I especially liked reading your article because I am fond of a similar bird who comes to drink from our fountain. In the North Sierra Foothills of California my favorite is a very small bird like yours with a bright yellow breast but brownish/tans elsewhere and with a kind of tufted "hairdo" that makes her look like she's wearing a little pointy cap. So far I haven't gotten it together to take a photo and I haven't seen her lately. Maybe she has gone off on the kind of flight you described. I searched on whatbird.com and the closest ID I was able to make was the Ash-throated Flycatcher. It's a very close match but it's not the exact bird. "My" bird has a bright yellow breast and no dark reddish color. In case anyone knows what kind of bird like this hangs around in my dry oak woodlands/foothills -- or of a better way a non-expert-birdwatcher can make an identification -- please let me know!