Yesterday, I returned to MO after a quick trip to AZ to see the first US record Pine Flycatcher. On July 6, Melody Kehl (and her husband, expert driver, Erik) led the excursion to the nest site, picking me up at my motel at 4:15 a.m. Chris Hitt, a Columbia native now living in NC, met us at the turnoff before the really rough road and hopped in.
En route we were greeted by a Common Poorwill flying up off the road. When we left, a pair of Montezuma Quail crossed in front of us, then posed as we oohed and aahed.
We had great looks at the nesting bird as she sat on the nest and made several forays around the perimeter of the clearing to feed, then return to the nest. Other birds present included a first-year Elegant Trogan, female Magnificent Hummingbird, Hepatic Tanagers, and nesting Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers.
Today I read the eBird report by guide Laurens Halsey that yesterday's trip (Melody Kehl also present) to the site at Aliso Spring found only the abandoned nest. A report from the site today did not include Pine Flycatcher.
You can read about the discovery of this bird in the July edition of the Birding Community E-bulletin (and subscribe if you'd like by emailing Wayne Petterson at [log in to unmask]
or Paul Baichich at [log in to unmask]
Melody and I changed vehicles and took off for Pinery Canyon in the Chicicahuas, where, about 12:15 we were successful in finding one of the Slate-throated Redstarts that had nested there. We had a Painted Redstart at hand to compare plumages, and also enjoyed a Red-faced Warbler feeding a fledgling.
Melody sends her greetings to the Missouri birders she's led on several occasions.
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