Light easterly winds produced significant numbers of Pied Flycatcher over the weekend, with many hundreds estimated to have arrived on British shores.

The fine conditions stemming from the Continent meant that records came almost exclusively in the south and east, with a coastal bias.

In total, a conservative minimum of 180 sites logged Pied Flycatcher over the long weekend.

Despite the coastal bias, eight land-locked counties still got in on the influx, with many sites in south-east England enjoying one, two or sometimes more individuals – presumably, the clear conditions allowed birds to continue inland and only stop off to refuel at their own accord.

pied flycatcher

Some turned up in unusual locations as well – at least two Bank Holiday barbecues were interrupted by Pied Flycatchers appearing in private gardens. 

Many of the birds seen appear to be in their first year, suggesting a productive breeding season for the species.

However, ageing and sexing Pied Flycatchers can be tricky in the field with various features, such as upper tail colour and pale fringing on tertials, overlapping in their variation between males and females and young and older birds.

While Pied Flycatcher proved the stand-out species of the weekend, other common migrants appeared in good numbers. Whinchat, for example, was prominent in many areas, with an impressive 66 counted at Flamborough Head on Saturday.

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