Cordilleran/olive-sided flycatchers above Collbran/Mesa cty
- I am accustomed to putting my scope on distant birds landing on some dead aspen while viewing from my porch at 8400 ft above Collbran. This morning, I saw a small bird alight and was thinking it was just another pine siskin. To my surprise, it was clearly an empid. Dusky flycatchers are abundant in this aspen (mostly)/oak habitat but they are virtually always close to the ground. Plus, I could see this bird calling incessantly and my duskys had shut up a couple of weeks ago. When I approached the bird and could hear the call and see the features more clearly, it was a cordilleran flycatcher--only the 2nd sighting I've had at this location in ~ 14 years.
On a hike to the nearby high country (the trail is nearly dry enough for the ATVs, and the cows get turned loose tomorrow-so this was my best shot), I was serenaded by an olive-sided flycatcher and many ruby-crowned kinglets. Red crossbills and golden-crowned kinglets were a target, but I failed to find them this year.
Also of interest is a pair of Western bluebirds that I've now seen for three weeks in my aspen woods--never having observed them on this property before. I could not discover if they were using one of my many nest boxes which are used by house wrens, tree and violet green swallows and mountain bluebirds.
I saw ~40 species but the remainder was as expected including the first appearance of brown-headed cowbirds searching for the warbler nests!