This was a life bird for me so I came home to do some checking before posting. At 2:30 PM today I saw a yellow-breasted chat next to the Ravine Trail in the FL National Forest in Hector. The bird was first near the short wooden stairs that are just northeast of the turn around point on the loop. I was enjoying watching a RB Nuthatch when a strange cacophony started just up behind me, mixing sounds like a playground whistle, a blue jay's call, and the way a crow might laugh if a crow had a higher voice and was capable of laughter. I turned and saw a smallish bird flitting in a hemlock tree about 10 feet away and got on it with binoculars. It was bigger than a solitary vireo, which was my first thought as I glimpsed the spectacles, although never thought a solitary vireo was making those sounds and assumed I was on the wrong bird, but then it sang. Was somewhat backlit making exact colors hard to see, but had clear white spectacles, dark back & long slim tail, lighter colored beneath, no wing bars. It moved around and briefly fickered through better light, which gave an impression of a yellowish breast, but I never got a clear look & can't say I got the full effect of a brilliant yellow breast. However, having now compared the sounds it was making with those online, and noting the size, bold spectacles, and long thin tale, I am very confident of the identification. When I saw the bird it was moving around in the hemlocks and small trees, moving gradually north. It sang pretty consistently for 2-3 minutes, then fell silent until several minutes later it sang from further north and I found it again about a tenth of a mile further up the trail, still on the same side of the little creek.

If you go, there also were at least three hermit thrushes, two BT green warblers, a pair of scarlet tanagers, and ovenbirds (this trail is extremely reliable for these four species in spring & summer), plus a N. waterthrush, all singing at midday; among other common woodland birds like juncos & chickadees and both nuthatches.



Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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