Thursday, June 23, 2011

Olive-sided Flycatcher

One of the great things about being a novice at anything is that the experiences are filled with "firsts."  Today I have two firsts:  First, the sighting of an Olive-sided Flycatcher and second, posting another bird watcher's photos.

Catherine Barrett and I took what was intended to be a half-day trip to Renews to enjoy the wave of Spring birds that have landed on our island.  We stopped in the usual places and ended up at Bear Cove Point Road in Renews.  The weather was somewhat better than we have been experiencing so we were out of the car a lot. We went to the end of the road and began to work our way back.
Sometimes birds just appear at the right time and place. Having seen a number of Yellow-bellied Flycatchers (pictured below), we spotted a different flycatcher perched atop a branch. Inching the car as close as possible without flushing the bird, Catherine was able to get a couple of record shots before I got out of the car and attempted to hide behind it to get a picture. It was not to be. The bird flew.
Within moments Catherine had the field guide out and was viewing the picture of the Olive-sided Flycatcher. We both felt confident that our bird was this uncommon bird but waited to have it verified before posting the sighting.

I reviewed the postings on the Discussion Group for previous sightings of this bird that has been on the endangered species list since 2007. All sightings, with the exception of one, were in Central or Western Newfoundland. The one posting of an Olive-sided Flycatcher reported a sighting near Jone's Pond in Middle Cove in 2005. It is very clear that we had a special treat on this day to have found a new "life" bird for both of us and on the Avalon Peninsula, to boot!
The other highlight of the day was seeing several Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. Catherine skirted through the woods and came out with these great pictures of the little birds.
At one point we came upon a group of three Yellow-bellied Flycatchers quite some distance from the road flitting around and chasing each other. It was remarkable how big they looked and how green.
We watched them for some time but they never really came close. We did have great looks with binoculars though.
This one just appeared on the power line as we were driving out of the road. A trip on Bear Cove Point Road is always filled with treasures and delights. Before we knew it the hands of time had moved well past noon and we forced ourselves to leave bird country and head back to St. John's with a sense of accomplishment over having seen the Olive-sided Flycatcher and anticipation to have the pictures confirmed.

I would like to thank Catherine for sharing her pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment