Saturday, April 06, 2019

πŸ“– #13/2019 ~ Pied Flyctacher

On Wednesday evening I received a message that a♂Pied Flycatcher photograph had been posted on my 'Friends of Brandon Marsh' Flickr site. Having logged on, there appeared to be no information as to where exactly on the reserve the photo had been taken, although I could see that the details indicated it had been taken on the day at around 1pm. After an email to the publisher, I managed to ascertain that the bird had been seen from the left-hand end of the Balwin Hide, looking left across towards the trees.

The following day Thursday is 'Work Party' day so before starting work several of the Brandon Marsh Conservation Team, including myself gave the area in question plenty of attention. Despite this, there was no sign of the bird. The previous night's weather had been breezy and overcast and the morning was bitterly cold with a stiff Easterly blowing in, surely the bird was still around?

Pied Flycatcher relocated! ~ My best shot was taken with a soaking wet Canon SX50 ~ A nice birthday treat!
By the afternoon the weather had deteriorated even further, the wind had increased and it was now raining. I decided to give it another go so had my lunch in the Baldwin Hide. It was quite challenging actually with the wind and rain blowing directly through the slats. On the positive side, the weather had brought the hirundines low over the water to feed and there were at least five House Martins and several Swallows in with the many Sand Martins.

Alan Boddingtons better image of the Brandon Pied Flycatcher 
After a half hour, I decided to head back to the lock-up but as I passed by a more sheltered area near the sluices a quiet clicking 'tec' call from above caught my attention. There were several Chaffinches feeding but it wasn't one of these, this was different! When in doubt I always blame a Great Tit but as I scanned a little higher the unmistakable profile and colour of a Pied Flycatcher in the top of the alder, I'd relocated the bird. Fortunately, the rest of the team were heading back a short time later and I'm happy to report that everyone had some excellent views of this rare Brandon visitor, last seen on the reserve in 2015.

Well done to the original finder: Walter Warburton ~ Link HERE