empidonax (from empis, mosquito, and anax, king) virescens (greenish)
Tuesday, June 21, 1988 — 9:30 am
Mayflower, Arkansas — Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area
We went to Arkansas for Tim and Velvet’s wedding. Since we had to go down anyway, we decided to make a vacation of it and stay for a week. On Tuesday morning, I drove the eight miles or so to Bell Slough. This is not my favorite place to bird, although I’ve seen some neat stuff here. On my previous trip, I saw two Cottonmouth carcasses with their heads blown off by shotguns. I figured where there were dead snakes, there were likely to be live ones. I was also wary of the weather. It was so hot and humid that I felt drained whenever I was outside for more than a minute.
I walked through a swampy woods, dry from the ongoing drought and into a power-line clearing. I heard a “wee-up” call behind me and upon turning saw an empidonax flycatcher hawking insects from perches 10 to 15 feet up in the trees at the edge of the woods. It was moving rapidly, flitting out after bugs and giving an occasional “peet” call. I heard the “wee-up” call two more times.