Saturday, 7 May 2011

Brown Flycatcher!

Pied Flycatcher. Brian Rafferty.

I always enjoy the almost daily trawl through my blog list and had the added interest in finding BR's latest post was concerning his two visits to Barbondale this week in which - to add even more interest for me - he had included an excellent image of the Pied Flycatcher (PF) above. This bird is the very one about which I made the comment in one of my recent posts 'Rewards of Barbondale' in which I put in a 'beware' comment regarding the likelihood that the unwary would record this individual as a female PF when in fact it is a 1st summer male.

This bird is the first 'brown' 1st summer male PF I've ever knowingly seen and initially fooled me into recording it as another female, but on getting closer to the bird to afford better views I soon noted the white spot on its forehead clearly visible in BR's photograph and given even better views would no doubt have seen extensive white on the outer webs on tertials. So....another lesson learned in that the 'brownest' of 1st summer male PF's are seen as 'very similar' to females and I have to wonder just how many of these might I have previously seen and be unaware of at the time.

Redstart. Brian Rafferty.

BR sang the praises of Barbondale very much as I do every time I visit the place referring to it as a delightful walk along the elevated path to look down into the ancient wet woodland in which I recall once recording thirteen notable species of birds in a single visit. Thanks to Brian Rafferty for the Pied Flycatcher and Redstart photographs.

No sign again today of the Kentish Plover at Cockersands.


Warren Baker said...

Pete, your blog is always on my daily trawl too :-)

Colin Bushell said...

Saw a few of these 'brown flys' in Lesvos last week. Most had brown 'body' plumage but the heads were blacker with that white patch on the forehead you mention. Great pics from Brian once again.
Nice post Pete.

Pete Woodruff said...

I know that Warren, but nice of you to remind me....many thanks.

Interesting Colin. I've never been too macho to admit to things I don't know about birds/birding and certainly wasn't aware of this re the PF's. I reckon the most interesting question now many other birders are recording casually seen 'female PF's' which are in fact 1st summer males.