10 May 2012


News of a  strange looking ficudula flycatcher at Flamborough filtered into my consciousness sometime over the weekend. Many thought it to be a good candidate for Atlas Flycatcher. An equal number thought it to be a hybrid Pied x Collared or an Iberian. I must admit to me they all look the same & I wouldn't have given it a second glance if I'd found it locally so a big 'up' to Brett Richards who first spotted it was something different. It was caught and ringed and still the identity wasn't clear so its now down to Doc Collinson to extract the DNA and try and determine its parentage whilst legions of birders wait with bated breath. My attitude was play it cool. If  I can't identify it in the field then what's the point of going to see it? Then it stayed....... and stayed so becoming more intrigued I decided to bunk off from the office early and go and see it. I'm still no closer to knowing what it is but its unusual for a migrant to hang around for over a week. Maybe it thinks its in the Atlas Mountains. Only time and science will tell......

Much more easy to identify were Mondays offerings on the sceptred Isle. The first Tree Pipit of the year was trapped and.doors and several more passed over Hilbre during the day.
Although there weren't many grounded migrants we still caught sixteen birds including 3 Lesser Redpoll. Unbelievably one of these was already ringed - yet another control!

One of two Common Whitethroat caught also turned out to be a control. It will be interesting, as always, to see where these birds have originated from.
A few Wheatears appeared over the tide and we trapped one tempted into a Potter trap by a free meal of meal worms. It was a 2nd calender year male Greenland Wheatear weighing a whopping 45.5 grams - 20 grams heavier than the ones we'd caught last week and covered in a layer of subcutaneous fat. It's obviously been re-fuelling for its non-stop transatlantic flight to the breeding grounds in the Arctic. One BFB Wheatear.

Despite bad weather it was good to be out on Hilbre and lunch made it all the more better! A veritable feast of Pork Pies, Cheese, Pickles, Bread & Ham washed down with a naughty little glass of Bulmers and followed by a whole packet of Jaffa cakes! Thanks Doreen & Pat!

No comments :