Monday 28 September 2009

Easy Taiga !

Its amazing how the winds can blow from the West for what seems like an eternity, yet an Arctic Redpoll can end up on Foula and more importantly a 1w Taiga Flycatcher on Fetlar. Prior to this being positively id'd, yesterdays counts on Whalsay were 3 flocks on Pink-feet totaling c.150. The early ferry over to Fetlar this morning meant taking up the offer of a bed (well couch) for the night at Dougie's on Yell. Once on Fetlar in the company of south mainlands finest ! Messrs Minton, Fray & Bell the bird showed well but all too briefly inside the garden of The Manse. The light was poor as are most of my photos, but more important was the constant id input from the more experienced around me which helped in distinguishing this from just another Red-breasted Flycatcher, would i have picked up these features alone, probably not. This bird is certainly an education and makes you wonder how many do slip the net, so subtle are the differences.


Henerz said...

Would you mind expanding briefly on a few of the distinguishing features Jason? I'm not up on this tricky species.

Jason said...

Hi Henry, prior to seeing the bird the only info i had read was the jet black upper tail coverts (seen easily) and the dark lower mandible (not so), but once in field in the presence of more knowledgeable birders than myself other features were pointed out such as the tertail pattern and the ammount of white visible in the tail when the bird is perched. I must admit to clinch all these features without reviewing photos would be hard as i am sure you are aware they seldom sit still long enough to properly tick all the boxes in the field. Like i said a very educational bird, but hopefully we wont be getting too many of them. Male Rubythroat next, that shouldnt be hard !

Henerz said...

Cheers for that. Can pick most of those out on your great photos. Can I do the same on the Scillies is the question!

Rob said...

Hello Henry

Here's a shameless plug: I've done something with photos of this bird on my blog, pointing out a few of the features.