Normally, or at least in my experience, over-wintering Red-breasted Flycatchers are first winters. So a male will always be popular with local birders.
After re-visiting the Siberian Chiffchaff early this morning (I'll post more shots, this time in bright light, later) I headed out into deepest Hyogo to take a look at my first red-breasted Red-breasted in Japan.
Getting there wasn't so difficult, my one-man-train chugged its way steadily into the hills and before I knew it I was there. Though I suspect falling asleep on the way eased that passage. So much so in fact that I didn't even notice that it was a dreaded single track line. I'd even considered making my way to south Osaka to see if last year's Baer's Pochard had returned if I were able to see the Flycatcher quickly. Ha!
Getting back wasn't so smooth. I marched to the station thinking I had ample time to drop in on the Baer's pool once back in Osaka but on arrival at the station I finally noticed the single track and I sagged inwardly. I used to live on a line like that, for three whole months. On checking the schedule I discovered there wouldn't be a train for another 50 minutes, goodbye any chance of looking for Baer's. At least the snow and hail, they took turns on the walk back, had stopped.
The Flycatcher was well worth the trip though...
Red-flanked Bluetail was another bird that benefited from the meal worms photographers put out to keep the Flycatcher happy.