Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tufted Flycatcher in Big Bend!


Well then! We did indeed get to see the Tufted Flycatcher this week while we were hanging out in Big Bend National Park. For all you birders out there, you probably know about this guy. For the non-birders...Tufted Flycatchers don't generally make their way up to North America. This is only the 5th record of one in the United States (they occur in middle/high elevations in Mexico down to South America).
This is the second record for Big Bend (in West Texas, on the Rio Grande) and was found about a month ago. We spotted him pretty easily - he was flying around like a hyperactive phoebe snagging bugs. (it was like a flycatcher rally...vermilions, a dusky and gray, ash-throated, and say's, eastern, and black phoebes all around). Really, really cute little guy. Quite the looker. I mean, come on, look at that crest!
Anyway, Zac and I were both pretty excited to see him make an appearance in one of our favorite places. Not a life bird (we saw one in Costa Rica in 2008) but new for the US. Very cool stuff.
(I shot these pictures with a rented Sigma 500mm OS. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that my (non-OS) Sigma 500 kinda crapped out on me. I kinda fell in love with this new lens). Bird Photography Weekly My World Nature Notes

36 comments:

Gaelyn said...

What a little cutie. Maybe it will still be hanging around next month when we go to Big Bend.

Mike B. said...

Congrats on the momentous find! It's a great looking bird.

ChrisJ said...

What an amazing find! He is the cutest looking bird. I wonder if any will make their way into Southern California -- not in my back yard I'm sure. We do have plenty of Phoebes who are so wrapped up in themselves in the spring that people around here cover their car's side mirrors so the Phoebe doesn't try to peck away at his image and make a mess on the car.

jason said...

Holy cow, Jill! Gorgeous shots. What a looker, too. I'm so glad you and Zac got a chance to see this guy. I've seen the flurry of reports on TEXBIRDS and wondered if you two would get to see this one while you were here. Glad you did.

dreamfalcon said...

This one is really, really cute! And congrats on seeing it anyway.

Out on the prairie said...

What a beauty of a bird, a very nice find. A new camera can be contagious, you will want it. I do it with rental cars all the time.

Larry said...

Gorgeous shots of this very cute rarity Jill! Great job with the rented lens, the bokeh on these shots is exceptional. I especially like the blue in the second and fourth shots. Flycatchers are so cool aren't they?

Don't Bug Me! said...

Gorgeous - that is all I have to say.

Dominic Gendron said...

Wonderfull serie Jill. Those image are special, the bird, the compositions and the backgrounds are awseome;) I could not chose 1 only ;)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

The clarity of the images are amazing. That is one good lens. Do you recall how far away from the flycatcher you were when you shot those pictures? Used a tripod no doubt?

Dishesdone said...

Your photo's are fantastic! What a great looking bird!

Johnny Nutcase said...

Thanks guys! I was really pleased with how some of the photos came out. The first few weren't so great but he soon sat on a lower perch with a beautiful background.
(Sinbad - no tripod, but I do use a monopod most of the time with the 500mm. However, with the OS one, handheld works surprisingly well!)

mick said...

That's a very cute little bird and fantastic photos too. It's always interesting to find a bird in an unusual spot.

Kelly said...

...what a sweet-looking bird, and your photos in the warm light at stunning. Love 'em!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow, oh wow Jill, how very exciting to not only get such absolutely wonderfiul, delightful, expressive, fine detailing, exceptional series of poses, but the fact that the rarity of this bird and there you were right on it...amazing and so happy for this share, stunning stuff...need I say more, I could go on and on;)

Seagull Steve said...

TUFLs own. I got to see one in AZ a couple years ago. I still carry scars from that facemelting experience. Stunning shots, as always.

Birding is Fun! said...

Looks like you got "the" photos of that little tufted flycatcher. Excellent!

Marka said...

Great photographs! VR/IS/OS is a wonderful thing, ain't it? Cheers!

Martha Z said...

He is so cute, this little guy alone would be worth the trip.

Kala said...

Not only are they beautiful photos, but rare ones at that for Texas. Congratulations.

Kate said...

Well, isn't he a sweet little guy! And, how special that he's decided to pay us a visit. Why is he suddenly hanging out in the US? Clearly I'm not a bird person but I know a beautiful picture when I see one! ;)

Merry Christmas, Jill!

Sylvia K said...

Beautiful little guy and one of my favorite places! Gorgeous captures as always, Jill! Have a great week and wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Sylvia

Carolyn Ford said...

What a cutie! Beautiful bokeh against this guy's beautiful colors.

Sistertex said...

An amazing capture and quite the looker, I agree. What a proud, handsome looking guy.

Benikos place said...

Best bird portaits !!!

Arija said...

Absolutely wonderful captures Jill and really the cutest little guy.
It is so exciting to spot a bird out of its normal territory. We once had a pair of bee-eaters here on the farm, more than 1,000 miles from home.

ladyfi said...

What a delightful shot!

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful My World Tuesday posting

Merry Christmas and have a nice week,
Greetings, Bram

Link to My Word Tuesday post!

Seen on My World Tuesday

Tarun Mitra said...

gorgeous shots...u did the right thing :)

Lily Hydrangea said...

These shots are amazing & this little bird is adorable. Wonderful captures & congrats on the rare sighting too.

Susan said...

Wow! How exciting!! Definitely would be a lifer for me...and that he sat and posed for you -nice Christmas gift!

Becky said...

How lucky, great photos!

A piece of news said...

That is really a lovely bird. Wonder why he's up north!

Rambling Woods said...

Looks like a titmouse kind of..amazing photos. So sorry about your camera. That is a bummer...

JSK said...

Absolutely gorgeous photographs!

Joy K. said...

What an adorable bird. It looks like the teddy bear of the avian world.