Following two recent unsuccessful visits to local churchyards looking for spotted flycatchers, I visited another location yesterday afternoon. A beautiful rural churchyard where I thought I had more chance of seeing the species as they have been seen there in the past.
There were lots of blue tits flitting about and I spotted a green woodpecker anting on the grass (unbelievably the first I have seen this year!). Within a few minutes I was lucky enough to see my first spotted flycatchers of the year - a pair of adults were taking forays from the treetops to catch insects.
They were far too far away really to take photographs but I did take a few very poor record shots - exceedingly heavily cropped.
There were at least 3 juveniles dotted around the same area of the churchyard
I'll be keeping an eye out in the garden come autumn as we've been lucky enough to have had 3 visits (2003, 2006 and 2007) from this species as they pass through on migration.
I also saw a gatekeeper on the beech hedge in the front garden yesterday - the first I've seen in the garden this year.
For one reason and another I've not been able to get out much this month so have tended to concentrate on wildlife in the garden and to finish off here's a slightly better photo than those above of a blackbird who had just been bathing in the pond and perched on the old brick barbecue to have a preen.
Garden butterflies 2011 - 12 species