Saturday, April 10, 2021

Down the mountain

 We'd spent the morning of Day 2 in the pine forest elevation level in Oaxacan highlands.  We spent the midday there too, trying to find Dwarf Jay, a bird whose breeding range is comparable in size to Kirtland's Warb.  It took some doing.  We would occasionally hear Northern Pygmy-Owls, but they were quite hard to see, and it took some walking around and craning our necks upward at different angles before Alex located the bird.

We drove around a bit and stopped for some activity.  Gray-barred Wrens were again calling form the treetops, but this time Alex was able to bring them down

We found Red (which again wouldn't stop for a pic) and Golden-browed Warblers 

Suddenly Warren and I had a jay fly across, it turned out to be a group of 3 or 4 of the Dwarf Jays, which didn't like to come out in the open at all.

I'm not totally sure what this next bird is.
Alex thought it was a young Golden-browed Warbler, but it's not a plumage that's in any of the books.

With success on Dwarf Jay we headed down the mountain, to a thicket of scrub habitat that potentially could hold Dwarf Vireo.  The Vireo's habitat was flooded by the full sun and heat of the late afternoon lowlands and we didn't see many birds, and definitely not the vireo.  A Myarchid flycatcher appeared above us as Alex was taping for the vireo.

I looked with interest since Nutting's Flycatcher is a bird that just reaches Arizona occasionally, and is differentiated from Ash-throated based on how much dark outer color of the tail wraps around the end of the tail.  On this bird ... it's neither, the tail's mostly dark with some lighter color along the feather shaft.  I realized it was a Dusky-capped Flycatcher, which Alex pointed out was in the background of the vireo tape he was playing.  Well, at least something responded.

Finally a little empid we found.
With the big teardrop behind the eye it's clearly not one of our Eastern empids, and I was suspecting it was Cordilleran.  I forget why Alex said it couldn't be Cordy, but the entirely pale lower mandible eliminates most of the other Western empids ... so, what's left.  Oh yeah, Mexican empids, because we were in Mexico! It's a Pine Flycatcher, a bird that actually lives next to, but not in pines, so perfect!

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