Adult Spotted Flycatcher, shelter-belt, Felbrigg Park
There was a much fresher feel to the weather this morning. First bird of interest was the very pale Barn Owl, hunting over the water meadow – I’ve not seen it here for several weeks. No ducks on the lake other than the resident, moulting, Mallard. I spent some time by the top sluice, watching an adult Reed Warbler feeding young. Heading back along the shelter belt I encountered a mixed feeding flock containing Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. There was a juvenile Blackcap in the vicinity as well. I stood, slowly working my way through the flock, when I became aware of another bird, silhouetted against the sky – combined with a thin, dry ‘shee’ call, I knew I’d stumbled on a Spotted Flycatcher. I eventually located a juvenile – there were probably more nearby and, further along the path, another adult. This is the same patch of isolated oak trees where I’ve seen them in previous years and I doubt if they are the same birds that have been present at the lake recently. My morning walk was pleasantly concluded by another fly-over Curlew – my third in as many weeks.
One of the juvenile Spotted Flycatcher
Curlew, flying north west, over the shelter – belt