While birding Fay Ranch Road yesterday morning, July 16, 2013, a
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER was found 5:20am-6:05am in the riparian
forest area south of the bridge over the South Fork Kern River dry
riverbed. To my knowledge this is the first detection in the South
Fork Valley since Ted Beedy's report of one at Canebrake Ecological
Reserve in 2007 or 2008.
This species was first detected in the South Fork Kern River Valley
by David Gaines in early July 1977 when the species was known as
WIED'S CRESTED FLYCATCHER. There was/were just one to a very few
pairs known there for years. Mary Whitfield noted an increase during
the 1990s during her extensive annual point counts 28 May-5 June and
28 June-5 July to where 10-20 pairs were estimated. Except for Ted's
2007 or 2008 observation, the species disappeared from the South Fork
Valley a year or two before. NOTE: This species has still been a
consistent annual breeding/nesting season visitor to Audubon's Kelso
Creek Sanctuary through to this spring and summer 2013.
To view my extensive write-up and view the complete list of species
and numbers seen yesterday for context feel free to open the link to
the eBird checklist below. It was viewed as very, very quiet along
Fay Ranch Road during this visit. Even so, the birding was pleasant
even though it required a higher degree of concentration and effort
than during prior visits this spring and summer to date to realize this list.
Bob Barnes, Ridgecrest, Kern County, California
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