Thread: Norfolk birding
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Old Sunday 26th September 2010, 13:57   #9764
Peter C.
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Originally Posted by Paul Woolnough View Post
Any thoughts of the bird being a yellow-bellied flycatcher now eliminated from my mind. Alder or willow then

Until you hear it call - or can measure the primary formula - I wouldn't jump, if I were you. If I - not an expert at on Eastern empids at all, but having seen all five species many times - saw this bird in the field, and did not hear it, I would say Empidonax sp., probable Yellow-bellied, and not go any further than that. If it gave a whit, I would say, okay, I was wrong, it's a Willow. These are never trivial!

Yellowness of underparts highly variable, and very strongly influenced by ambient light - just look at the differences among the various photos posted here.

So what I'm saying is, maybe the throat looks "artificially" yellow to me in the photos, and that is unduly bending me toward's Y-B; or maybe it really is very yellow (Penny's original observation), in which case it certainly isn't a "Traill's". But overall, field obs. of this trait - and the back colour - by an experienced observer, should trump the photos. (Unless they are detailed enough to work out the wing formula.) The camera often lies.

Pp projection looks really short to me, still - and I've seen a lot of Traill's Flycatchers. (But the eye is a lousy ruler).

Peter C.
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