We start the new month with a real personal favourite…hardly the most flamboyant or exotic looking of our summer visitors, but the Spotted Flycatcher is always full of character and it’s nice to have some new images for you today. Let’s take what might well be our last, seasonal look at Kiersten’s latest shots of a charming, familiar species, before they leave their breeding grounds here in the Alpujarras and head south to Africa for the winter.
The Spotted Flycatcher Muscipapa striata is always a pleasure to watch. They specialize in taking insects in mid-air, watching intently from a favourite perch before flying out suddenly to snatch passing prey and returning to the same spot with its meal. This gives them a sharp-eyed, constantly alert appeal which more than makes up for their rather drab, nondescript plumage.
Nice to see a juvenile in the two shots shown below…the Spotted Flycatcher will raise two broods over the season if conditions allow, and with youngsters still around in the first week of September it seems locally at least that the species may have had a good year.
Note the slightly scruffier overall appearance of the individual shown here, and the cream spots still visible on its back which distinguish it from the rather plainer, neater looking adult shown above. Not quite ready perhaps, for the rigours of the journey ahead: the Spotted Flycatcher is a long distance, nocturnal migrant with most birds wintering south of the Equator, and it looks like this little fellow still has some growing up to do!
We’ll be updating our blogs regularly through the coming weeks with all the latest migration news, so please keep checking the posts. For more information on how to join us on our birdwatching trips and holidays, click here…and you too could come and enjoy some of the best birding southern Spain has to offer.