Monday, November 3, 2014

Prospect :possible HAMMONDS FLYCATCHER

Spotted by Rob Jett n
 This possible unconfirmed western
species was seen above the well house along that the. Southwest stairs junction . Read the posts below from NY SBIRDS

Subject: Prospect Park Empid From: Sean Sime <> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 20:26:59 -0500 X-Message-Number: 4

I received a text mid afternoon from Rob Jett about an Empidonax flycatcher on Lookout Hill in Prospect Park. As soon as the text came through another came saying the bird was no longer in view. After 4pm the bird was refound and I stopped by and was able to get some marginal photographs in the 10-15 minutes or so before it was too dark to photograph.

The images can be seen at this link;

In the field the bird seemed kinglet like and small. The bill appeared almost completely dark and very short and thin. The eyering was broader behind the eye, but not incredibly so. In certain light the head was quite gray and offset against a more greenish back. In other light the bird seemed monotone. The breast seemed "dirty" on the sides of the chest with yellow tones beneath.

The discussion between Least and possible Hammond's came into play as well as another western empid. The ID was left at empid sp. I will try to add some images to the album, but unfortunately, they will all be at this distance and of this (lack of) quality.

Good birding,

Sean Sime Brooklyn, NY


Subject: Re: Prospect Park Empid From: Rob Jett <> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 22:09:45 -0500 X-Message-Number: 6

First, a big thanks to Sean for posting to the list and linking his photos. Both Sean and Heydi Lopes bolted into the park in response to my tweet and texts, managing to capture a few decent photos of the flycatcher (Heydi's pics are here - ).

In response to Hugh, the bird never vocalized, but did perch and seem interested for a few moments when I played the call of a Hammond's Flycatcher. Over the course of a couple of hours I briefly played several other possible species, including Least Flycatcher, with no perceivable reaction. Just to add to Sean's description, from my perspective the bird's feeding behavior was more reminiscent of a kinglet's hyperactive flittering than the expected northeastern empidonax flycatchers. I apologize for not posting anything sooner, but the bird disappeared after my first, very brief observation and it took me over an hour to relocate it. The next problem was the inevitable November empid ID conundrum. Any opinions are certainly welcome.

If you go looking for this bird I created a Google map here:

The bird was feeding mostly in the mid-story close to the stairways at the south end of the Wellhouse Path on Lookout Hill in Prospect Park. The closest access to this section of the park is at Prospect Park Southwest and Vanderbilt Street.

Good birding,

Rob @thecitybirder