Monday, 9 May 2011

May 8th: COLLARED FLY!!!

Thrilled to bits to see this stunning male Collared Flycatcher on the approach road at Holme!  And especially given that it had disappeared half an hour before we arrived, and it was another 45 minutes before it reappeared.  I spent the time franticly checking all the nearby trees and bushes in case it had moved, as is so often the way with this species.  There is just so much suitable habitat and potential cover in the area it could easily have slipped away, but thankfully it hadn't.  When it did show, I felt huge pressure to really focus and concentrate on it - it was satisfying to come away with some pictures that attempt to do justice to this bird. I was in a bit of a panic initially when it showed again and mislaid my pencil; hence the first sketches were done in biro, and I added the paint to these lines in the field.  I was very jammy in happening to be in Dorset on fieldwork in 2009 so I was able to go and see the Portland bird on four consecutive days after I'd finished work; they are such an amazing bird, and it is always good to see another.  Who needs Fair Isle now we have one in Norfolk?!
Many thanks to Andy Clements for letting me get the first glimpse of this bird through his scope.
A host of other interesting birds in the vicinity too - Nightingale, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Cetti's Warbler, plus Redshank, Shelduck and Black-headed Gulls flying over.  The colours amazing in the evening light - could have done more paintings had there been more time...

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