What is this in­sect-catcher?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

We saw this bird for the first time in June, here in Cum­bria. It kept re­turn­ing to our gar­den fence af­ter quick darts to catch in­sects. It had very dark wings, very pale else­where, with shades of grey (though not 50!) and touches of white (no black). It was about Chaffinch size. Karen Storey

QThis rather dull-look­ing bird is a Spot­ted Fly­catcher. The behaviour you de­scribe is ab­so­lutely typ­i­cal of the species, and shows just how much plea­sure we can get from ob­serv­ing even some at first seem­ingly dull-look­ing of birds. Watch­ing fly­catch­ers about their busi­ness is a clas­sic sum­mer sight that ev­ery­one should see at some point – sadly, though, both Spot­ted and Pied Fly­catch­ers are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly hard to find in the UK (although this spring seems, anec­do­tally, to have been a good one for Spot­ted Fly­catch­ers).

A

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