[Tweeters] Another nutso ID from Orcas: yellow-breasted chat

Josh Hayes coralliophila at live.com
Tue Apr 21 10:42:29 PDT 2015

I've been debating even mentioning this, because it seems so bizarre, but... what if it's right?

Anyway, on the same hike we saw the Golden Eagles, my son and I had a large warbler, considerably larger than the also-present yellow-rumps, with a black mask and yellow throat and breast. It skulked back into some brush and gave a number of short fluty phrases, about one every fifteen seconds or so, and then flew downhill where we lost it.

I started my birding life in Texas and the Midwest, so my instant first thought on seeing this bird was, "yellow-breasted chat", but then I thought, are you NUTS? Officially I put it down as an unidentified bird, but in my heart I'm pretty darn sure it was a YBCH. If anyone wants to try to relocate it, this was on the South trailhead to Turtleback, on Orcas Island, and the bird was encountered near the first bench where the trail breaks out of the woods and into the mixed open/tree/brush habitat. This is a terrific hike for birding: we had four woodpeckers (hairy, downy, pileated, and flicker), and three vireos (Hutton's, Cassin's, Warbling) in one ten-minute stretch. Just amazing.

-Josh Hayes, back in North Seattle

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