I've been seeing a tiny bird similar to Kim Maeve's, (where I live--South Bingham St, Cornwall). It has an olive back, cream breast with much brighter "chin", and no wing bars or eye marks (but no hood). I usually see it in lower bushes. I've been seeing it for the last month or so, and also in the spring. I've been through Peterson's and the Golden Guide again and again and can't find it. There are common yellowthroats here so it could be a female yellowthroat, or yellow warbler, I guess, but its olive color is darker.
My other mystery bird is also small. I've never seen it up close enough to see its color or markings. I saw it acting like a warbler at mid height in a red maple. It flew to a dead branch at the top of an apple tree and sang for a few minutes. The song was very wren-like, as long and elaborate as a house wren, but much more delicate--not nearly as loud. Its silhouette was not at all wren-like, though, slim and no raised tail. I have house finches here, but the song was much more canary-like than a finch (not goldfinch either) and it didn't have a finch bill in silhouette. I listened to all of the warblers, wrens and kinglets on Peterson's CD and all-about-birds and nothing matched. The ruby crown kinglet and the winter wren came closest.
Can anyone out there recommend binoculars stronger than 8/25, medium priced? I'm a back yard birder (with 5 acres of pretty good weedy, old orchard, bushy, bird habitat). This year there are a LOT of small birds passing through, (more than usual) emptying the birdbaths and gleaning in my messy perennial and weed gardens, and I'd love to be able to identify them. The only one I've identified that's out of the ordinary, for me anyway, for sure was an American Redstart and that one only because it was in a bush next to a window.
PS my catbird is still here too