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Hey everyone,
My wife and I participated in the Lake Apopka Restoration Area survey this morning.  The two of us ended up doing Laughlin Road, and at the end of the survey, as I was securing the gate to return to the St. Johns WMD field headquarters, I happened to notice an interesting Empidonax flycatcher in the bushes and small trees on the public side of the gate.  I'm not a photographer, so I didn't get any pictures, but I saw the bird well and I played a few empid songs from my audio device.  Here's what I could gather:
Just by looking at the bird, I could eliminate Yellow-Bellied and Least.  The bill was way too long for that, and there was no hint of yellow below.  The breast and belly were clear, whitish.  The bird was definitely gray, or brownish-gray on the upperparts.  I saw it in good light, and there were no greenish tones in its plumage (although, granted, that's variable, and in other light, there could have been).  I couldn't pick out much of an eyering, and the bill was orange on the lower mandible.  The two wingbars definitely had a dingy, buffy wash over them, indicating a first fall bird?
To cover all my bases, I played Willow, Alder, Acadian and Least songs in that order.  The bird definitely came closer to investigate when Alder was playing, however it never vocalized back, and it was also moving periodically and catching bugs.  It also moved once when I played Willow, but that one I think was more in response to a bug it saw and caught.  There was no response to Acadian or Least.  After Least, I played Alder and Willow again, and once again, there was more of a response to Alder (perched on top of a bush, looking intently in my direction).
As I'm not a non-vocalizing empid expert, I won't call this bird to species conclusively.  However, I have reason to believe that it was a "Traill's" of some flavor, and based on the playback response, I'm leaning towards Alder.  However, if anyone out there who is more of an empid expert than I am or if you really need a "Traill's" flycatcher of either flavor in Orange County, you may want to check it out.
Again, the bird is at the Loughlin Road gate to the Lake Apopka Restoration Area (on the public side), just south of Jones Av. and near the intersection of Jones and Orange Blossom Trail (US-441).  It was in the vegetation before the dirt road that heads back up towards US-441, right before the gate.  I saw the bird around 11:45 AM.  
AND, just in case you're curious, the survey proper on Loughlin Road had a few highlights as well: a pair of both whistling-duck species, several Northern Waterthrushes, two Yellow Warblers, one immature Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, and my FOF Blue-Winged Teal (9), American Bittern (1) and Northern Harriers (2).
Good birding,
John ThomtonOrlando, Orange Co. 		 	   		  
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