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Spotted Flycatcher


The Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa grisola is a regular and numerous summer visitant, generally quite as numerous in certain localities as in England, its arrival and departure being about the same time. It occurs also in Sark and Herm, and probably in Alderney, but I do not remember having seen one there. In Guernsey it is perhaps a little local in its distribution, avoiding to a great extent such places as the Vale and the open ground on the cliffs, but in all the gardens and orchards it is very common.

Spotted Flycatchers appear, however, to vary in numbers to a certain extent in different years. A few years ago, they came out in great force, especially on the lawn at Candie, from which they kept a good look-out either for insects on the wing or on the ground, and they might be as frequently seen dropping to the ground for some unfortunate creeping thing that attracted their attention as rising in the air to give chase to something on the wing.

Certainly, when I was in Guernsey about the same time, Spotted Flycatchers did not appear to be quite so numerous as in the years before. This was probably only owing to one of those accidents of wind and weather which render migratory birds generally, less numerous in some years than they are in others, however much they may wish and endeavour, which seems to be their usual rule, to return to their former breeding stations.