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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

I was busy pumping water, cleaning out a ditch, etc., but sat down to chat with some visiting birders. As we were talking, a Western Wood-Pewee appeared, but flew off before David Hanson could get a photo of it. He expressed a desire to photograph that species, so I went looking for it. (That species usually hangs out along the arroyo adjacent to the oasis.) I failed to relocate it, but in the process I got a quick glimpse of a different flycatcher. I tried to think what it could be, and all I could come up with was a juvenile Vermilion Flycatcher. I didn't say that to David or his wife, Jan, because I was pretty certain it wasn't that.

Shortly thereafter we all saw it fly across one of the ponds, but still not a good enough look to ID. Then I saw it fly into the big cottonwood tree, but couldn't spot it. David spotted it, and immediately declared it a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher. I still  hadn't located it but his announcement sent me scurrying for my camera. Meanwhile, he and Jan got great photos of it. I eventually got a few decent ones too.

I think it's about the 21st record for Texas. All but one of the sightings were in east Texas. The other Trans-Pecos record was in Pine Canyon in 1997.

Quite a few people have come to see it late this afternoon and more are coming tomorrow. We didn't get rain so the roads are good. And I saw the Western Wood-Pewee all afternoon after the Hanson's left (without a photo of it).

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