortuna Park. 

The only other notable bird was a MacGillavray’s Warbler. Uncharacteristically, it was also out in the coyote brush where the flycathcer was, rather than in the riparian. It had the typical annoying Mac behavior, though, foraging deep inside the brush and being obnoxiously hard to see well.

Tom Turner

Isla Vista