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Female Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

By teocali
The Spotted Flycatchers have returned to our gardenSmile and this is the female, who is at present incubating the eggs. She is nesting in the same open fronted West facing brick cavity in a stable-block, as last year and you can see the reflection of the area in her eye. Appearing every now and again to catch a few flies, she then returns to her duties. Taken from a distance of 5.2m, this is virtually a full frame capture.

The Spotted Flycatcher is about the size of a House Sparrow, with a frequent frequent but rather quiet and scratchy "tsee-tsee".

The male and females are alike: slim with grey-brown upper parts, whitish underparts with dark streaks on the crown, breast and throat, with black bill and legs. Juveniles are similar to the adults but have pale spots on the upper parts.

They feed on flying insects, such as bees and butterflies, but also berries in the autumn, and are fascinating to watch as they sit quite upright on an exposed branch, flicking the tail and watching for insects flying past, then suddenly dive and fly in a circular path back to the perch, having caught an insect with an audible snap of the beak they are incredibly fast hunters.

They breed in open woodland, parks, and gardens that have trees and will also nest in open-fronted nest boxes. Both birds build the nest, which is a cup made of grass, thin twigs, lichen, and spiders' webs, and lined with feathers and hair.

The smooth, glossy eggs are white with reddish blotches, and about 19 mm by 14 mm. Incubation is by the female only. The young are fed by both parents. Breeding starts in May, number of clutches 1-2, number of eggs 4-5, incubation 11-15days, fledging 12-14days after hatching.

They are summer visitors, usually arriving in the latter half of May and departing at the end of August. Their wintering grounds are in tropical Africa, south of the equator. Migration often takes place at night.

The Spotted Flycatcher population has declined by more than half in the last 25 years and so this is a Red List (endangered) species. This decline may be due to problems in their wintering grounds and changes in woodland management in Britain.

My thanks for your support of my last upload - very much appreciated as always Smile

Tags: Wild Female Garden Bird Nesting Wildlife and nature Migratory Spotted fly catcher Muscicapa striata

Voters: gwynn56, gazlowe, MalcolmM and 33 more

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Glyn1 8 4 1 England
29 May 2012 12:36PM
Cracking shot of this lovely looking bird.


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29 May 2012 1:06PM
Sylvia, this is just a beautiful shot, fantastic light and detail. Beautifully captured Smile

Maiwand 11 3 73 England
29 May 2012 1:11PM
A stunning shot Sylvia. She is as beautiful as ever.
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
29 May 2012 1:31PM
A great shot of a bird I have never seen, great info too. - gary
RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
29 May 2012 2:18PM
Very well captured shot, Sylvia: like the light in it's eye.
johnjo58 7 2 5 United Kingdom
29 May 2012 3:27PM
Superb Sylvia, a lovely bird beautifully presented
MossyOak 6 22 15 England
29 May 2012 3:32PM
So pleased they are back again Sylvia, if half as good as last year it will be excellent
Cracking capture and eye contact
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
29 May 2012 4:55PM
Right then, whose up for a EPZ meet at Sylvia's this w/e......Tongue Well done you mate!

pluckyfilly 11 351 33 United Kingdom
29 May 2012 5:08PM
superb shot accompanied by a good narative
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
29 May 2012 5:59PM
So pleased they have returned Sylvia

The weather in Italy and Spain was against a lot of the migratory birds this year

Jasper87 Plus
8 1.9k 150 England
29 May 2012 6:18PM
Beady-eyed and so sharp. Excellent capture, Sylvia.

Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
29 May 2012 7:13PM
A first class capture Sylvia, the detail and clarity in the plumage is sublime. What a welcome visitor this must be to your garden

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