Saturday, 4 July 2015

Spotted Flycatcher

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers has decided to nest in a broken off tree right at my youngest daughters school and this has reawaken my daughters interest in birds and allowed us to follow the progress of egg laying and hatching. They are right next to a path but clearly seem to be able to deal with the disturbance with the brooding bird only flying off when people come within a couple of metres of the nest.

We discovered the nest on Friday 5 June when it was nearly complete but no eggs had been laid. The next visit on Monday 8th revealed 2 eggs at 0820 and three eggs at 1600. At 1600 the next day there were 4 eggs and this proved to be the full clutch. The incubation period is given as 12-14 days and on 19 June, 10 days after the clutch was complete the female was still sitting on the unhatched eggs.

A visit on 22 June revealed the eggs had hatched and by the look of things within the last 24 hours..... In contrast a pair in Maridalen was still prospecting for a nest site on the same day.

2 eggs 8 June 0830

adult sitting on 4 eggs 9 June 1600

the full clutch of 4 eggs 9 June
the nest from another angle
the sight that greeted us when we checked on 22 June

and 4 very recently hatched youngsters were under the adult (22 June)

and the 4 youngsters still alive 4 days later on 26 June
20:30 on 4 July  and all four chicks have survived and are 12-13 days old. Just before I took this picture one of the youngsters flew the nest and flew strongly 10 metres. BWP gives the fledging period as 12-16 with a mean of 13 which fits perfectly with this nest. I suspect the remaining 3 youngsters will fly early tomorrow morning.

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