With all of the rare birds sighted on the Southern Shore, Ethel Dempsey and I headed down to try to find them all. There is something particularly stressful about chasing previously found birds. The clock is ticking, and the birds are not always cooperative.
To remove some of the pressure, we said to heck with finding them all and decided to do a bit of "real" birding ourselves. It paid off.
Checking a few out-of-the-way places, we came upon this flycatcher. My mind quickly started going through a checklist: It was not a Yellow-belled...obvious. The next option would be an Alder Flycatcher, but the field marks just didn't add up. Now, the puzzle really began along with trying to get enough photos to help with a text-book identification.
We checked the guide and found the Least Flycatcher has a much more distinct eye ring than this bird. I thought about this bird all day, certain it wasn't an Alder.
Once home, I enlarged the photos and began digging into the guide. The best match seemed to be an Eastern Wood Pewee, with its overall color, darker head, and long wingtips. A Pewee is pretty uncommon on the Avalon. Not wanting to post an error on the discussion group, I asked Alvan Buckley for help. I was absolutely delighted when he responded with confirmation of the Eastern Wood Pewee. Birding definitely is an evolutionary process where experience helps to eliminate some species and zero in on others. This is only the second of these birds I have seen, the last being in 2010 and even then, I did not get great views of it.
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