Tuesday, November 8, 2011

As usual, apologies for the lack of Blog action. The internet has been down for what seems like forever. So we will continue now (with fingers crossed) to tell you about a day last week. It was a normal November day but as we walked the Narrows Rich said he could smell it in the air that there was going to be a good bird. Vis mig was good, and we decided to open some nets at Nant while playing a Finch-Medley, to entice some Brambling down. I (Giselle) went up to Nant to start opening nets while Rich went to check the rail traps that we'd set on our morning census. I was stood at the Plantation contemplating the weather, when KABOOMA, in dropped a Red-breasted Flycatcher onto a branch less than a metre away! It was trilling like a wren, and fly-catching in front of my very eyes. The bird was trapped and ringed before spending the rest of the day in the same area. Three Willow Warblers, all looking rather acredula-like, were also on the Island.

This is the first island record since June 2007 when one appeared briefly in Plas Withy. Luckily, this bird was rather more confiding (or hungry), spending the afternoon feeding along the south edge of the Plantation. (c) Richard Brown.

The yellowish-buff wing-bar, formed by the tips to the greater coverts, and the buff tips to the tertials show this is a bird of the year. Adults have uniform grey-brown wing coverts. (c) Richard Brown

There have been approximately 73 previous records of Red-breasted Flycatcher on the island which have lingered for 116 'bird-days'. Two bird-days have been in May, 11 in June, 27 in September, 74 in October and two in November. The two previous November birds both occurred on the 2nd of the month, so this was the latest record for the Island. With such a late bird the possibility of Taiga Flycatcher was always going to be an option but unfortunately we quickly ruled this out based on the bird's warm underparts, pale lower mandible and upper tail covert colour (Taiga's are colder below, have dark bills and show jet black upper tail coverts which are blacker than the tail). (c) Richard Brown.

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