Calls and conundrums
IF they call, listening to and especially recording calls can be very helpful in separating the black and white ficedula flycatchers in all of the ‘trickier’ plumages (i.e. pretty much everything that isn’t adult male!). Could be helpful with this most intriguing bird at Flamborough.
Here 2 Semi-collared Flycatchers are calling to each other in the famous Eilat date palms, late March 2012. This is I suppose the most helpful/ distinctive call type. I also recorded a more generic contact call.
Listen to 2 Semi-collared Flycatchers (female and 2cy male) calling <here>
and some pics:
2 cal yr. male Semi-collared Flycatcher, Lotan, late March 2012. Older brown primaries contrasts with new tertials, the white patch at base of primaries is tiny but look how the white forehead patch looks more defined/ less broken than on the adult (above). 2nd cal year males did vary in appearance but all showed some white-tipped median coverts.
2nd cal yr female Semi-collared Flycatcher, Eilat date palms, late March 2012. This one has bigger white patch at base of primaries. I initially thought it looked 2nd cal yr but not so confident on aging females. However conversation with Brian Small bolstered my confidence saying he thought 2nd cal yr too, see the old-looking alula and outer primaries…