Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Name That Empid

(Update, 2:30pm: It didn't take long for some to point out that I had originally posted a pic of a Townsend's Solitaire. I should have known I'd embarrass myself somehow.

Anyway, I've updated the images and text to discuss the other bird I saw that day, which I know is an Empid. Otherwise, everything else is the same.)

While browsing my photo collection I came across a photo that I had previously forgotten about. Back in September on the same day that I drove out to Prewitt Reservoir to see the Curlew Sandpiper, I also drove up to Crow Valley Campground mid-day to check out the migrant situation. After a short walk I found an Empidonax flycatcher, although at the time I wasn't able to positively identify it. But I had just purchased my Canon Digital Rebel XT and with a little chasing I got some good shots of it, and hoped to figure out what it was after I got home.

But for whatever reason I filed the photos on my new laptop in a completely different directory from all the other bird pics, and so it remained unseen until yesterday's re-discovery. Looking at the pics now, I can see that in fact I saw two different Empid flycatchers. One of them is shown here (the one for which I have the better shot), and I'm hoping I can solicit some ideas on which one it was, even though these pics are far from ideal. It'll be interesting to see if someone more confident in their Empid ID skills suggests the same bird(s) I'm thinking. Any ID pros out there want to take a stab at it?

There are really just two pics here - each pair consists of an original shot and a zoom-in to show just the bird.

Oh yeah, before I forget - these were taken early afternoon on Sept 19, 2005. Crow Valley Campground is a small riparian "migrant trap" amid farmland and shortgrass prairie located in Weld County, about 60 miles east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern Colorado. The bird was (not surprisingly) silent.

If we can nail this down, I'll put up the pics for the other bird, for a real challenge. :^)

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