Red-breasted Flycatcher – The Dump Clump, St Mary’s, Scilly

Having seen the Spotted Crake and Blue-winged Teal we continued on to the Dump Clump for our third attempt for the Red-breasted Flycatcher and with the added hope of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

The flycatcher wasn’t on show when we arrived but it had been seen within the last few minutes. We spread out slightly along the path and soon afterwards I noticed Aly watching something intently. I walked back to join her and she gave some directions on what she thought might be the bird. Several other birders also joined us and then someone called out that the flycatcher was in view. We all got onto it and had good views.

The white tail patches were visible especially when it flew away and also the large domed head with a white eye ring. The throat and upper chest were buffy and there was an obvious pale wing bar across the greater coverts. The primaries were long with the wings held low and the tail often cocked.

On the Friday afternoon Aly and I returned to the Dump Clump and this time we walked quietly into the tangled copse of trees via one of the tracks. We stopped and waited in a promising looking area, I found a non calling Yellow-browed Warbler and soon afterwards we had excellent views of the Red-breasted Flycatcher as it perched unobscured on a branch for almost two minutes. This is the 10th Red-breasted Flycatcher I have seen in Britain with all but one being on Scilly.

I noticed on the radar maps that we were about to get some heavy rain and so we headed back to the flat, it was around 4pm.

A really good day with four year ticks – Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Crake, Blue-winged Teal and Red-breasted Flycatcher. This takes me to 248 for the year and my 250 target for the year almost achieved.

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