Have You Seen a Spotted Flycatcher?

Do you have a thick, leafy creeper growing on your house, such as Virginia creeper, ivy or wisteria?  If so, you may soon see Spotted Flycatchers building their nest in it.

Spotted Flycatchers are small brown birds, about the size of a sparrow, with streaks on their head and chest.  However, it is their behaviour – dashing out from a perch to catch an insect, and then returning to the same perch – that most obviously identifies them.

Here is what they look like: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/spotted-flycatcher/

Sadly, these birds have declined by over 80% since the 1970s, and are becoming increasingly uncommon.  I am a local licensed bird ringer, and I would be interested to hear from anyone in the village who thinks they may have a pair in their garden, as I would like to ring the nestlings.  Together with other studies, this may help to provide a clue as to why these birds are disappearing.

I’d also like to hear from anyone who has swifts nesting in their loft.  However, the nests need to be accessible.

Please email me at brian@eastharwoodfarm.co.uk if you have any information.


Brian Milligan