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…
and here’s the Spurn bird from 2010
and here’s that nape feather pattern illustrating the difference: