Flycatchers: spotted

spotted flycatcher Eaton

Spotted flycatcher, Eaton

A few days ago, Lee was walking down one of our usual spots by the river at Eaton.  On his way back to the car, he spotted a brownish bird sitting in a prominent place on an overhead cable.  At first glance it wasn’t obvious what it was, but looking at the photograph later we identified it as a spotted flycatcher: something we hadn’t seen for ages!

Spotted flycatchers are summer visitors and according to the RSPB are in decline and now on the conservation ‘red list’.  I was jealous that he’d seen one without me!

A few days later, we decided to have a walk around Babworth woods near the golf course.  We’d heard that there were green woodpecker families there with their young, and we were eager to see them.  We didn’t see any green woodpeckers that day (only a great spotted one), but did see something we thought was amazing.

We stood and watched some brownish coloured birds flying out of the branches of the trees, down to the sand on the golf course and returning to the trees.  They continued this behaviour for quite some time.  Sometimes they just flew into the air to catch flies, then returned to the trees.  When we managed to catch them still, we saw that they were spotted flycatchers!  We’ve been up there again today and saw quite a few of them once more, flying into the air, catching flies and returning to the trees (hence the name!).  We were so pleased to experience this moment, particularly learning that these birds are not as common as they once were.  Yet again, a birding spot to remember.

spotted flycatcher babworth

Spotted flycatcher, Babworth woods


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