15 September 2015

In praise of the Spotted Flycatcher

And time slows as the squeak of a Spotted Flycatcher slows the rusted clock - and peace takes a half hour heartbeat

Richard Hargreaves
A Half Hour Heartbeat

Got to love em. Always  have. I remember my father showing me my first Spotty many decades ago in the fields behind my grandmother's house in Davenham, Cheshire, later I would find them in neighbours gardens or the overgrown orchard behind our house.  It would be August and I would be filling my days with my own personal bird race in the last weeks before school started again. I don't think they nested nearby, but in those days the were much more widespread than today while their breeding range retreats north.  In London they are confined to a small handful of places and getting scarcer.  Never really a spring bird on patch and one of the last migrants to return means they can't hang about, but in Autumn they make up for it.  And how!

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