4th May Flamboro Flycatcher

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Bird Watching, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching

When Brett Richards saw an unusual “Pied Flycatcher” at Flamborough, he was, to say the least, a little mystified. So he did the logical thing and took some pictures and went home and pondered them. He had various options, Collared, Semi-Collared, Pied or a hybrid. He enlisted the help of a birding buddy who suggested “Atlas Flycatcher”, a bird that has been recently split from Pied Flycatcher and normally breeds in the Atlas mountains of North Africa. Although the bird was a first calender year male and not much information about that plummage has been gathered the bird was put out as “Atlas Flycatcher or hybrid. A trip to the east coast was planned for Friday along with Bob and Steve K. With Bob at the wheel, we made good progress till after Leeds, when a bit of a mix up with the sat nav (Nag-Nav) then a traffic jam slowed us a little. The weather in Lancashire, when we left, was quite nice, but,as we approached the other end of Yorkshire it was cold, wet and windy. Only about a dozen people were searching for the bird as we arrived and donned our winter gear. After a pair of Spotted Flycatchers

and various wablers entertained us,  the “bird” was seen and fairly close and at eye level, “what a gem” we all thought, certainly different, though we accept it could be an abbarent Pied Fly. Brett Richards was  there also and we had a little chat about what he thought of the bird etc. The bird had been captured earlier in the week and a sample of DNA was taken and the results should be known real soon, but, the tricky ficedula may yet be confined to the “hybrid” section. We then ventured to the cliffs at Bempton and got battered by a fierce, cold north easterly wind. We nearly caught a few Gannets as they were blown about , along with thousands of Kittiwake. Puffins sat on the rocks with Razorbills and Guillemots, very spectacular these cliffs. The weather beat us back and we had a good search around but not many small birds were out up there. News of a Wood Sandpiper at Thornwick Pools prompted a visit, problem was we couldn’t find the pool. So another visit to see the “flycatcher” was undertaken. We didn’t see it again and headed for home.

****** DNA results have proved the bird to be a Pied Flycatcher – Our first for the year. *******

Dave O.

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