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Restless indeed

April 2, 2014

Restless FlycatcherWe went to check on a report of several Snake-necked Turtles sighted in a dam on a property at Strath Creek. We didn’t find the turtles, but did come across this Restless Flycatcher busily darting around and hovering over another dam in search of insects, and sweeping its tail back and forth upon landing. Its scientific name, Myiagra inquieta, reflects its common name – Myiagros was a lesser Greek god with the role of keeping flies away from ritual sacrifices to Zeus and Athena, and the Latin ‘inquietus’ means restless or disturbed.
The Restless Flycatcher’s white front extends right up to its bill, which distinguishes it from Willie Wagtail (who also has a white eyebrow) and the other local flycatchers, Leaden and Satin, whose white underparts extend only to the dark upper breast. It has a diverse range of calls, including a strange sustained chirring or rasping sound often described as like a scissors grinder, which is not all that helpful – when was the last time you heard a scissors grinder? Anyway, click on the audio bar below to hear for yourself some of the sounds recorded at Strath Creek.

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