Red-breasted Flycatcher

A somewhat frustrating day at the office today, knowing that the wind had eased a little, and there would be birds to find out there. Knowing there’d be no daylight by the time I got home, I needed to choose a sheltered garden en route to the ferry after work, and trust I’d get lucky while I had half an hour of sort-of-daylight to play with – by 5pm here on a cloudy day the light’s almost unworkable with now.

Still masses of thrushes as I drove to the garden of choice, with Redwings erupting from the roadside ditches, and small flocks of Fieldfares flying across the fields parallel to the road. The garden was still, unlike my speculative visit earlier in the week, and crawling with Blackbirds – mainly males, in a 3:1 ratio to females – 12 in view simultaneously at one point as they dug in the leaf litter, yopped fuchsia berries, and paced the lawns. 3 Robins also, mostly doing the skulky chat-thing through the borders and momentarily raising your hopes. This one wasn’t:

Robin doing not Siberian Blue

Far more interesting though was the bird I could hear calling non-stop in the depths of the undergrowth. Red-breasted Flycatcher… I was sure of it, but where was the bird? I kept going around the outskirts of the garden, hoping to find it flycatching from the trees at the edges, but after 20 minutes was beginning to give up any views as a lost cause. Finally, it flew out in front of me, perched on a fence-post, giving me a split second to lift the camera and shoot before it shot back into the thickets. Not enough stability, time or light by now to make much of it, but you can tell what it is!

Red-breasted Flycatcher doing not a fucking RB Flicker unless you're an irritating twat

On to the ferry with seconds to spare, and home feeling pretty pleased with myself. Red-breasted Flycatchers are always quality birds, even skulky bastard ones like this. At least it had plenty to say for itself until it came out into the open. Am now very much looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday – it’ll be dawn to dusk birding.


One Response

  1. Ta for the tip off Jon – got some awesome sound recordings this morning <<>>>

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