Quantock Hills Blog

Monitoring Pied Flycatchers

- AONB Rangers prepare bird boxes for the arrival of the migratory pied flycatcher

Andy Harris

Posted by Andy Harris on 08 March 2011

Monitoring Pied Flycatchers After just a few beautiful spring mornings, we can now be sure that spring is finally here. I am writing this warming up in the office having checked on our Exmoor Ponies this morning.  Signs of spring are now all around us with snowdrops in flower, resident birds beginning to sing as dawn breaks and Tawny Owl declaring their territories at the end of the day.

February 14th was National Nest Box week and it is traditional that we clean out our nest boxes in readiness for the arrival of the migratory pied flycatcher in April.  The AONB Service has been involved in monitoring the fortunes of pied flycatcher populations within the sessile oak woods since the late 1970’s.  Each year chicks of all species using the boxes have a numerically unique ring put around their leg (this doesn’t cause any stress to the bird) supplied by the British Trust for Ornithology enabling us to monitor their number of chicks that hatch as well as identifying individuals should they be recovered at a later date.  Over the past three decades 2533 pied flycatcher chicks have been rung in our woods and we know (via the BTO ring) some have returned to breed here on the Quantocks but a least one turned up in a wood in Herefordshire.  Through the work we have done with the BTO monitoring the boxes we have contributed to over 13% of all pied flycatcher rung in the UK.

This year we hope to increase our monitoring of pied flycatchers by observing the entire breeding season from nest building to fledging dates as part of a regional study looking into the possible affects that climate change is having on the species, keep you posted.

However despite all this monitoring we do, for me I never lose the sense of awe when I remember the chick in my hand that weighs only a few grams returns to West Africa for the winter and has the potential of doing this trip back and forth for nine years totalling 55,000 miles in a life time.


Comments in chronological order (Total 0 comments)

Add your comment

  • There are no comments for this entry
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Stay in the loop

Annual Reports

View Annual reports from the Quantock AONB Service

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund

The Quantock Hills AONB Service now has a Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund providing grants of up to £20,000 to local communities, farmers, landowners and individuals. The fund has been provided by EDF Energy and is part of the mitigation measures associated with the Hinkley Point C development.

Information leaflets

Find out more about the geology of the Quantock Hills AONB, why the heathland is so important for birds, the red deer on the Quantocks and why the history of the landscape is so special.

Other organisations and activities in the Quantocks

A few things you might find interesting from organisations we work with in the Quantocks

Photography Competition Entry Form

Please down load and return with your fabulous entries

Policys and Codes of Conduct

Everyone enjoys spending their time on the hills doing different activities. Below are some guidance and policy documents to ensure they are carried out safely and that wider regulations are followed.

Quantock Deer Count Results

Annual deer count results for 2010 to 2017

Quantock Hills and Planning

Downloadable documents for you to better understand the Quantock AONB and planning processes

Quantock Hills Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) Papers 2014 - 2017

Papers from the partnership committee the Joint Advisory Committee

Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019

This is the the Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019. It will guide work carried out to protect and enhance the Quantock Hills by the AONB team and all our partners. It has been agreed by the Secretary of State for the Environment and adopted by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Recreation Leaflets

a full range of leaflets from circular walks to event guides and leaflets to allow you to enjoy the best of the hills

Terms and Conditions for Quantock Hills Facebook page

Terms and Conditions for http://www.facebook.com/Quantock.hills

Tick Leaflet

Ticks are becoming more common and a bite from this spider-like parasite could lead to Lyme Disease. This is a treatable infection caused by bacterium transmitted by ticks when they bite. Not every tick carries Lyme Disease and it is important to realise that the disease is relatively rare.

Information

Useful Contacts

Quantock AONB Service
Tel: 01823 451 884

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01823 652 400
www.somersetwildlife.org

National Trust
Tel: 01823 451 814
www.nationaltrust.org

Forestry Commission
Tel: 01278 732 319