Wednesday, 5 June 2019

News. Spotted Flycatcher - first sighting of the year

Saturday, 25th May 2019

As part of the Abington NatureWatch Bird Survey over the Bank Holiday weekend, Marion R reported seeing a Spotted Flycatcher in her Little Abington garden.  First of the year!

Marion used to regularly see Spotted Flycatchers in her garden, but this is the first one to visit for some years.  She reports seeing the bird again since, and so maybe it will stay around and nest.


You may recall from Michael Holdsworth's very interesting talk on this subject at our spring meeting, that Spotted Flycatchers are in decline across the UK, and he is undertaking research to try and understand more about this problem. To that end, Michael would very much like to hear about any sightings of Spotted Flycatchers in the village - so if you see one, please notify Derek and Andy as soon as possible, so we can verify and pass the message on.

Spotted Flycatchers are apparently rather drab birds, lacking any bold plumage colouration, being a dull brownish-grey above, creamy-white below with feint streaks on the upper breast, with relatively large black eyes, and a narrow pointed bill.  Being around 14cm in length (about the size of a House Sparrow), they appear slim and typically perch with an upright stance. Their behaviour however is anything but dull, as they will typically fly out from a high perch to catch small insects in mid-air, returning to the same perch. Typically they catch insects such as moths, butterflies, damselflies and craneflies.

Spotted Flycatcher (AM May 2015)

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The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871 or Peter Brunning via e-mail peter.brunning@cantab.net.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (amerryweather61@gmail.com)