September 20th   Leave a comment

First winter spotted flycatcher

First winter spotted flycatcher

There were some indications of things on the move today with some yellow-browed warblers reported from the May Island and two spotted flycatchers, fly catching from Kilrenny Church. Spotted flycatchers are birds of the edge of woodland or parkland and it was unusual to see them perched side by side right on top of the church roof, sallying forth to pick up the flies congregating on the warm stonework. Migrants do turn up in unusual places but really anyplace with food is a good place. I always like seeing spotted flycatchers: they were one of the first slightly more unusual birds I used to find every summer when I started bird watching and had just passed beyond the blackbird and robin phase. That was back in the day when spotted flycatchers weren’t actually unusual in the eastern side of Britain. Now we just get them on passage with only occasional breeders locally in places like Cambo. So even more special, and number 152 for the Crail year list. Today’s pair were a couple of young birds (most unusual migrants are – the adults already know the way and many will be in Africa already). Both birds had the distinct pale wing bars and pale-edged inner flight feathers left over from the much more spotted plumage they have when they leave the nest (hence the name).

Posted September 20, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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