Post by birder1942 on Nov 11, 2016 13:20:55 GMT -8
Hi fellow birders. Spent two hours in the Abbotsford part of Glen Valley this morning, especially checking the great sparrow spot where Dyke Road meets Gray Ave. I was hoping for a White-throated Sparrow. I did find lots of sparrows, kinglets, juncos, Towhees, chickadees, but no White-throated Sparrow. Then a real surprise, an epidonax flycatcher. I managed to have four short but good views of it as it travelled from place to place. I ran to my car to get my camera, but then failed to find it again. I did make field notes and they are as follows: greyish (overall), no major eye ring, double wingbars, long tail; dipped its tail when perched. On checking a couple of bird guides, I came to the conclusion it was a Gray Flycatcher. What do you think? John Vooys, Abbotsford
John, a great find. A Grey sure sounds promising especially with the tail dipping. If it were a Hammond's, for example, which is the usual latest flycatcher for here (relatively speaking, my latest is first week of October) you'd have noticed a bright bird with a strong eye-ring as they'll be in bright colours now. Jamie and I will check for it tomorrow. With the warm weather there's plenty of insects around.
There's a few maps that show a different Dyke Road and Grey Road. I think Dyke Road, at the bend to the north, becomes Grey? Great habitat there. Link to a map of the site I'm thinking of is below.
Post by birder1942 on Nov 11, 2016 16:23:02 GMT -8
Hi Gord. You are right, it was a neat find and fully unexpected. It did not look anything like a Hammond or Pacific-slope, with which I am familiar with anyway. My first impression was the surprise at its grayness. The lack of an evident eye ring or teardrop caught my attention. It certainly was not a Western Wood Pewee. The tail dipping was consistent every time it moved to a new spot and landed on a branch. It was acting like it was finding insects to eat. Too bad I did not carry my camera with me. John Vooys
Nice find, John. Hopefully it can be found again. It appears as though Empidonax Fly catchers are all typically done migrating by now and none seem to have a more active urge to wander in late fall then others? So Gray Fly catcher seems as likely as any. The tail dipping is a strong characteristic .....to bad about the camera in car!! Nice find. Ed
Jamie and i have been chased off by the rain. It is hanging out low to the ground over manure and straw piles. I've spoken to the farmer in the past and he's super nice. Chatted with him today again and he has no problem if people want to walk in a bit. That said good views from the road is possible and consideration of spooking it should be kept in mind.
John two years in a row finding a Flycatcher in November. What can we expect for. 2017?
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)