Well, this was a shock. I haven't seen an Empid in over two months, and
yet here was one this morning in my yard in Cornwall, braving the
mid-November chill. This was one extremely tardy (and probably cold and
Here are the notes I submitted to eBird: My first impression was that of
a stubby, short-tailed flycatcher that suggested Eastern Wood-Pewee, but
the combination of bold white wing bars and obvious eye ring made it
clearly an Empid. Constant wing-flicking and tail wagging. Gray throat,
grayish sides. The prominence of the eye ring has me leaning towards
Alder over Willow, but this time of year with fresh plumage, who knows?
I also can't rule out Least, but the behavior seemed more Alderish.
Found in the wild raspberry patch between our yard and the adjacent farm
I'm trying to recall if I've seen Least Flycatchers do that constant
nervous wing-flicking thing, but I can't recall, and my field guides
don't note that for Least.
Any flycatcher gurus want to weigh in? Whatever it was, it was certainly