Saturday, July 31, 2010
I was leading some bird walks at Carpenter Lake this afternoon with Jim Bull and Leonard Weber for the Detroit Audubon Society. We were doing the walks for some City of Southfield program so most of the people had never been bird watching before. We weren't expecting to see anything unusual but it was fun to see the people getting excited about the Blue Herons, Cormorants, Indigo Buntings and Cardinals. I think its good to be reminded sometimes about how cool even our common birds are. On the last walk I noticed a flycatcher sitting in a dead tree across from the dam. When I saw the olive sides I immediately thought of an Olive-sided Flycatcher. My next thought however was that an Olive-sided Flycatcher would never be in southeast Michigan in July. I soon confirmed the ID, however, when it turned around and I could see the white spots on its back. It was lifer #342 for me, #254 for the state and #197 for Oakland County. Checking in my Birders Guide to Michigan, I realized that it really isn't extremely unusual as Olive-sided Flycatcher is listed as rare starting in August and today is the last day of July. I was pretty excited to see a lifer on a day when I had absolutely no expectations of seeing one.