Figure 30 Breeding distribution of the spotted flycatcher in Wales.
Woodland management for birds: Priority species
is usually partially concealed but with a good field of view. Nestboxes are also used.
Long-distance migrant, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa
Principal Biodiversity Species in Wales
The Population Status of Birds in Wales:
Population trend and distribution
Spotted flycatchers are well-distributed throughout Wales although they have declined rapidly in the UK over the last 25 years, the BBS showing a 59% decline between 1994 and 2007. The RWBS showed differing results (+35.1% the RSPB and -58% BTO) since the 1980s (Amar et al. 2006).
Feeding: flying insects, eg ‘house’ and dung flies, butterflies, moths, bees, wasps and beetles. In bad weather, birds will forage in the canopy and occasionally on the ground.
A reduction in nest breeding success due to increased predation (Stoate and Szczur 2006). The amount of nest cover is a key factor in breeding success.
There is evidence of declines in other European countries and a reduced survival of first-year birds, possibly at their wintering grounds or on migration (Freeman and Crick 2003), which suggest mechanisms operating outside Europe may be affecting this species (Fuller 2005).
A reduction in the biomass of flying insects due to a decline in habitat structure quality.
Increase the extent or improve the quality of nest sites
Provide nestboxes in suitable habitat where natural sites may be lacking (see nestboxes).
Retain ivy and other climbing plants to provide nest sites.
Habitat: mature, deciduous woodland with an open structure and perches for insect- catching sallies. Open parkland, farmland and gardens are also used.
Nesting: nests are located in natural crooks and hollows on the outside of mature tree trunks, buildings or in dense ivy. The nest
Increase the extent or improve the quality of foraging habitat
Create open features close to suitable nest sites through felling.
Encourage a diversity of structure within the field and shrub layers through control of grazing levels to encourage an increase in insect biomass.
30 Preliminary assessment for 2008 revision of The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Amber-listed. 31 Unfavourable conservation status in Europe, but population not concentrated in Europe.