Today I had an Olive-sided Flycatcher in my Stratford neighborhood that represents, as far as I know, the third bird ever recorded in Stratford. It was perched, as the species nearly always is, at the top of a dead branch. I first spotted it through the trees as it flew back to its perch from the porch! This was actually an entirely dead and considerably tall tree, but I was able to snap off some record shots.
And some more photos from this evening...
It was flycatching though unfortunately not calling. It stayed in this spot until a Blue Jay flushed it away, but it did not go far, staying in the tops of many dead branches in the neighborhood, feeding nonstop. In 2010 and 2011, I and others were able to find an Olive-sided Flycatcher each year at the McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in the southern end of Stratford. Here you can see record shots of the 2011 bird: http://ctaudubon.blogspot.com/2011/05/olive-sided-flycatcher-repeat.html
As you may read there, the most amazing part of those finds is that the bird appeared on the same day in the same location, mere feet from the first sighting a year earlier. It is likely the same individual, a male, taking the same route each year. I have always looked for Olive-sided Flys on the snags in my neighborhood but have come up empty until now. This is a good example of how not getting in your car and instead walking or biking through a neighborhood or nearby park can yield some astonishingly wondrous results. It is a great time of year to stroll down the street with your family and friends on a beautiful day. No one else is going to be birding these areas and you never know what you might find. I will keep you updated on whether or not we see that bird return again on May 20.
All photos © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission