Ash-throated Flycatcher – Cape May

Alex LamoreauxBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, General News and Info, Photography, Rarities1 Comment

On the morning of November 21st, Nate Fronk, Josh Lefever, and I birded a few spots around Cape May before heading over to the Cape Island Creek to try our luck at finding the Ash-throated Flycatcher that had been reported there off-and-on for a few days. It was a great morning for birding. The rain was holding off and birds were quite active. We could see Chris Vogel up ahead of us, also birding. In the southeast corner of the preserve, the three of us walked out into the saltmarsh to see if we could scare up any salty sparrows. We didn’t have any luck with that, but a flyby Glossy Ibis was a nice addition to our morning’s list. About two minutes later, I received a text alert saying something along the lines of ‘ATFL in northeast corner of Cape Island Creek Preserve per Chris Vogel’. I yelled to Josh and Nate and we ran over to where Chris was standing as fast as we could. When we got there, Chris hadn’t seen the bird for a minute or two, so the four of us began scanning the brush for the bird. About five minutes later, I spotted the flycatcher perched up in some tangles. We were all able to get great looks at it as it flew from perch to perch, catching insects and cleaning its bill off on branches. The bird appeared rather tame and was vocalizing occasionally. At one point, I walked into the hedgerow a few feet, to try to get a clearer photo of the bird and to my amazement, the flycatcher flew over and landed right above my head! I was able to get very up-close shots of this western Myiarchus. After we spent a while watching the bird, I just couldn’t believe how lucky we were that we were only a few hundred feet away when the bird was found and were able to get there quickly, and get on the bird very easily. Thanks again to Chris Vogel for finding the bird and to Sam Galick for getting the text alert out quickly.

Ash-throated Flycatcher at Cape Island Creek Preserve (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Ash-throated Flycatcher at Cape Island Creek Preserve (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)