......is the only way to describe not only this bird but also the image taken by Brian Rafferty and my thanks to him for allowing me to copy the photograph on to my blog.
According to my records the Pied Flycatchers were first seen this year at Abbeystead on Friday 1 May when two males were singing there, only one pair have been seen here since and they bred in the safety of the far side of the stream in the grounds of the Abbeystead Estate Office and land doesn't come much more private than that.
Since first finding the birds here I - mainly in the company of JB - have visited Stoops Bridge to monitor the progress of the breeding activities of this pair which culminated in the suspicion that as predicted the birds would have fledged over the weekend of 13/14 June. When JB and I arrived here in the late afternoon of Tuesday 16 June having watched the nest hole for 20 minutes we decided the birds had in fact fledged and having heard a singing male Blackcap further into the woodland I decided to follow this mobile bird to satisfy myself in seeing rather than just hearing it. About 150m away from the Pied Flycatchers nest hole a movement took my eye on the opposite side of the woods and scanning I eventually found a male PF feeding a young bird complete with gaping mouth and flapping wings......
......this is pure birding gold which happened on the same day JB and I discovered the LRP's on Conder Pool had successfully bred - to date - at least one young having escaped the attention of prying human eyes for weeks, also a superb summer plumage Spotted Redshank had turned up in the channel here. On a personal level all this follows on from finding 10 Whinchat in the Forest of Bowland recently, and a Nuthatch feeding a young bird on a detour off Harrisend down the Lane Head footpath and another first for me. I've had quite a few more events on recent birding outings which some might call routine but which I raise quite a bit above that. There have been the usual positive's and negative's in my recent birding days but the positive's won in the end as always.
Isn't birding great......I just want to be 21 again!