Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm not in any way like Bill Oddie ...

... who seems to be an opinionated and aggressive stout person who was funny once upon a time, hey wait a minute, it appears that I am a bit like Bill Oddie.

Never mind, my dear old mum was fascinated by birds, she was an enthusiastic spotter and painter of our feathered friends and I inherited her need to identify the avian occupants of our woodland and lawn. I spied an unusual bird the other day as I was working my way through two trees worth of Sunday Times looking for the elusive piece of news that they hide amongst the dross, drivel, puff, padding and adverts to keep me buying it.

This small brown spotty thing was diving from a branch, skimming across the lawn, grabbing a fly and returning to the perch, 'that's unusual' I thought, 'that spotted bird catching flies, I wonder what it is'?

Astonishingly it turns out to be a Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata, (I guess i should have seen the clue in the name). It's a visitor to the UK and this one and it's mate, it now turns out, are responsible for all the guano around our front door. They've been slaughtering our native insect population and delivering the corpses to the nest where they've raised 5 young-uns on the support struts at the top of our big glass windows.

For the benefit of my ornithologically aware readership and just for confirmation from the assorted twitches and spotters that I've got it right, I'm attaching a very brief clip, (click on the image to view) obtained through the very professional "video camera duct taped to a fishing rod" technique.


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