Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Spotted Flycatcher (Musicapa striata)

The first arrival in Argyll was found by Jim Dickson the Argyll County Recorder at Ballymeanoch, just south of Kilmartin on 25th April. They are one of our later spring migrants and are still arriving into early May.

As the name suggests Spotted Flycatchers enjoy feasting on flying insects, which they catch mid-flight. Butterflies, moths, damselflies and craneflies make up this bird’s diet. Wasps and bees also feature, which it makes safe to eat, removing the sting end by rubbing it off on its perch. It is often seen on the wing in woodland edges and clearings, but can also be seen in parks and gardens.

The Spotted Flycatcher is a somewhat ordinary-looking bird, mostly grey-brown in colour with paler streaks, particularly on the head and wings. It has a creamy white breast which is streaked with pale brown. However, I feel that they have a charm of their own and it gives me great pleasure to see them returning each spring.

They spend their winter in West Africa and arrive in the UK to breed, building a nest out of grass, lichens and twigs, usually in a sheltered crevice. A clutch of four to five eggs is laid and hatches after around 12-14 days. Finally, 13-16 days after hatching the chicks are ready to fledge.

Listen out for its quiet ‘tseep tseep’ call and its somewhat similar song. It reminds me of my squeaky wheelbarrow.

Click on the link below to hear the song of the Spotted Flycatcher :-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b02tx0s5