Posts Tagged ‘Red breasted Flycatcher


Deep in the Dell

Deep in the dark tangle that is the Dell was a migrant that never ceases to put a smile on my face. Maybe it’s those sneaky crescents of white in the tail, the cocky pose and droopy wings or the ‘cute’ expression but it’s easy to see why a Robin was giving this Red-breasted Flycatcher a hard time.


Just out of short trousers

A spring  Red breasted Flycatcher is rare enough but this one aside the cricket ground in Overstrand was singing. No red chested songster this one; not even a rose flush. However, the worn coverts concealed the remnants of a partial wingbar. A first year bird … just into long trousers. A smart find for someone … we know not whom.

Red breasted Flycatcher



Despite it being quite grey and sometimes wet I felt quite privileged yesterday. We were watching and photographing the three Red breasted Flycatchers at Burnham Overy. They showed better than I have every seen this species previously. Here’s a little indulgence of photographs.


2014 09 17 Red breasted Flycatcher Burnham Overy Norfolk_Z5A3828 2014 09 17 Red breasted Flycatcher Burnham Overy Norfolk_Z5A4143 2014 09 17 Red breasted Flycatcher Burnham Overy Norfolk_Z5A4177 2014 09 17 Red breasted Flycatcher Burnham Overy Norfolk_Z5A4321 2014 09 17 Red breasted Flycatcher Burnham Overy Norfolk_Z5A4333



Defensive Chiffchaffs and Robins


The Hill gave up very little on Sunday morning. A Whinchat and a trio of Wheatear were the best it could offer and we’d probably been acquainted with those birds previously.

Even an early morning call from Paul regarding Dolphins heading my way unfortunately came to nothing. It wasn’t until late afternoon that things came to life with the easterlies gaining momentum

A visit to the valley bottom gave the first surprise. On exiting the car I heard it shout. The eruptive call of a Yellow browed is unmistakable. Although elusive the distinctive olive green upperparts, silky white unders and wingbars gained a piecemeal confirmation. A defensive Chiffchaff making claim against invasion soon saw off the northern sprite. Despite an hour of patient listening I didn’t hear him shout again. Perhaps he’ll call more when he’s rested.

I went to the cliff top to re-photograph the coneheads and Bush crickets – this time taking a bat detector!

We had often talked about the wood on the cliff and how nothing was ever found there. As I walked through the trees I was surprised therefore (for the second time in the day) to see a bird perched. It was nothing more than a silhouette but before I raised my bins I knew what it was. The drooped winds and cocked tail all screamed Red breasted Flycatcher. The white I saw at the base of the tail made me smile. I reached for the camera and the bird dropped from sight … replaced by a Robin; two birds in the wood! I didn’t see it again despite Rose, Paul and Greg quickly on site. Elating but frustrating. Damn Chiffs and Robins.



The damn Chiffy – one of the offending defenders.

I could hear the rain in the night drumming on the skylights. Surely both birds would stop and I’d get more prolonged views next morning. I resolved to get up early.

As I exited the door this morning there was a detonation of red from the laurel hedge that could have been nothing other than a Redstart. It was. This bode well. I watched it quiver a while and then made my way to the clifftop. I had not gone far before the heavy moist air was punctuated by a shape in the mist. I expected a large gull. I raised my bins and squinted. The form of an Osprey materialised; making it’s way laboriously east. I heard later it was seen mid morning further south at Horsey. The phone went and I was called away by the promise of a Paddyfield Warbler. Sadly despite much looking and listening it came to nothing. It had moved on.

I looked later for the Yellow browed and the RB Fly, but saw nothing. The wood and everywhere else was emptied of everything but a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.

Ah well! … it was good while it lasted.






On the fly

Spending time with our good friends Chris and Ann over the last couple of days we jammed in on several good birds and mammals.

A herd of Fallow Deer and a rather distant Cattle Egret punctuated our first day.

A morning walk along the beach on the second day to look at Belamites forged into the Cromer chalk saw us watching a couple of Snow Buntings feeding under the cliff face. A boat trip to Blakeney Point witnessed a fantastic movement of thrushes including an odd Ring Ouzel, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart and Bramblings as well as a hoard of Common and Grey Seals. Brents were falling from the sky and a Red breasted Merganser sat out among the myriad of waders as a couple of Spoonbills and Marsh Harriers flew over. We finished the day watching Badgers changing their bedding.

This morning we continued the sightings as we watched an Otter swimming across the broad and a Fox that had me back switching on side roads for a better look.

It was after they left this afternoon that I settled into a little laptop work. A few longing looks out of the window later meant that this didn’t last long. Andrew had heard a Yellow browed at Trimingham this morning – I thought it may show in the late afternoon sunshine.

When I arrived the wood was silent… no people, no birds. Almost immediately something small swung up from the deck and perched in front of me. Not a Yellow browed but a fine Red breasted Flycatcher; a nice addition to my local patch list. A little later the muted Yellow-browed shot past showing its wing-bars and supercilium for nothing more than a millisecond.

It started to drizzle when I left. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Red breasted Flycatcher

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Jun 2023


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