Saturday, September 24, 2011

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher-a pretty vagrant here in Colorado

This afternoon I found this pretty Scissor-tailed Flycatcher near Holbrook Reservoir in Otero County, Colorado. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are rare vagrants to Colorado. In the bottom pic the bird has it's foot up to scratch it's head (best seen by clicking on pic to enlarge it for close-up view). More pics to follow. SeEtta

Thursday, September 22, 2011

White-throated Swifts making a feeding stop above Arkansas River in CO

The day after I enjoyed that wonderful mixed flock of birds in Florence River Park I returned to see if any had extended their stay. Only a few remained at this location. However, a very nice flock of around a half dozen migrating White-throated Swifts had made this location a feeding stop.

They sometimes flew quite close to the Arkansas River as they picked off the apparent abundance of insects on which they feed. Boy oh boy, do they move fast! Trying to get a reasonable photo was a real challenge. While not great (terrible back lighting so virtually no features) I think these photos show some interesting views of these highly skilled flyers.


The top pic shows their slender wings and tail, the latter pulled in and appearing quite pointed.  In the middle pic the swift has it's wings tucked in for very fast flight (not that they were flying slow otherwise).  And I think the bottom pic looks more like an airplane that a bird.  If you look closely there is a little of the the white sides of it's it's rump (just behind wings towards the top) showing--the white throat, belly and secondary tips didn't come through.

These swifts stayed over, possibly grounded by the rainy weather last week, and I saw them several days more. SeEtta

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Townsend's, another fall warbler

There was at least one Townsend's Warbler in the mixed flock with the Am Redstart and 'Western' Flycatcher in Florence River Park including this bird. Like the American Redstart it was flitting about foraging as warblers tend to do. SeEtta

'Western' Flycatcher-another good pic

This is just another pic of the 'Western' Flycatcher that is high enough quality that it can be enlarged by clicking on it for super close-up views. It is quite a handsome bird. SeEtta

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Western' Flycather in Florence River Park

This is the 'Western' Flycatcher I found in Florence River Park last week foraging in the mixed flock with the American Redstart I posted about below. The Western complext of flycatchers is the designation for both the Pacific-slope and the Cordilleran since they are so similar in appearance they cannot be safely separated in the field as noted in updated field guides. In the top pic the overall brownish mixed with olive coloration with darker breast band is prominent as is the distinctive eye ring that is extended to the rear of the eye.
Though the bottom pic is not of the same high quality as the top it does show other field marks including a long tail and narrowish tail, the suggestion of a short primary projection and two whitish wing bars. Do click on each bird for more close-up views. Naturally the bird did not call. SeEtta

American Redstart, a rare visitor in Fremont Co,CO

I found this first year female American Redstart in a mixed flock last week in Florence River Park. American Redstarts are rare in Fremont County and I think fairly rare in most of Colorado. I was fortunate to get these two reasonable good pics of this fairly shy bird that was very actively feeding. The mixed flock with which it was associating included at least one each Townsend's and Yellow-rumped Warbler, two empids including one 'Western' Flycatcher, lots of Wilson's Warblers, a Plumbeous Vireo, a fem/imm grosbeak species, and 2-3 Eastern/Black/hybrid phoebes. A Downy Woodpecker joined the flock for a while as did a Red-breasted Nuthatch plus a very large flock of Cedar Waxwings fed nearby providing a lot of background noise. SeEtta