Despite a life White-fronted Parrot being in contention, the title for my BBOTW  this week was taken by the Cordilleran Flycatcher Empidonax occidentalis. I am not sure why the flycatcher got the nod, perhaps it was the oxygen starvation, maybe it was in reparation for simply turning away in the past. My common reaction to any Empidonax is to pretend that I have not seen it and move quickly along in case I get drawn in to the fruitless task of estimating primary projection,  comparing wingbar contrast or judging width of bill base.

MEX 24May15 Cordilleran Flycatcher 05

Luckily, I was in a pine/oak forest, high on a Mexican mountain, far from the favoured haunts of the Pacific Slope Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis and the Cordilleran shone out as the obvious choice.

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The Cordilleran Flycatcher used to share the species with the Pacific Slope Flycatcher. They were collectively known as the Western Flycatcher and all was well until some Clever Dick (with an eye for differences that cannot reliably be quantified in the field and a refined ear that could differentiate between “ps-SEET, ptsick, seet!” and “ps-SEET, ptsick, seet!”) suggested that they should be separated.

MEX 24May15 Cordilleran Flycatcher 04

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MEX 24May15 Cordilleran Flycatcher 03

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Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.