Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leaden Flycatcher - I think!

G’day Readers,
‘Tis raining nicely here in central Gippsland and we had some wonderful steady precipitation nearly right through the night too. Result – some time to knock up a blog. Radar says that it might not last much longer, so we’ll have to jump on a mower again soon.

I have been noticing Leaden Flycatchers a little more often this season. Not sure if it is coincidental or just that I’m getting a bit better at picking them up. There is always some hesitation in picking the difference between the Leaden and the Satin. Most of my sightings have been in our open woodland country, which the field guides tend to suggest is preferred, more by the Leaden where the Satin likes more heavily timbered habitat.

The very excellent website conducted by Graeme Chapman, explains a very obvious way to distinguish between the males and he has some great photographs to demonstrate the feature – the colour demarcation line on the chest bends upwards on the Leaden and downwards on the Satin. Now I only have to remember which is which when I next see one in the field!

The females are another story. Graeme Chapman says, “Females are another matter. Leaden females have a plain leaden-grey crown whereas Satins have a bluish sheen….  Some Satin females are a bit darker on the breast but this is a variable character. Immatures are virtually indistinguishable.”

Anyway, I was in a little bit of bush the other day and a female dropped in for a look at me.

Because of the habitat, at first glance I plumped for a Leaden. I realized I wasn’t too far from the location of where I’d recently caught up with a male, so re-checking the photos, I was able to pick the ever so slightly up-turning demarcation chest line of a Leaden.

Whatever! Nice to have them or at least to be seeing them in increased number this year.


  1. Hi Gouldiae, we usually see Leadens here with only an occasional sighting of a Satin when they pass through. Thanks for the link to Graeme Chapman's site - excellent reference!

  2. We can always use more flycatchers. Isn't nice to be able to reference back so quickly with a digital.