Thursday, 5 July 2012
Search for Spotted Flycatchers in a Churchyard
It was the first dry, hot, sunny day for ages so this afternoon I popped along to a local churchyard where I found a family of Spotted Flycatchers last year.
I wandered round for ages - there were lots of blackbirds, jackdaws, swallows, robins, dunnocks and blue tits about but no sign of any Spot Fly's. The churchyard was a lot "tider" than St Giles but areas of wildflowers had been left and in one area there was a lovely mini meadow full of Fox and Cubs (I seem to be seeing these flowers everywhere at the moment).
There were several brown butterflies flying around in the middle of this area but I couldn't get close enough to identify them as I didn't want to trample down any flowers
Just as I was about to give up and leave I finally saw a Spotted Fly at the back of the war memorial.
A few poor heavily cropped record shots
The bird was at least 30 feet away far too distant for the 70-300m lens. I did try creeping up by hiding behind gravestones and moving slowly forward and lurking behind a yew tree all to no avail. The bird flew off as soon as I began to get closer. Goodness only knows what any passerbys must have made of my suspicious looking manouevres :)
The UK Spotted Flycatcher population has declined by 79% between 1980 and 2005 and this species is now on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern and also listed as a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Species so its good to know that a pair are back in this churchyard again.