Time to be looking out for them
Spotted flycatchers – have you seen this increasingly rare bird breeding in your garden? Cambridgeshire Bird Club would like to know!
Although flycatchers breed with us, they spend ten months of the year travelling between here and their wintering grounds in Southern Africa. This is an increasingly dangerous journey for them, and sadly they are in deep decline.
During 2018, the third year of a geolocator project, breeding was confirmed for 66 to 82 pairs of flycatchers in Cambridgeshire. 45 nests were found in 31 different tetrads (2 km squares). A further 21 pairs were confirmed in another 17 tetrads, without the nest being found. Eight probable and eight possible nests were recorded in 16 additional tetrads.
The project was by no means a comprehensive county survey, so the best estimate for 2018 of the Cambridgeshire population would be somewhere between 200 and 400 pairs.
So, do you have flycatchers in your garden? Please let the Bird Club know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with any information you have, including records of single birds between now and September.
For much more detail about spotted flycatchers, go to the Club’s associate website, Cambridgeshire bird ringing.
You can also donate to the British Trust for Ornithology, BTO, which has set up a special fund to help its researches do more to understand much more about the different stages of the birds’ annual cycle.
Post created 14 May 2019.