Friday 1 September 2023

A visit on the 29th produced 1 Turtle Dove, 147 Black headed Gull, 14 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 2 Raven, 4 Reed Warbler, 12 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 8 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Yellowhammer and 5 Reed Bunting. A visit yesterday (31st) produced 1 Greenshank heard, 100 Black headed Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Common Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 2 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 2 Raven, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 30 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 60 Goldfinch, 3 Corn Bunting which are a scarce species here, 2 Yellowhammer and 7 Reed Bunting. Having checked most areas for Redstarts and Flycatchers, I was walking back along a line of trees when a bird briefly flew out and back again out of sight. I thought it looked quite good for a Flycatcher. As I approached slowly, it flew out and over the other side of the stream to some nearby bushes where it dived into cover. I could see it was a Flycatcher in flight but wasn't sure which one. After waiting a few minutes it briefly appeared in the open where I quickly saw a white wing bar and was convinced this was a Pied Flycatcher but wanted a better view. This is a rare bird here with only one other record in the six years of recording. As I tried for a distant shot, a Whitethroat chased it back into cover. I waited but no further sign until I looked up to see a Flycatcher trying to land on the power lines before flying back to a tree further away. It sat in the open briefly allowing me to grab a few distant shots before vanishing never to be seen again. I couldn't make my mind up on the bird as it was far away but I could make out what looked like a good wing bar. I put a few shots on Twitter where I had 3 replies, one of Spotted and two for Pied Flycatcher. One reply in particular form Scott Haughie made some excellent identification points which included 'a small white spot on the forehead, no crown streaks and a good separation between a whitish throat and brownish cheeks'. Add what looks like a good white wingbar and I'm now happy this is a Pied Flycatcher (125). 'Nocmig' recording at night is still disappointing with only Tawny Owl and another Whimbrel heard. I really could do with a few good waders flying over to boost the year list. Back to work now so back to weekend birding but hopefully a few sessions recording at night weather permitting over the weekend and next week. 

Corn Bunting (juvenile) 


Pied Flycatcher 

Pied Flycatcher (exrtreme crop showing some of the id features)


  1. Nethergong - the site that keeps on giving! The photography might not be prize-winning, but still quite remarkable considering the situation. Great sightings, however.

    If you're back at school now, do I take it that your school has escaped the latest fiasco over RAAC?

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. The exact reason I carry a camera with me. It's nice to get good photos but even when the bird is a dot, it's just sometimes possible to still get an id. Luckily, our school is unaffected by the current scenario. Take care.