Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pied Flicker

A couple of hours mid morning on the 27th held no great surprises.  A Whitethroat in the SE corner was new in and the first around the lake this year.  A flyover Yellow Wagtail at Pump Lane was another year tick - why it was flying south I don't know - maybe it had seen the horrible weather further north!

April 28th - I arrived at the lake just after 9am.  A quick scan of the lake and spit with bins from the west side didn't reveal anything new, so I made my way to the viewpoint where the sun isn't in your eyes quite so much.  I had only been standing there for a short time when my attention was drawn to a small bird that had flown in and landed just above my head and uttered a soft call note I didn't recognise.  I didn't quite get it in the bins before it flew a short distance.  Mostly obscured by vegetation, I got a partial view of a small bird with very white undersides.  I was beginning to think Pied Flycatcher when it moved into view and revealed itself as a lovely female - fantastic! A patch tick for me and only the second site record, I think, following two birds seen in August 2004.

The bird then flew into a low bush that was almost at eye level where I again got a nice view of it and the large white tertial patch.  I had texted the news out by now, but the bird had flown from the bush and I had lost it.  I checked the general area, but couldn't find it.  Alan S arrived shortly later and we checked a bit further south.  He then stayed here and I made my way back to the area of the original sighting.  Within a few minutes I got a call from Alan to say that he had seen it on the small island which is only 30 yards or so from the viewpoint.  I quickly joined him and we watched it on the island for a few minutes before it flew back to the viewpoint and then disappeared again.  LGRE and Dave C arrived and we eventually found the bird again.  It was however very difficult to keep track of in the emergent vegetation on the trees and it was also beginning to stay very high up towards the tops of the trees.  It was last seen late morning, though due to the difficulty in locating it, I wouldn't be surprised if it was still there unseen somewhere - these cold northwesterlies don't seem like good migrating winds to me.


  1. You've had a good few days Adam! Wonderful to get the Pied Flycatcher - well done! All the best, Lucy

  2. Thanks Lucy - makes up for all the less interesting visits!