Many came, almost all left disappointed

Richard Bradus

Quite the scene at El Polin this morning through early afternoon. Despite many observers combing the area for hours, only a couple of our younger colleagues got a view of the Philadelphia Vireo, and that only via a (not recommended) jaunt up the Tennessee creek watershed (off trail).

Be aware that there is a potentially confusing Warbling Vireo in the area that shows more than the usual yellow underparts and a somewhat bold facial pattern, but it is NOT the Philly, which is quite yellow and has the characteristic black line extending though the eye across the lores. Also, there were a couple of reports of a supposed Red-naped Sapsucker yesterday, but the bird I saw well yesterday and that many observers saw this morning was a pretty typical Red-breasted Sapsucker - I don't know what may have caused the confusion.

There were some consolations for the crowd, despite the secretive Philly, including a rather vocal House Wren, a couple of late remaining Swainson's Thrush and a continuing raptor show including two species each of falcons, buteos and accipiters (including a sharpie that again made a couple of quick hunting passes through the restored willow/underbrush habitat). And - whew - reasonable temperature!

Wishing whomever wants to give it a go better luck than I have had.

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

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