All photo`s digiscoped using Canon Powershot A640 and Kowa TSN-883 x30
The Spotted Flycatcher is one of the last migrant birds to arrive in this country with most returning in late May, before leaving in July and August. A pair of these lovely birds have bred in the churchyard at Elton, a village just outside Peterborough, for the past few years and have returned this year to try again.
The bird is the size of a House Sparrow with a long dark bill, a rounded head and long wings and a tail. The upperparts of the bird are grey-brown with off-white underparts with streaks on the breast and crown.
They feed on flying insects, especially large flies and also butterflies. They hunt these from a prominent perch, flying out, chasing the prey erratically, siezing the insect and then returning to the same perch.
The female lays 4-6 eggs and incubates these for 12-14 days. Both sexes feed the young until they leave the nest at about 15 days, but the young remain dependant on their parents for a further 12-32 days. The population of this bird was 120,000 pairs in 1988-91, but by 1998 this had fallen by 78%. The reasons for this are not fully understood, but can be linked to problems at their wintering grounds south of the equator and on the migration routes.