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Category: Live from the Ranch


On the Afternoon of Saturday 29th June I came across a Myiarchus Flycatcher. Having not seen any members of this family here at Zapata I watched it for a while and took some photos. At the time I begun to the think there were some structural features that really didn’t fit with the only species that should occur here, that being Ash-throated Flycatcher.
I sat with the photos for a while and begun to look at the possibility of it being Brown-crested Flycatcher. A species that has it’s strong hold in Latin America and only just creeping into southern Arizona and the extreme south of Texas.
Realizing that it would be out of range I sent the shots onto Bill Maynard with my suspicions of its identity. As a Brit birder here in the US I only have experience with Great-crested and Ash-throated Flycatcher so I needed input from a native perspective!
I was pretty shocked when his reply came “It looks like a Brown-crested, you realize it would be only the second record for Colorado?!”
So from that point the photos were circulated to some very eminent US birders and all were in unanimous agreement with my initial identification.
Unfortunately the bird was not seen beyond 7pm on the 29th.
Although it was disappointing not to get to share the bird with others it has come as some prize for the many hours I’ve put in birding around the ranch. Finding scarce vagrants are, for me at least, one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of birding anywhere.
I’d like to thank Bill Maynard, Mark Peterson Tony Leukering & Richard Fray of for their help.
Hopefully Zapata has some more surprises in store as we go into the autumn period. Could it do one better? A new species for Colorado!?

Posted by Bird D. on 07/02/2013
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