Empire at El Polin - Sheesh (Empid!)

Richard Bradus

Thanks to Brian Fitch for his full description, and David for his photos.
(And please excuse the mobile phone "error" correction that turned empid into Empire).

While I'm clearly no expert on empid ID (and may therefore risk embarrassing myself further here), I believe it was a Dusky Flycatcher as well. It had an obviously long tail and shortish wings - and a short primary projection in my view. We had some difference of opinion regarding the relative size and shape of the head, but it did not appear to show any crest (as might be expected with Hammond's), nor any clear difference between the gray of the head and the back. The breast appeared rather plain, not yellow like the Pac-slopes this time of year, and without the Hammond's vest. The small beak confused me a bit as it appeared to be rather yellowish on the lower mandible, but it was clearly narrower and darker than Pac-slope or others.

If only these puzzlers would vocalize!

Anyway, much thanks to David and Brian for their expertise. We may not have gotten to see the Black-chinned, but persistence (right after I had bemoaned the fact that I'm always too late for these things) sure paid off in seeing another wonderful species. David also saw another interesting empid, briefly, so they are out there. Hopefully some more discoveries await!

Happy spring birding to all!

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

On Monday, May 9, 2022, 11:32:54 AM PDT, Richard Bradus via groups.io <grizzledjay@...> wrote:

No Black-chinned, but David, Brian and I saw an interesting empid just above the spring. First impressions: Hamsky (either Hammond’s or Dusky) - did not vocalize.