Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
The first arrival in Argyll was found at Ballymeanoch by David Jardine an LNHG member on 15th April, followed closely by another record at Aros Park, near Tobermory, Mull on 16th April by Stuart Gibson another one of our members.
This summer migrant colonises mature oak woodland in the west of the UK, gorging on insects, caterpillars, fruit and seeds before it returns to West Africa. Pied Flycatcher numbers have halved since 1995, potentially due to a decline in traditional woodland. Hence it is classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).
The Pied Flycatcher is a small, black-and-white bird of mature woodland, parks and gardens, with a preference for oak trees.
It is a summer visitor from April and May onwards, and breeds mainly in western areas; it spends the winter in West Africa.
The Pied Flycatcher is slightly smaller than a House Sparrow and males are mostly black above and white below, with a bold white patch on the folded wing. Females have the same basic patterning but are browner in colour. Pied Flycatchers time their spring migration to arrive just in time to feed their young on emerging caterpillars.
Pied flycatchers may be seen sitting patiently on a perch, waiting for a chance to fly out and catch their insect-prey mid-air. They also search for insects on tree trunks and on the ground. As the name suggests, the Pied Flycatcher is an expert at catching flies.
Click on the link below to hear the song of the Pied Flycatcher :-