Red Breasted Fly on the doorstep

Andrew Spottiswood’s voice sounded a bit trembly when he called me just before work this morning…
“I’ve got a Red Breasted Flycatcher by Gate 13 at Ainsdale”, was all that he needed to say.
I was out of the office door and covering the two hundred yards from the office to the area in licketysplit time, stumbling through the drenched Creeping Willow.
I know RBFlys are regular east coast autumn visitors, but in Sefton they are rarer than Unicorn Bacon.
Got to the area to find Andrew watching a patch of willows where the RBFly was zipping about as only they can do, black and white tail flashing in the gloom.
Pauses between sallies around the willows showed no red on the throat (obs) and plenty of white at the base of the tail.
Too dark for a pic after the rains, but I set the ‘scope up for digiscoping expecting it to come closer, or at least sit out in the open for long enough for me to get a record shot – but it just melted away and that was it – no sign after 0940.
First time I’ve seen one on the Sefton coast and a great reward for Andrew who covers this patch south of Ainsdale Discovery Centre day in and day out.
His previous finds here down the years include Red Backed Shrike and Wryneck. His rewards are hard-earned and richly deserved.
Classic patch birding, well done Andy and thanks!
If you come looking, follow the fenceline south of Ainsdale Discovery Centre, the bird may just be lying low, or it could have moved on – the dune system has plenty of places to hide as regulars know only too well!!!!

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