Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Acadian Flycatcher - 22.9.15

Acadian Flycatcher
The Twitch!
I'd just finished cutting the bowling green when the mega alert sounded. On checking, it said Kent, Empidonax flycatcher sp at Dungeness! A couple of updates told of its ongoing presence but around 11am a heavy shower went through and the bird vanished, Thankfully it was re-found in the garden I'd seen my first ever Dark-Eyed Junco in! Due to the trickiness of ID'ing birds of this family to species level given their similar appearance it was soon said not to be either Willow or Alder which was good news as I'd seen the previous 2 Alders in Cornwall and Norfolk. It was then being said to fit Acadian Flycatcher due to long primary projection and bill shape. Thankfully we were allowed home earlier than normal and with positive news I set off and was on site just before 6pm. I'd timed it perfectly again as the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to break out. This meant that the bird had become more active and gave excellent views for the hour I was there. The bird went to roost soon after I left and was never seen again! Luckily it was seen to poo a couple of times and the assistant warden at Dungeness Obs collected the samples and sent them off for DNA profiling. The results came back as 100% ACADIAN FLYCATCHER! This is the 1st record for GB and the 2nd for the Western Palearctic after one was found dead in Iceland.

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