It’s not too late…if you’re quick…..to build a nest box for the Spotted Flycatcher. They will be arriving back from Africa into Ryedale this week and will be looking for suitable nesting sites.
They will happily nest in gardens and will readily take to nest boxes if you get the dimensions and positioning just right.
Now don’t get confused we are not talking about the Pied Flycatchers who use nest boxes with 28mm holes, remember? this time it is the Spotted Flycatcher….come on, keep up….Spotted Flycatchers like a 60mm low open front next box positioned on a wall about 2m high half hidden behind a shrub, climber or some ivy.
They like the low front because they build a very shallow nest in the bottom of the box then the female can look out over the front while she is sat on her eggs. Sometimes it looks like she has got her chin on the ledge.
At first glance the Spotted Flycatcher looks like a plain brown bird (LBJ a ‘little brown job’) but when you really look at them you realise what an elegant bird it really is, with its long tail, tall thin proud stance, its spotted neck- breast and head, and its long thin black beak. It is also easy to recognise when it is catching flies with its famous hunting technique, which is to use a favoured perch in the garden while it does aerial circular forays to catch flies before returning back to the same perch.
Spotted Flycatchers are in sharp decline in the UK so anything we can do to help them here in Ryedale will be great.
Oh and don’t forget…don’t use too many sprays in your garden, the Spotted Flycatcher and lots of other garden birds rely on the flies and insects in your garden to survive.
Notice that around one of my boxes I have attached some chicken wire this is because last year the nest was raided by Jackdaws. The idea is that the Spotted Flycatchers can get through the wire but the larger birds can’t.
How to make a nest box:
Sorry to anyone who has already seen this post on the Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering Town blogs, but I’ve had a busy week and didn’t have time to do two different posts…..OK I just couldn’t be bothered.