Taralhão is one of the many Portuguese common names given to two flycatcher species that visit us every year, from late August to November: the spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata and the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. In this photo, a pied flycatcher calmly sits on a tree collard at the end of the day, possibly contemplating all the flies it has eaten or if it is already time to leave the European continent for the year. Pied flycatchers breed in most of Northern and Eastern Europe and there are some breeding populations in Spain, but here they are only migratory, staying for only a few months before going to winter in Africa. They are one of my favourite birds, despite their winter plumage being a bit on the dull side. But they are so lively and funny that I can spend hours just watching them hunt insects.
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