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The Gray Flycatcher flicks its tail like a Phoebe. You will need more than
that to interest the committee, however. Look for a relatively long,
straight, narrow bill. Try to see it from underneath. The Gray Flycatcher's
bill has a sharply defined black tip that is diagnostic. See illustration of
empid bills on  p. 190 of Kauffman's Guide to Advanced Birding. (Our
regular empids have wider, more spade-shapedbills with more convex sides
than Gray Flycatcher). Also look for the short wing extension.  Sibley
depicts a pale band across the forehead on the first winter bird.

The "wit" call note is shared by several empids, including Gray Flycatcher.

I have seen Gray Flycatcher in Western Kansas, and there are several other
reports of it there. I have also seen it in Washington state and in Arizona.
Its normal range is entirely western, but it breeds far enough north so that
it is not inconceivable one might stray here in a dought year like this one.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Jean Leonatti" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 2:03 PM
Subject: flycatcher question, birding report


> We had an empid. Flycatcher this morning at Rock Bridge SP,
> that when sitting on a bare branch kept flicking its tail,
> like a Phoebe would do -  but clearly an empid. not a
> Phoebe; small, wingbars, and eyering.  After it flew I
> thought I heard a "wit" call note, but can not be sure what
> bird it was coming from.  Does any variety of empid have a
> tendency toward flicking its tail?
>
> We had several warblers, but only three that could be
> identified - Canada, Wilson's, Parula - all others backlit
> against the rainy sky.
>
> Pool 2 at Eagle Bluffs continues to have Stilt, Pectoral,
> Least Sandpipers; Dowitchers, Yellowlegs - but the numbers
> seemed down to me.  New additions were two Green-winged
> Teal, and a raft of Mallards; one very drab duck that we are
> still scratching our heads over.   There was a flyover of
> about 5-7 Terns as we were scoping this duck,  so we did not
> get on the Terns quick enough to identify.  Never could
> re-locate them.
>
> Several people have asked for directions to Pool 2.  The
> section of Pool 2 that is visible from the road is dry and
> planted in soybeans - so you will wonder why it is called a
> pool.  You need to walk about 5-10 minutes down the levee to
> get a good view of the mudflat area.
>
> Directions:  Driving down the main gravel road through Eagle
> Bluffs, the tan-colored pump house and sign for the disabled
> blind will be on your right, and the entrance to the first
> one-way loop will be on your left.  Turn left onto the
> one-way loop.  Keep driving straight (rather than turning up
> the other side of the loop).  You will see a parking lot on
> the right with a sign saying "pool 3",  keep driving; you
> will see a water gate structure that has a "pool 3" sign on
> it.  Right after this, you will see a mowed, dirt levee road
> with an "Authorized Vehicles Only" sign.  Believe it.  Park
> your car, and walk down this levee.  This levee divides Pool
> 3 from Pool 2.  In about five minutes, you will start to see
> water on the left, keep walking (another 5 minutes) to the
> end of the soybean field.  Then cut down left to the water's
> edge.  There is kind of a cleared area from some
> construction equipment, giving you easy access and good
> visibility into the Pool 2.
>
> In answer to Bob's question, my rain gauge in south Columbia
> only says a little over 1 inch of rain.  That has had little
> effect on Eagle Bluffs as of 12:30p today.  However, it is
> predicted to continue raining tonight and tomorrow morning.
>
> Jean Leonatti
> [log in to unmask]
> Columbia, MO
>
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*         Wild Bird Discussion Forum             *
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*    SIGNOFF MOBIRDS-L                           *
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