What is this insect-catcher?
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).