The autumn bird migration is now in full swing in south Wales and almost every day migrating birds are being spotted at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, where they’re stopping off to refuel before they tackle their long flights to warmer over-wintering locations in Europe and Africa. One that I find particularly charming is the Spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), which is not really spotted at all, more streaky and stripy. The scientific name is more accurate: Muscicapa is a combination of the Latin word musca, meaning fly, and capere, meaning to catch, and the epithet striata is from the Latin striatus, meaning striated.
I saw my first Spotted flycatcher at Cossie on 7 August.
A week later, on the 15th, I had two sightings.
The 20th was a bumper day, with three birds, two obviously travelling together, and another doing its own thing.
And last Friday, the 24th, a birding friend put me on to a single bird, that was catching flies in the paddock I walked through on my way home. Fingers crossed I manage to see a few more before they all disappear for the winter.