Olive-sided Flycatcher – Mute Swans

After missing the last two weekends to graduations in and out of state, which means I missed the last half of migration, I finally got time to bird Sunday.  The plan was to hit a few spots around Atterbury FWA looking for late migrants and waterfowl for the IAS Summer count which runs the months of June and July.

I didn’t find any late migrants but did come across an Olive-sided Flycatcher at a spot that usually has a Blue Grosbeak. And yes, the grosbeak as usual was there,  singing with about 5 Dickcissels. and I might have tracked the Blue Grosbeak to its nesting tree.

The flycatcher was only the 5th one I have seen in the Midwest and the first since moving to Indiana (Johnson County #207).  So the excitement I felt when first seeing it is hard to describe.  I always feel fortunate to see a bird that migrates through our area in such a narrow window of time. It migrates for just a couple of weeks around the end of May. I didn’t get in any hurry and spent an hour or so watching the flycatcher, getting a few photos, making a rough sketch, and taking several notes. It never called so I didn’t get to hear about any beer. Darn it.  So I drank my coffee.

First view of the Olive-sided Flycatcher. First thought was a Eastern Kingbird, then Eastern Wood-Pewee.  Atterbury FWA 06/01/14
First view of the Olive-sided Flycatcher. First thought was an Eastern Kingbird, then Eastern Wood-Pewee. Atterbury FWA 06/01/14
Little closer - vest is becoming apparent.
Little closer – vest is becoming apparent.
Not much doubt now - big head and a vest!
Not much doubt now – big head and a vest!
If there had been any doubt this side view showing relatively big head.
If there had been any doubt this side view showing relatively big head.

A few more photos from a distance.

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Not a clear picture but one showing the white patches on the flank that are sometimes seen on Olive-sided.

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Mr. Dickcissel kept making the flycatcher move from one of the trees.

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The Olive-sided Flycatcher would alternate between the dead limb on the right, under the clouds, sallie down catching insects above the grasses, and fly up in the tree on the left.  Then repeat.

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I finally moved on down to Pisgah Lake where there were two Mute Swans, an uncommon bird for Johnson County. I am always glad to watch them, even if they are causing problems elsewhere in the U.S.

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And a mother Wood Duck and her young were out in the marsh. Dig the eye.

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A picture of a Red-winged Blackbird I took waiting for the Wood Ducks to come out.

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And a male Bell’s Vireo was singing on territory at Johnson County Park.  He came out for about two seconds, so no photos.

I checked the Edinburgh retaining pond.  No late shorebirds or Blue-winged teal but I’ll keep checking.

2 Replies to “Olive-sided Flycatcher – Mute Swans”

    1. Hi Julie,

      As I stated I was glad to get a chance to watch it. I was disappointed it never called as I wanted to hear the “quick, three beers” call. I haven’t heard that since the forests of Oregon a few years ago.

      I like to show the habitat the bird was in, since it might help others recognize a similar habitat in their area.

      You ought to get to the Atterbury area. There is a lot of diversity if one takes the time to look for it. And poison ivy. I got the first of the year on my forehead Sunday going through a thicket to get a closer look at the swans. Poison ivy is a topic in its own with me.

      Thanks for the comment.
      Bob

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