Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Pied Flycatcher

This was a great record and might well have not been picked up.  A visiting birder from Yorkshire, Graham Brown, located a female Pied Flycatcher in the SE corner of the pit, flitting around in a small stand of oaks.  Alan S sent a message at about 2pm informing the locals of the sighting, but had not had time to confirm it, though it sounded like Graham was very familiar with the species.  I eventually managed to get down at about 4pm, by which time Alan was leaving.  Graham was still present sitting on the bench, so we had a quick chat.  He had seen the bird in the early afternoon and watched it for a few minutes but it then seemed to go missing.  I made my way round to the SE corner and waited no more than a couple of minutes before the Pied Fly appeared at the top of the nearest oak.  Boom!  This is only my second record here following another female last Spring and it remains a rare bird on site.  Whilst sending out messages of its continued presence, the bird vanished.  However, it reappeared at the north end of the stand of oaks and then flew across the path into the lakeside willows.  Here it began to preen for a short while and I tried to phonescope a record shot before it was off again.  Considering it was back on and through leaves, I was surprised that anything recognisable came out at all, but you can make out the white tipped coverts and white edged tertials along with the pale eye ring.

The following day there was no news, until Dave C said that he thought he had seen the bird briefly late afternoon.  I popped in after work and made my way round to the SE corner.  I didn't see anything for a while, but then the bird reappeared within the last oak.  This seemed to be its favoured tree, but it was very difficult to keep track of and kept disappearing behind foliage.

The bird remained the next day too, so three days on site, but was not reported subsequently.  An excellent and protracted stay - thank you Graham!

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