Spotted Flycatcher

At first glance, spotted flycatchers might seem dull brownish-grey and, well, a bit boring. It’s better to think of them as beautiful in an understated way. Watch them for a short period and you’ll be charmed by their fly-catching antics.

Spotted flycatchers fly from a high perch, dash out to grab a flying insect and return to the same spot. The spotted flycatcher is a small slim bird, around 14.5 cm (5.7 in) in length, with a weight of 14–20 g (0.49–0.71 oz). It has dull grey-brown upperparts and off-white underparts. The crown, throat and breast are streaked with brown while the wings and tail feathers are edged with paler thin margins. (Extract from RSPB)

Spotted flycatchers hunt from conspicuous perches, making sallies after passing flying insects, and often returning to the same perch. Their upright posture is characteristic.

Most passerines moult their primary flight feathers in sequence beginning near the body and proceeding outwards along the wing.

The spotted flycatcher is unusual in replacing the outer flight feathers before those nearer the body. The flycatcher’s call is a thin, drawn out soft and high pitched tssssseeeeeppppp, slightly descending in pitch. (Extract from Wikipedia)

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Acknowledgements: Extracts from RSPB and Wikipedia

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The northern lapwing is a 28–33 cm (11–13 in) long bird with a 67–87 cm (26–34 in) wingspan and a body mass of 128–330 g (4.5–11.6 oz). It has rounded wings and a crest. It is also the shortest-legged of the lapwings. It is mainly black and white, but the back is tinted green. The male has a long crest and a black crown, throat and breast contrasting with an otherwise white face. Females and young birds have shorter crests. (Extract from Wikipedia)

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This is a vocal bird in the breeding season, with constant calling as the crazed tumbling display flight is performed by the male. The typical contact call is a loud, shrill “pee-wit” from which they get their other name of peewit. Displaying males usually make a wheezy “pee-wit, wit wit, eeze wit” during their display flight. It feeds primarily on insects and other small invertebrates. This species often feeds in mixed flocks with golden plovers and black-headed gulls. (Extract from Wikipedia)

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National surveys of England and Wales have shown a population decline between 1987 and 1998. The numbers of this species have been adversely affected by intensive agricultural techniques. In the lowlands this includes the loss of rough grassland, conversion to arable or improved grassland, loss of mixed farms, and switch from spring to autumn sown crops. In the uplands, the losses may have been due to increases in grazing density. (Extract from Wikipedia)

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