Now before you poo-poo this lets see it in context. This is only my third Pied Flycatcher on the patch, and the first since 2010. Rarer than Yellow-browed Warbler, Pomarine Skua, Waxwing, Little Auk etc and equal to Barred Warbler and Osprey.
Yesterday morning I was out early to check the thick wooded cover at the Craster Arnold Reserve, the northern end of my Patch challenge patch (?). It was clear and calm early on and the grass silver with dew. The sun later became warm and a lot of birds were calling and flickering about in dense sallows and sycamores.
The first bird I got on to was a bright little Yellow-browed Warbler, followed by a Lesser Whitethroat, that came up from a ditch calling. Chiffchaffs and Robins seemed to be all over and 3 male Blackcaps added variety. Then a call from higher up the bank made me stop and listen. Now, I often get Pied Fly and Redstart mixed up as I only see them infrequently but knew this was one or the other. Its 'sweet sack' 'sweet sack' tone seemed very active moving from tree to tree quite high up. It took me the best part of an hour before the bird finally came into view and showed well in full agitated wing-flicking mode.
At least while I waited a Willow Tit kept me company.
Further along, a second calling Yellow-browed remained elusive and a steady high movement of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks flew south...
"Oh Evie, do come quick and bring your gun, there's a dear little Piedy Fly on the lighthouse wall..."
Miss Leonora Rintoul, Isle of May...