Worcestershire Record No. 17 November 2004 p.15


John Clarke

2004 was a very poor year for the local spotted flycatchers. Bad weather in southern Europe during migration delayed the birds and many started breeding quite late. Their problems were later compounded by at least two periods of cold winds and heavy rain during the breeding season - seven broods of small young died in the nest (nil in previous years). Nevertheless, 36 pairs were located of which 32 were studied. 57 of the 58 nests found were monitored. In addition to surveys to locate pairs, find their nests and further attempts after failures, 253 actual ‘nest visits’ were made.

Over the four years of the survey 121 pairs (out of 136 located) and 173 nests (out of 184 found) were monitored. A great deal of breeding data has been obtained and a considerable number of observations on behaviour have been collected. The 2004 data will be included in a report for participants. Later, either a full report will be compiled on the four-year survey or the data will be included in a booklet describing both the survey and the involvement of the local community.

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