Mystery empid


phil Pryde
 

     About noon today (Sat.) I had a mystery empidonax  flycatcher working the small trees in my backyard.  The "gizz" on the bird clearly suggested an empid (right size, shape, nervous upward tail flicks, couple of wing bars, small "crest" near back of head, etc.).  The main strange thing about him was a small amount of faint, but easily noticeable, light gray streaking on the flank and upper breast area.  Does any first summer juvenile empid ever show any faint streaking?  The only flycatcher Sibley shows with streaking is the olive-sided, but OSFLs are at least an inch longer than this bird was.  (Sibley, unfortunately, doesn't show a juvenile Pac.-slope, although you could imagine that his painting of a first winter Cordilleran [p. 324] suggests some faint streaking. ).   As to possible species, this bird had a relatively longish bill, long enough that I'd say it couldn't have been a Hammond's.   Also, it was in the process of developing a tear-drop shaped eye-ring, maybe eliminating Willow.   He (she?) was very white under the chin, the back looked somewhat brownish (but the lighting was mottled, so I wouldn't put too much stock in that ).  No sign of any yellowish tinge on it anywhere.    It only vocalized once, a quick single-note "cheet".  
    So, can anyone familiar with empids, particularly juvenile ones, make any suggestion as to what was de-bugging my back yard today?   Thanks. 
    Phil Pryde. 
    San Diego 

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