wildlife,  NATURE,  Environment,  PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS


Pied Flycatcher 58



Pied flycatcher  Ficedula hypoceleuca


 Pied Flycatchers typically nest in dense oak woodland here in the Forest of Dean. Often to be found on the ground or perching on low branches in deep shade, and as such can be difficult to see. Once the chicks hatch the foraging male is very quiet during his food searches so an especially careful eye is needed to find one.



Pied Flycatcher 62





Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 71




Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 70





Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 11





  Pied Flycatcher 49


I have always loved to watch this active and gentle looking birds busily catching flies and damselflies to feed their young.  Many of my photographs are taken in proximity to a nest box. They are often unpeterbed by my presence and I have experienced males preening and stretching just 3 metres from me, and females hunting for insects on the ground right by my feet.  However, it can take a few visits for them to accept my presence, so I do it little and often at first, increasing my time spent with them each time.



Pied Flycatcher

  Pied Flycatcher 84



Pied flycatchers typically arrive at the nestboxes in Nagshead (RSPB) in the Forest of Dean in mid April.  However, they are just as much at home without nest boxes.  They were originally introduced to help promote a healthy timber industry here, and research by Campbell in the mid 1940's helped to understand their requirements.  But since then, very little in the way of progress is evident.


Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 87 nest


Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 90 (crop)


Indeed, this is artificial selection at work, with humans perhaps creating an unatural and ultimately damaging evolutionary trend for these birds.   Thankfully, like the above bird, I'm seeing more birds in natural holes these days, even though they have leg rings to show they did once reside in a box (maybe they're learning!). I really wish that nest boxes, not to mention the over-zealous and brutal ringing of chicks from nestboxes (this species suffers terribly with leg bling) could be reduced to encourage the birds to utilise natural and surely healthier nesting sites.   They certainly seem to have a lot of competition with many other woodland birds in choosing and keeping a nestbox, so lets reduce the stress in more ways than one and dump the boxes?


Pied Flycatcher 39




Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher 67






Spotted Flycatcher 2



Spotted flycatcher   Muscicapa striata



Spotted Flycatcher 02




Spotted flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher 5



back to Birds Gallery