Challenging Fall Migrants - 07 Sep 2021
With Robin in class this afternoon I took the opportunity to walk the trails at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and Lake Erie Metropark. It was overcast and hot with winds beating on the tops of trees. I could only hope the birds were lower in the canopy today.
The short loop at DRIWR was a bit slow, but a sudden break in the clouds brought out a pair of Robber Flies connected at their tails. I initially thought they were dragonflies.
At the edge of the boardwalk a small flock of warblers suddenly appeared. They were backlit and moving fast through the underbrush so it was a case of shoot now and ID later. Cape May Warblers! I was lucky enough to get a bright yellow male w/ gray cheek patch, heavy chest streaking and slightly decurved bill with distinct dark eyeline extending to back of head.
A pair of Red-eyed Vireos were easy enough to ID. That dark eyeline is distinctive even if the eyes are not apparently red.
Perhaps my best bird of the afternoon came a few minutes later when a small flycatcher sat quietly overhead almost directly in front of the late afternoon Sun and haze. The yellow wash and bright eye ring gave me a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher!