Monday 17 February 2020

The Inadvertent Flycatcher

It almost sounds new to science, doesn't it? "I just got an Inadvertent Flycatcher!" Well, in a sense, it was new to me. I've seen tons of Red-breasted Flycatchers in Kansai but for some reason never a single one in Kyoto city. Until last week.

I was taking a short cut through the Imperial Palace Park, hurrying to catch a bus, when I my pace slowed. A side effect of my brain engaging. "Surely that was a Red-breasted Flycatcher calling about 150 metres ago?" Way to go brain. I hadn't conciously noticed it at the time but its actuality had bored its way up through subconcious layers to force me to miss my bus.

Of course at that moment I still wasn't certain, it may well have been something quite common that a  devious corner of my mind had exploited in order that I shouldn't catch said bus. Luckily, really luckily, it was still calling when I got back to the spot. If it hadn't been, I don't think I'd have given it any time and thus been on time for my appointment.

The views were terrible, even after I'd put on my glasses, but I could just make out the white flashes in the tail as it hopped and flitted in the under bushes gloom. The views were totally insufficient to separate it from Taiga but the vocals were beyond argument; Red-breasted it was.

The next morning I went back with binoculars and camera, and hey presto, there it was. No hanging about, in fact it was sitting right out in the open. "Typical" I thought, "by the time I unpack my gear it'll have disappeared into the undergrowth again". But no, it was still sitting there. So I got off a few quick shots, then a few steadier ones while leaning against a convenient tree... and it was still sitting there. Normally there'll be someone with a generous supply of mealworms and the particular flycatcher will be perching right in front of the massed lenses. In this case I knew I wasn't going to get any better views than this so I packed up to leave. And despite it looking perfectly healthy it was still sitting there. I think I've used up my ficedula luck for this year.

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