Late Friday afternoon the phone rings and its local birder Phil Clark asking Lisa if I am around as he may have spotted a rare Taiga Flycatcher and he would like it photographed to aid identification. Unfortunately I was still at work so Lisa took up,the challenge and grabbed her Camera as the location wasn't far from us. With fading light at 1640 pm Lisa pushed the ISO to 800 and a -1.0 exposure compensation and an aperture of 5.6 at 400mm. This was done to try and raise the shutter speed but even with those settings the shutter speeds achieved reached only 1/80th and 1/60th of a second which is far to slow for a hand held operation and a constantly moving subject.
The bird was looked for today by several local experts with myself and camera tagging along without success.
The two shots depicted are the best that could be achieved under the circumstances and according to the more experienced birder they do Identify the defining characteristics of Taiga Fly catcher. The Taiga as most of you experts will know could be an eastern sub-species of the Red Breasted Flycatcher or a species in its own right. The defining features I am given to understand are as follows, a black beak, white fringing of the tertials, black tail coverts and black upper tail coverts. The throat is likely to have a lead grey colouring and would encircle a red patch if adult. The Grey is evident in some of the photo's. If this is a Taiga then it is a first for Cornwall and I think a fourth for the country. The full raw images will be handed out to the experts I know who will hopefully clear up any doubt either way. I emphasise that the species was found by Phil Clark and photographed by Lisa. I did not see the bird and I have now turned to drink!! Comments welcome but please be kind. Hopefully the way I have written this will lead the readers to believe that Lisa new what she was doing with her camera. Please click on the images to enlarge
2cy male Lesser Kestrel - had mis filed this shot of the 2cy male Lesser Kestrel -- a nice bird
2 hours ago