Easter Empidonax

April 8, 2012
THEY'RE HERE!!! Well, one is at any rate. I have been waiting since the end of October to see the Empidonax come through Fort Sherman/ San Lorenzo again, and I saw my first spring migrant today.  It didn't make a sound, and I can't ID it, but I was happy to see it anyway.  Of course, the camera wouldn't focus! I managed to get a few shots.
I went out at 9:30 this morning and I think it was probably about noon when I saw it.  It was on San Lorenzo Road, in the understory. When I first saw it, it was hovering vertically to pick a bug from under a leaf low to the ground, then flew to a perch just in from the first line of trees on the road. The perch was about 15 feet off the ground. It sat there for about a minute and a half as I fussed with the camera. I moved to get a better angle and it flew off. Surprisingly, I couldn't find it again. I spent about 20  minutes moving back and forth and stopping twenty feet on either side of where I saw it, scanning for any movement and couldn't relocate it. I never saw it make a sound, but I did hear a call that sounded unfamiliar after it flew off and I wondered if that was it. It wasn't explosive like I get online and listen to all four of the empids that are listed as being present here, but it sounds a bit like an Acadian call I found on Xeno-canto. I don't have any disks so I can't download it, but it is under Acadian Flycatcher and it is Ken Allaire's February 25, 2008 recording from the Burbayar Lodge, Nsagandi, Panama.  I tried to stick  to the calls recorded in Central or South America thinking they may be a little different from when the bird is north.  Unfortunately, whatever bird I taped is not very close and my camera didn't do a very good job picking up the sound.  I will post the very short youtube in the hopes that someone might be able to hear it and ID the call. I think it is probably not identifiable by this recording though.
The four Empids that are present here are:  Yellow-bellied, Acadian, Willow, Alder. (From 2006 edition of Where to Find Birds in Panama by George Angehr and Dodge & Loma Engleman)
I got home at 1:45 and went back out at 5:00 to try to find it, but no luck.  Tomorrow is another day!  I'm trying to find if I can make my video sound louder on my Sony bridge camera, but I haven't found how to do that.  I wish they had included a book rather than a downloadable disk with the camera.

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