Spotted Flycatcher survey

Tom Reynolds

Spotted Flycatchers – have you got this increasingly rare bird breeding in your garden? Let us know!

In recent years many Cambridgeshire community and parish newsletters, magazines and websites have helped with a County-wide survey of Spotted Flycatchers. These are attractive migrant birds, about the size of a Robin, which are summer visitors to village gardens and churchyards. Although they breed with us, they spend up to nine months of the year travelling as much as 16,000 miles a year between here and their wintering grounds in Southern Africa – Angola and Namibia. This is an increasingly dangerous journey for them, and sadly they are in deep decline. Widespread losses amounted to a 50% decline during 1995-2010, continuing an 90% decline since 1970.

Only a few hundred pairs remain breeding in Cambridgeshire, but most villages still have a pair or two; they rarely breed out in the wider countryside. We are continuing our work to find and monitor nesting pairs. It’s almost certain that there are many additional pairs out there of which we are not aware.

Do you have flycatchers in your garden? Will you see one this year, or have you in recent years? The few that remain are here from mid-May to September. And there’s lots more to read about our project and Spotted Flycatchers in general at

bit.ly/SpotFly

Please email: spofl@cambridgebirdclub.org.uk  with any sightings.