Sunday, 5 June 2016

Spotted Flycatchers in North Hertfordshire

23rd May 2016

Spotted Flycatchers used to be common in Hertforsdhire but are now becoming scarce as shown by the recently published Birds of Hertfordshire. The results of the last three Atlases show the number of the 491 tetrads in Hertfordshire where breeding was possible, probable or proven as follows:

1967-73       407

1988-92       378

2008-12      129

There are still a couple of sites in the north of the county where Spotted Flycatchers can normally be seen, so off for a visit. The first site was Sandon Churchyard. The birds are normally at the back of the churchyard which is virtually an annex to the main churchyard. This year was no exception although only one bird was present, so hopefully the female was on eggs, and he was keeping high in the trees making life difficult. I did, however, manage a few shots.

Then on to Wallington which I must admit is my favourite site. Although they have nested in the churchyard here in recent years, the last couple of years they have frequented a large open garden at the junction of Kits lane and The Street. Unfortunately, here you are standing on a road looking over the hedge, but this is more than compensated for by the fact that you get a lot more uninterrupted low level views.

What cracking little birds!!!

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