Collared Flycatcher

and how to overlook one

Easy really! Many young birds are similar enough to Pied Flycatcher as to be very easy to overlook. One of the features to dive in on is the pattern of white at the base of the primaries. but even that can look unremarkable,  partly based on how the wing is folded. If it looks quite extensive and especially if it just a little longer than the tip of the longest primary coverts. Pay Attention!

Henrik Knudsen sent some lovely images of a bird being discussed about 10 days ago (8th Sept) at Blåvand, Denmark. Having caught 50+ Pied Flycatchers already this autumn- this one looked more interesting. The question was it just another Pied or a Collared?

I think it looks really good for Collared which is how I replied to Henrik. He then got back to say he had checked the nape feathers and they were the requisite pattern for Collared not Pied. Cheeky!

I really like the way Henrik’s photos have captured the white patch at the primary bases changing from very obvious and long looking to rather small and uninteresting (but still just longer than the longest primary covert). In fact all quite like the Spurn Collared from late August/ early sept. 2010.

There are still Pied Flycatchers about. A Collared could still be hiding among them.

Here’s the Danish Collared Flycatcher… 8th September 2015, Blåvand, Denmark, all photos by Henrik Knudsen.

NB the big difference in appearance of the white at base of primaries in the first two photos…

Collaref fly 1 (1 of 1) Collaref fly 2 (1 of 1) Collaref fly 3 (1 of 1) Collaref fly 4 (1 of 1)

 

and here’s the Spurn bird from 2010

 

 

 

first winter female Collared Flycatcher, 30th August 2010. Spurn Bird Obs - in Warren bushes. Photo Martin Garner

first winter female Collared Flycatcher, 30th August 2010. Spurn Bird Obs – in Warren bushes. Photo Martin Garner

first winter female Collared Flycatcher, 30th August 2010. Spurn Bird Obs. Illustrating how the white extends beyond the longest primary coverts. A great starting point! Can be pretty subtle in the field.

first winter female Collared Flycatcher, 30th August 2010. Spurn Bird Obs. Illustrating how the white extends beyond the longest primary coverts. A great starting point! Can be pretty subtle in the field. photo: Martin Garner

 

and here’s that nape feather pattern illustrating the difference:

Lots more in THIS blog post  and More AUTUMN COLLAREDS here

Left nape feathers from 1st winter Collared Flycatcher, Fair Isle 8th October 1986, and (right) Pied Flycatcher. Mike Pennington

Left nape feathers from 1st winter Collared Flycatcher, Fair Isle 8th October 1986, and (right) Pied Flycatcher. Mike Pennington

One thought on “Collared Flycatcher

  1. Diederik Kok

    Hi Martin and others

    This reminds me of a 1y flycatcher we saw last year at Texel, the Netherlands. The birds showed several pointers towards a Collared, most notably white at the primaries bases reaching p4 and beyond the primary coverts… However, the bird called like a Pied!

    Photos and sound recording of this apparent Pied Flycatcher:
    http://waarneming.nl/waarneming/view/88828995
    http://waarneming.nl/waarneming/view/88798489

    Also in this bird the shape and the amount of white at the primary bases varied a lot with posture. I think this bird just shows how tricky it can be and how important the call can be.

    Comments welcome…

    cheers, Diederik

    Reply

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