1521unconfirmed report of La Sagra's Flycatcher - Lakes Park, Fort Myers
- May 4, 2010
Received an intriguing report of a possible La Sagra’s Flycatcher from Lakes Park in Fort Myers on Sunday. The original message that was forwarded to me is seen below. I spoke with Matt this AM and he provided me with some details on the sighting to include the clear song, slight appearance, and overall light coloration. Hopefully someone in the area can go out and look for this bird, I’d love to but am tied up for the moment.
Matt’s original message:
“Hey, Soo, don't know where you are, but I don't have your phone # or any local birding contacts down here in Ft. Myers, where I'm winding up a short business/birding trip. You're gonna think I've finally gone off the rails, but I'm pretty sure I had a La Sagra's Flycatcher in Lakes County Park this afternoon. If you know anybody who might be willing to look for it, feel free to pass on this email or info.
The bird was in a loop trail that runs through a woodland on the northwestern side of the park. There's a short spur leading into the woodland, and then the trail forks around a declivity. I had taken the left fork, which is unpaved, and the bird was in a pine only about 50-100 feet after the fork. It flushed out of a tree on my side of the declivity and flew onto a dead branch in a pine near the other side. It was clearly a Myiarchus but also clearly not a Great Crested. I had no guide with me but noted smaller size, head with much less of a crest, almost no coloration on the underside, and no prominent rufous in the tail (the tail looked flat brown, a bit darker than the back). Fairly strong wingbars. Its call was suggestive of a G. C., but quieter, and without the ringing, rolling quality of a Great Crested. It called persistently for about five minutes, so I know this wasn't just a flukey call. When I got back to the car and checked what sources I had (Nat. Geo. and Bill Pranty's birdfinding guide), the description in Bill's book sounded exactly right -- "similar to the Wheep! of a Great Crested Flycatcher, but it is higher in pitch, lacks the burry quality, and not as loud." There were a couple of G. C.'s operating in the area, including one crunching dragonflies from a comm. tower., so I was able to calibrate my brain, and I'm 100% sure this bird was a different species.
I guess a Gulf Coast sighting would be odd, but it was blowing pretty hard from the SE overnight and today. Heaven knows there weren't any trans-Gulf migrants around today! Doubt anyone will believe this one, and indeed they probably shouldn't -- out-of-state birder, decent but not a great look, no previous experience with the species. Indeed, I would say this wasn't "countable" if I cared about countability. But I feelt certain enough that I would have felt guilty if I didn't mention it to someone.
I have to be at the airport at 8:00 tomorrow to fly home, so I don't really have time to go back to try for a better look.
Dull around here today in other respects -- I birded Sanibel and a few places around Ft. Myers. Indeed, the whole trip has been kind of slow -- very few migrants around, and it has been so bleeding hot that even the resident birds aren't doing much. Dipped on both Mangrove Cuckoo and Short-tailed Hawk, which were about the only two things I really cared about seeing.
Oak Bluffs, MA
41.45 N 70.55 W”
on the map above or found the bird was seen along the left path of the loop at the top left corner of the map (just up & right from the “d” on the word “Legend”) if the map is removed by the server, view it at the following link:
Good luck to any who look for this bird, please offer a report with details! This would obviously be a significant Gulf Coast record if confirmed, and more intriguing given that at least 2 overwintered in the Miami area!
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