Leaden Flycatcher in Townsville

Leaden Flycatcher in the poinciana tree
Leaden Flycatcher (male) in the poinciana tree

About this time of year my focus (sorry!) shifts from insects to birds, because there is less insect activity in the cooler, drier weather and more birds in town as they retreat from the gradually drying inland country.

This bird, the Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula), has been visiting us regularly over the last couple of weeks. They are resident in our region, not migrants as they are further south, and I see them occasionally in city parklands at any time of year but not usually in my garden.

As the name suggests, they hunt small insects on the wing, in the same way that our Rainbow Bee-eaters take slightly larger prey. They also hunt insects in foliage, often quite high in trees, and they are small birds (bigger than Sunbirds but smaller than Yellow Honeyeaters) so they are rather difficult to photograph – the shot above is the best I’ve managed so far, from what must be half a dozen opportunities.

Incidentally, I saw a pair of Spotted Turtle-doves in our palm tree this morning – the first time I’ve seen them since last April.

More information on the Leaden Flycatcher: Birds in Backyards.

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