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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hurrah! Stonechats are back on Strensall Common

Always good to get a good bird on my local patch and the reappearance of Stonechats on Strensall Common after a barren couple of years was a noteworthy highlight of an otherwise uneventful tramp around in the cold and snow threatening weather this afternoon. Totally ubiquitous on the continent, Stonechats are rather less common as a breeding bird in the UK. There were 3 or 4 breeding pairs on the Common until that very cold winter of 2010 / 11 killed them off entirely so very promising to see them back again and fingers crossed for less severe weather this Winter and a successful season in the Spring.
32 high flying Pink Footed Goose heading South over the the reserve in classic V formation was another the only noteworthy record on a bitterly cold and bleak day out on the Common, not even a single dog walker .... must have been inclement!


  1. About 7 years ago when I started birding, Stonechats would come and winter in Northants from coastal areas etc. I would walk into the carpark of the local reserve and they would be flitting around. About 3 years back they just stopped showing you'd really have to search around the county for just one bird. They still haven't bounced back, glad to see they've started a bit of a recovery around your area.

  2. Yep, judging by the numbers on the continent I doubt whether they're in any way endangered but they do seem susceptible to cold snaps. To be seen whether they survive this winter and breed once more ... i hope so! Believe it or not Whinchats used to breed at the same location, but not for over a decade now .... even though there are still notice boards alerting the visitor to them!