Monday, May 12, 2014

'Empid' flycatcher 'fall-out' in Canon City (at least 22 Gray Flycatchers!)

The late season rain and snowstorm that dropped almost an inch of rain and maybe an inch of snow at my house created 'fall-out' conditions that brought amazing numbers of empidonax flycatchers down in Canon City along with lesser numbers of other neotropical migrants.
I birded from the far west end of Riverside Ave including along that road, little Veteran's Park and the Sell's Lake and nearby parking area of the Canon City Riverwalk starting at 9:30 am. All but about a half hour was car birding (as I am trying to recover from a bout of bronchitis and the cold, snowy weather was not conducive to that). The real action with all the empids didn't start until close to noon and went on to late afternoon.
I saw more than 40 flycatchers, mostly empids and of them mostly Gray Flycatchers like the ones shown here. Fortunately they were all actively foraging--mostly in locations that have had irrigation water so insect activity (tho suppressed by the cold) was best in these areas. And the Gray Flycatcher just above got a nice worm. Though as flycatchers they sally out and catch flying insects in the air they also glean insects from bark, foliage and even the ground. SeEtta