Bird of the Month - May 2015
The Spotted Flycatcher
These wonderful entertainers are pouring into the Island at the moment and they come in their thousands to occupy just about every inch of Mallorca during the summer months.
They sit prominently on fences, trees and bushes looking intently for any flying insect and once spotted, they flit out from their perch and hover and swoop until they strike lucky. They nearly always return to the same perch to repeat the same process again. When they miss their prey you can sometimes hear their bill snap shut and almost see the frustration in their expression. They rarely miss though, such is their expertise.
They are a very light grey in colour with whitish underparts but they have no spots so quite how the bird got its name is a bit of a mystery.The adults have some stripes over the crown of their head but overall they are quite a plain looking bird. What they lack in dazzling plumage however, they make up for by having a delightful character and I often watch them for hours as they go about the business of finding a partner, building a nest, raising young and providing sufficient food for all the family.
They often build nests very near houses like on terraces and in hanging baskets so if you find that you are lucky enough to have Spotted Flycatchers nesting nearby do let me know.
Photo by kind permission of Juanjo Bázan