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Gardenwatch

How international is your garden? Cross-reference your sightings with the pictures below in order to find out how diverse the wildlife in your garden is.

Report information

Right folks, summer is finally here and it's time to start making the most of the garden. Over the next few months, your garden will be operating like an international service station for all sorts of migrant creatures. From easy-to-spot Swifts and Red Admirals to the ultra-rare Convolvulus Hawk-moth, your garden will be teeming with all sorts of migrant activity.

You can use the gallery to identify and score each species in your garden. Remember, you score for the species NOT the number of individuals. Good hunting!

User comments

Jenny Fletcher
It has been an intermittently sunny but quite cool day with a light breeze from the North East. I have been working on my PC in the garden - taking advantage of the wonders of WIFI! During today, I have been serenaded noisily by magpies which are very frequent visitors, but have also seen robins, various butterflies and two dragonflies. I also saw a dragonfly and several butterflies over Langstone Harbour when I was out sailing yesterday. Even in the winter, butterflies can occasionally be seen in my garden which is very sheltered and has a south facing wall on the back boundary and warms up very quickly in any sunshine. I don't use any pesticides and grow various veg and flowers in pots on the patio which attract all kinds of insects.The best place to watch dragonflies locally is the pond at the back of Langstone Mill, which actually overlooks Chichester Harbour close to the bridge on to Hayling. The pond is on a popular local footpath but is home to all sorts of creatures over the year. The two harbours attract many migrating bird species and were, unfortunately recently the place of demise for a young bottlenose whale. My question to your programme is, do the dragonflies here hibernate or migrate? If migration, when will they go and when should they return next year? LOCATION: 50.8458,-0.9668 DATE: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 15:36:26 GMT WOtM team: There aren't any British dragonflies which hibernate. All British dragonflies and damselflies emerge as adults in spring and summmer and last just one season. Some species such as the Southern Hawker, the Migrant Hawker and the Common Darter will be on the wing until late October and even early November, but are killed by frost and heavy rain. Dragonflies and damselflies over-winter as larvae in ponds and streams. We do regularly see migrant dragonflies in the UK, including species such as the Red-veined Darter and Lesser Emperor, but these don't usually form permanent colonies. They often arrive in June or July and both breed occasionally in the UK, but our climate isn't quite warm enough for themů things may change though. These migrant species probably don't return to western mainland Europe the country where they started their journey, but will either move on or die here when autumn comes.

James
Hi. I would like to know where dragonflies and damsels go for shelter when it's raining, as I can't get a macro shot of them in the wet. Thanks LOCATION: 55.8799,-3.7244 DATE: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 08:54:38 UTC

Maureen Gillet
Are Jays starting to frequent gardens more than they did? I regularly see a Jay in my garden now but never saw one in the past. LOCATION: 51.4352,-2.6669 DATE: Sun, 9 Nov 2008 19:47:51 UTC LOCATION: 51.4352,-2.6669 DATE: Sun, 9 Nov 2008 19:47:55 UTC WOtM team: Hmm, we have a few that seem to congregate around our windows also. Has anyone else noticed more Jays?

Mr Robert McFadyen
For this first time we have seen Goldcrests, Chaffinches & great tits in our garden. LOCATION: 56.0276,-3.4167 DATE: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 15:18:57 UTC

Leonie Brittain
I am sure I saw a monarch catterpillar two years ago in the Kyrenia mountains, munching its way through a wild carrot, until suddenly it stopped. I thought it had died, but no - it had started to pupate. Alas, I never saw it hatch. It looked very much like the one in the picture, though I don't remember the antennae - only the colourful stripes. LOCATION: 35.3353,33.5413 DATE: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 18:40:00 UTC

James Steele
My house faces NW at the back and SE at the front. The sides are therefore SW and NE. Which side would it be best to fix bird boxes to encourage tits or other small birds to nest? We live on the southern edge of Salisbury Plain 3 miles from Stonehenge. The house is vulnerable to the prevailing South Westerly winds? LOCATION: 53.549999,-1.483400 DATE: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 15:18:37 UTC WOtM team: The short answer is that bird-boxes are best situated in sheltered locations out of prevailing winds. Young chicks are vulnerable to rain and wind, so it's best to avoid exposed locations where rain can be driven in through the entrance hole. Birds also feel more secure if there is shelter nearby, for example a tree or shrub on which they can perch before flying in to feed their young.

Annabelle Tipper
I just thought I'd update my list of species for Gardenwatch as I've seen some additions since I last posted. This year, my family and I saw House Martins, Common Swifts, Painted Lady butterflies, Red Admirals, Large Whites, a Humming-bird Hawk-moth, Silver Y moths and Marmalade Hoverflies making use of our garden in Norfolk. We are still seeing Red Admirals (I spotted one basking on the wall in the weak sunshine on 29th October - it had been frosty the night before so the butterfly certainly needed to warm up!!). We were inundated with hoverflies this summer and they were a joy to watch on various flowers. Once again, I reared a Silver Y moth, which had been munching its way through my mum's leafy vegetables!! I also reared various other species of butterflies and moths this year (almost 400 individuals were successfully released). LOCATION: 53.6528,-1.3156 DATE: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 15:01:10 UTC

j.suggars
Re;muntjacks,programme 29.10.2008[Autumnwatch]My daughter has a herd of muntjacks,also deer, on her land at Norton Park. We often see them in the headlights of the car,as we drive home,particularly at this time of year.Fascinating. Love the programme,by the way.JES LOCATION: 52.0424,-2.1286 DATE: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 20:30:05 GMT

francis stevenson
Hi, following on from your segment on Red Admiral butterflys, I was surprised to see an adult feeding on lavender flowers this morning. Admittedly there is a bit of a micro-climate here, while the rest of aberdenshire has been getting snow, we have had hazy sunshine for the last couple of days.As this is a busy farm and country estate, there is always plenty of wildlife to see, and the disused or part used farm buildings offer many opportunities for over-wintering insects. LOCATION: 56.8970,-1.9775 DATE: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 13:30:43 UTC

Andrea Rohrs
My red admirals are still in the garden on 18th October 08. They are feeding on the flowers of the wild ivy that is still in bloom on my fence and I have put out some grapes for them (cutting them in half). They like them very much. It is wonderful to see them around still at this time of the year. There is also a painted lady (I think), it is a beautiful orange in colour. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 11:37:33 UTC

elizabeth hough
On Saturday October 25th my husband and i (and our cat) were stunned to see a sparrow hawk swoop down into our garden and grab an unsuspecting pigeon who was quietly sitting on the fence. It landed on the lawn where it proceeded to strip the pigeon of its feathers. After about five minutes it was disturbed and flew off leaving the somewhat injured pigeon to hop off and take refuge in the bushes. The sparrow hawk returned several times to find its prey which was too well hiden. This is the second times we have witnessed a sparrow hawk attack a pigeon. Is this unusual? We live on the edge of st albans but quite close to farm land. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 14:52:10 UTC WOtM team: Brett says: Sparrowhawks are smash and grab merchants, hunting by stealth and taking their prey by surprise. They are regular visitors to gardens and use fences and shrubbery as cover from which they suddenly emerge to take small birds, they will often hunt around bird-tables. The females are larger than the males, between them they can take a wide variety of prey from blue tits to pigeons. Seeing them pluck and kill prey is sometimes distressing, but as predators they prove that the food chain in and around your garden is in good shape. If the small birds weren't doing well, then there'd be no sparrowhawks.

MAUREEN MCDOWALL
Good afternoonI have managed after about three years to attract goldfinches into my garden by putting out niger seed. According to my bird book they migrate to France and Spain in the winter but I am still getting the odd visit albeit fewer birds and not regularly. I would like to know what the pattern is. Presumably not like the swallows. Incidentally I very much enjoyed the nes on Nimrod, what an indomitable creature! LOCATION: 50.8094,-1.3403 DATE: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 13:56:43 UTC

Meena
About a year ago I heard about the gradual disappearance of bees, about six months later I noticed several bees lying dead on window sills around our home in Fujeirah. How serious has the problem gotten since? LOCATION: 25.2613,56.3516 DATE: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 16:02:20 GMT WOtM team: The plight of the humble bumble-bee is not good - there have been lots of reports highlighting the dramatic decline in their numbers over the last year.

Denise Stirzaker
More info on my area, I drive round here to look LOCATION: 53.6446,-2.6257 DATE: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 00:01:28 UTC

Tom and Jess Grange
We have 60 -100 ladybirds hibernating in our parents bedroom what shall we do? LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 19:26:35 UTC

Julie Winter
It is a beautiful warm sunny day here in South Derbyshire, and it seems that the whole ladybird population have decided to come in to our house to hibernate! There seem to be many types ranging from the small two spot to the larger harlequin (I think) and many colour variants in between. I seem to remember this happening at a similar time last year, and wondered if anyone else has experienced such an influx. It is not uncommon to find hibernating ladybirds in our house, it has been a regular occurrence since we moved here 20 years ago, they like to huddle in to the sash window frames. This can make opening the windows on a warm winters day difficult as they tend to wake up! LOCATION: 52.8023,-1.6205 DATE: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:43:12 GMT

Trevor Mitchell
A Buzzard has (at least for a time) moved into the Wallington area. I found out up close and personal as it dive bombed our aviary and missed me by about six feet! Today, 08 Oct, I saw it again, flying overhead at around 0800. This time however it was being mobbed by six Ring Necked Parrakeets. How times have changed... LOCATION: 51.3688,-0.1463 DATE: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 07:17:59 UTC

Gillian Simpson
hummingbird hawkmoth 23rd sept 2008 seen in my back yard in southwold LOCATION: 52.3169,1.6260 DATE: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 15:50:03 GMT

Gay Ford
Humming bird hawk moth spotted Saturday 27th September in Stratford on Avon LOCATION: 52.1807,-1.7084 DATE: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 12:09:55 UTC

Kate Houghton NG3 5DQ
A small number of yellow browed warblers in pollarded limes. Thanks for helping identify these as I had no idea what they were!

Rob Watts
I found a very large moth in a tree in my mothers garden in Margate Kent. I have no idea what it was as it was not in any book that I could find. The moth was about 8cm long with mottled black/grey wings and upper body. The underside was grey with golden yellow legs and mouth (i think). The striking thing about it was that it buzzed!. Please can you let me know what it could have been? LOCATION: 51.3443,1.4941 DATE: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:41:00 UTC WOtM team: It sounds like a Death's Head Hawk, which would be a distinct pssibility at this time of year and one was seen in the north-east a few days ago. If it was squeaking then that would be a certainty - not sure if a squeak can be described as a buzz or not! What we need is a photograph!

Mike Ranson
Birds find it easier to fly into the wind because this creates more air flow over their wings, thus generating more lift and thereby making it easier for the bird to stay airborne with less effort. LOCATION: 53.383301,-2.600000 DATE: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 10:12:08 GMT

Annat Almog
Let me share with you this amazing experience and ask for your good advice. A few months ago I found a large dry-land turtle on his way OUT of our garden (a few miles west of Jerusalem), almost reaching the gate. I politely suggested to him it's a suicidal act and took him back to the lower part of the garden where he can roam freely but cannot escape. He did become quite depressed but knowing that releasing him to so called local nature would be the end of him, I kept him looking desperately for a mate. Last week I heard strange and rather frightening noises on the roof and then a bang on the ground. I assumed it was a pine cone but went out to check. I saw an angry Jay hovering over a tiny (she) turtle, wounded - her little hands almost torn out and her little legs bleeding. With the help of a diluted Detol, a protected environment and gourmet food it seems she has won! Now the AMAZING part of the story. A few days ago I found the old (he) turtle making his way on a route he had never taken before - TOWARDS THE LITTLE ONE! The next day he repeated his attempt to reach her, but this time risking his life - unaware of a jay ready for an attack - just about half a meter away. I managed to scare the jay away and decided to put him too in captivity. I built a shelter - 1X1 m and put it in a sunny part of the garden. The first meeting between the two was really emotional but now they hardly relate to one another, and the adult turtle seems rather sad and depressed. What should I do? LOCATION: 31.7609,35.1700 DATE: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 18:15:17 UTC WOtM team: That's a great story but it's hard to tell whether turtles really are depressed or not. What you have done already sounds ideal so far.

Ann
Have seen an unusual bird in our garden just now... 2nd. sep. 08 6.30 pm. It is the size of a pidgeon. Has grey feathers, with yellowish white feathers on its chest and a red feathers on top of its head....what is it called? Ann LOCATION: 53.433300,-1.350000 DATE: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 18:01:19 GMT WOtM team: Unusual bird. You've foxed us with this one, but it doesn't sound terribly like a native British bird (assuming you're in the British Isles!) However, young Green Woodpeckers often look greyish at this time of year and do have red feathers on their heads, so that's our best guess without a photo.

Jennifer Jean Knowles
Just listening to your programme and I want to report seeing about 5 Painted Ladies in my garden on the Verbena bonariensis this Summer by my pond. I live at Olivers Orchard, Olivers Lane south-west of Colchester (see map).I have also had many, many chaser dragonflies, emperors and red and blue (some castellated) damselflies. I have a grass snake living in a very large compost heap near the pond and believe that is why my frog spawn (imported from friends) never matures, although I have been inundated with baby newts and tiny fish. Seeing the adult fish spawning was an amazing site! I could go on - my pond is about 8m. x 5m. and I sit for (seems like) hours just watching all the life going on in this micro-world. It is truly a magical place - only about 5 years old but the sheltering shrub planting around the back of the pond has matured nicely and is a great source of delight to everyone who visits me. LOCATION: 53.8250,-2.0078 DATE: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 10:27:00 UTC

Josephine Mei
I've just heard mentioned (I wasn't listening properly!) the hummingbird hawkmoth. Every summer up to now we have had several both small and the very large type of these hawkmoths feeding on nectar from our geraniums on our balcony. We live in an Alpine village, nearly 1000 metres above sea level, not far from Grenoble in France and I have always assumed the caterpillars developed on the many lime trees.This year we haven't seen any - a lot of insects were decimated by the heavy rain this spring. So it's hardly surprising if they haven't been observed in the United Kingdom.I'd be very interested to find out more about these moths. LOCATION: 45.166698,5.716700 DATE: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 10:21:30 GMT

Pamela Hubbard
This year I am already seeing canada geese moving in far larger skeins and much earlier than in previous years LOCATION: 53.366699,-1.500000 DATE: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 14:31:40 UTC. I live a few minutes from Rutland Water.

Peter Bellamy
I was surprised this morning (30/8) to find a cluster of young blackbirds (3 or 4) hopping around very close to the house feeding, drinking, and one case opening it's beak wide to reveal a still yellow interior. Is it usual for such late raising of youngsters? Maybe they have been appreciative of our 2 large berberis darwinii shrubs - the blue berries were stripped with the usual enthusiasm recently. It seems to be the turn of the Rowan berries now. Far more magpies around than usual. Plenty of greenfinches (with 3 recent unexplained fatalities), tits, robins, chaffinches, dunnocks, frequent woodpecker after ants, occasional starling, rare nuthatch visitor, goldfinch early in the season but not since, wood pigeons, crows, occasional wren. Few holly berries this year so no redwings spotted. Location: Amersham, Bucks LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 07:28:32 GMT

Janet Denney
Second brood of sp. flycatchers fledged on 18 August (3 fledgelings). Remained around garden for 3 days, then as usual, moved away. We think this second pair were not the same birds which had the previous brood, although they used the same nestbox. Their behaviour was different, feeding patterns seemed different, and they spent more time sitting nearby the nest 'ticking' in alarm, though we could not tell at what. They did not seem to be alarmed by us - once eggs had hatched they often came to feed from garden chairs near to where we were sitting, watching them.Sp. flycatchers have nested in this garden for more than 50 years (in my husband's memory), often on the front of the house. Last year the first brood was lost due to wind and rain from the east. A second brood succeeded from a tree at the bottom of the garden. This year we put up a new box (on the house) facing south - it appears to have been successful! LOCATION: 54.2893,-0.9229 DATE: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 15:28:45 UTC

Valerie Upson
For many years we have had swallows nesting in our outbuildings.This year there were 4 pairs whose first broods all fledged successfully and 2 pairs have gone on to raise second broods. We used to have house martins nesting on the end of our house but last year they arrived and then went somewhere else, this year we have not seen any at all. We have a pair of collared doves nesting on a beam in our open cart shed. LOCATION: 52.2009,1.3293 DATE: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:05:51 UTC

Pip Lo Faro
I have seen all these plus drifts of Parnassus apollo, marbled white and various swallow tail species at bardinetto 800m. LOCATION: 44.2216,8.1656 DATE: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 06:48:58 GMT

vera
test LOCATION: 51.7389,-0.3323 DATE: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:59:41 UTC

Jennifer Batten
We don't have a garden here but we have seen about 4 peacock butterflies in the last 3 days. Peacock butterflies are rare in Orkney. LOCATION: 59.3542,-2.4307 DATE: Sat, 2 Aug 2008 19:17:22 UTC

Jan
Massive amount of Tits this year feeding on put out food. Greater Spotted Wood Peckers feeding young, this is their second year. Sparrows still nesting in thatch but less than last year. Lots of Thrushes eating Cat Food and the Cats are ignoring them? LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 21:05:38 UTC

Carole
Greater spotted woodpecker, repeat visitor throughout the summer, obviously feeding young as he could take half a fat ball in one sitting and be back again after 10minutes. Sadly, once they had fledged, he no longer comes down to the bird table and no sign of the young. Green woodpecker on birdtable a couple of times. Sparrow hawk is occasional visitor - I've only seen one pigeon caught in 7 years. Buzzards around a lot of the time. Martins, swallows and swifts busy over the garden all the time. LOCATION: 53.7990,-2.4033 DATE: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 16:30:45 UTC

Roy Robinson
To Howard and Sue King, my website might be of interest to you. www.cretewww.com. There are links including one to anti kithera ringing and migration watch. All best to al,l Roy Robinson LOCATION: 52.5914,1.7166 DATE: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 18:22:11 UTC

Jay Ashworth
For the past few days I have been aware of an unusual purring sound in the field adjacent to my house. I have identified this as a Turtle Dove which I am excited about as it is not something I have heard before! LOCATION: 50.8892,0.4834 DATE: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 20:29:00 GMT

Suzanne Weston
We have had blue tits, balckbirds and wrens nesting in the same hedge this year. They have all fledged now, but are all still nearby. I have seen a lot of dragonflies, but not many butterflies or moths. I have seen one Peacock butterfly and several cabbage whites.The most unusual (for us) bird we have had bisiting our garden was a white throat. It stayed with us for several days, feeding on the insects on various plants. LOCATION: 51.4557,-0.9613 DATE: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 17:18:59 UTC

lockett
Scarlet tiger moth resting on raspberry leaves 25/7 /08 LOCATION: 51.4300,-2.8537 DATE: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 08:50:17 UTC

Susan Hartnell-Beavis
I intended to write earlier to say that, far from losing house martins, this year I had two more pairs nesting on the west wall of my house. However, I now have more to report. Another pair, presumably young ones, have started to build yet another nest. This means that I now have eleven and a half nests, and the early morning and evening sky presents a fantastic aerial ballet.I have seen only one pair of swifts, but we seem to have an extra pair of swallows in our church porch. This is in Blackford, on the Somerset/Dorset border.There have been spotted flycatchers, long-tailed tits, blue and great tits, thrushes, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, chaffinches, green and greater spotted woodpeckers, tree creepers, kingfishers, herons and moorhens all nesting within my and my neighbours' gardens and I see no diminution in numbers.The other day I saw what I think was a butterfly, but could not identify it. It was a rich emerald green, tending towards turquoise when its wings were open. When closed they were shimmering indigo. Has anyone an idea of what it might have been? We had hummingbird hawk moths last year, but I haven't seen one this year. LOCATION: 50.950001,-2.633300 DATE: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 07:58:42 UTC

Haydn Pope
2,maybe three painted ladies,2 red admirals,quite few white butterflies but nowhere near as many as last year. Not one Hummingbird hawkmoth yet,as opposed to one last year.I remember from one of the radio programmes that one announcer had a toad living in her greenhouse near her tomatoes, as I do,and have done for the last few years, and as my father did before me. Can anyone tell me if this is common? LOCATION: 52.6297,-1.1426 DATE: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:21:06 UTC

peter richmond
My location is Scarborough, North Yorkshire. House martins areat present here using last years nest.They went away about week ago and have now returned. LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 10:37:29 UTC

Annabelle Tipper
So far this year, my parents and I have spotted Common Swifts, Large Whites, a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and dozens of Marmalade Hoverflies. According to your scorecard, that gives us 80 points but we are hoping to improve upon that score as we usually see a few Migrant Hawkers each year and we are normally also visited by Painted Lady butterflies, Red Admirals and Silver Y moths (in fact, I reared a couple of Silver Y moths last year). We haven't seen any House Martins flying over our garden this year either and this has surprised us. The number of Swifts and Swallows seems to be down too. We live a few miles from the centre of King's Lynn in Norfolk. LOCATION: 52.933300,-1.500000 DATE: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 12:42:21 UTC

peter west
I took a picture of a butterfly on 19 th July in my garden. How do i send you a picture so we can identify it LOCATION: 53.8169,-1.8265 DATE: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 06:25:21 UTC WOtM team: We use another website called "flickr.com" to host photos. You would need to sign up, upload your photos there and then join the BBC World on the Move group. There's more advice here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/worldonthemove/reports/join-our-flickr-group/

Jan and Mike Walker
Spotted flycatchers have been regular visitors for more than 25 years, often nesting on the side of the house. This year, only fleeting glimpses from first week in July with definite sighting on 15th July. Habitat is mixed woodland. LOCATION: 50.7633,-2.0457 DATE: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 11:44:34 UTC

Peter Spring
Hampton, Middx. Never seen a flycatcher here in 5 years. Loads of swifts always; house martins too, but haven't seen any this year yet. A couple of painted ladies, separately, this year, as most years. Ditto red admirals. Generally, seem to be fewer butterflies of any type, even the whites, each year. Get solitary humming bird hawk moths most years, but not this one yet. Seen hawker dragonflies recently this year but not sure if Migrant. After a stormy night 2 weeks ago we found a huge but battered dead moth, with turquoise eggs spilling out of its abdomen. Bombuslucorum of the Natural History Museum's forum believed this to be a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, from its size (6cm wings; 4cm body) and egg colour. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 22:00:10 GMT

Geoff & Georgie Laight
We are in Stourport, Worcs. Recently we have seen Blue, Great, Coal and Long tailed tit, House sparrow starling, wood pidgeon, collared dove, goldfinch, greenfinch, blackbird, magpie and robin in the garden and kestrel, buzzard,sparrowhawk, lesser black backed gull and sand martin flying over. On the insect front we have had singles of large white, speckled wood and comma butterflies as well as a bumble bee with orange tail. Hoping for hummingbird hawkmoth so have bought some verbena.The resident pair of sparrowhawks must have young, their brazen hunting forays have become very regular, striking terror into the hearts of the local passerines! Their usual shyness has all but gone and they can be seen sitting on roof tops in clear view deciding on their next dastardly move. LOCATION: 52.466702,-1.916700 DATE: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 07:44:50 GMT

Patricia Parker
We are very concerned because we have seen no young robins or blackbirds. We saw the parents feeding but unusually for us - no young birds. We have seen a large increase in the jackdaw young and crows and magpies and they are a pest - even landing on our bird feeders and nuts. Could they have wiped out our songbirds nests? How can we protect our little birds wih so many predators around our garden? LOCATION: 50.6338,-4.3698 DATE: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:54:29 UTC

Jo Woodcock
Re sightings of house martins: we are on the edge of a town in south Devon and for several years martins nested on the wall of the house next door (overlooking our garden). Then the nest was destroyed by decorators. For the last 2/3 years the martins have surveyed the remains of the nest and gone away to nest elsewhere. This year the nest has been rebuilt - we're assuming by young ones 'playing house', as they only seem to roost there at night. We hope that if the nest is strong enough to survive the winter gales they'll be back to raise young next year. LOCATION: 53.250000,-1.416700 DATE: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:37:46 UTC

Geoff & Georgie Laight
Lesser Whitethroat in our garden today, also swift, swallow and House Martin flying over LOCATION: 52.3370,-2.2659 DATE: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 13:57:19 GMT

Dora Almy (Glastonbury)
I reported earlier the spotted flycatchers nesting above my window, there were four eggs which all hatched, they were doing well and I was looking forward to telling you they had fledged successfully. But on Tuesday night through the whole of Wednesday it rained continuously some of it torrential, of course the flycatchers were unable to feed. Worse than that chicks must have got cold and wet though the mother was still on the nest on Wednesday evening, by Thursday all had gone very quiet, no sign of the adults and on a close inspection of the nest, I was devastated to discover they were all dead in the nest, no sign of disturbance. I miss them. LOCATION: 51.1427,-2.7081 DATE: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 13:00:30 GMT

graham.roberts
we have only seen a couple of swifts so far. but could you please tell me if bluetits migrate as they have all suddenly dissapeared from our garden. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 12:49:52 UTC

Pearl Class, The Haven VA CE Methodist Primary Sch
We have bred 30 Painted Lady butterflies as part of a class project! We are due to set them free today.We bred them from larval, watched them develop and form a chrysalis, and then watched with baited breath as they slowly emerged, one by one, into beautiful butterflies!!! LOCATION: 50.799999,0.250000 DATE: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 12:30:47 UTC

John Lyden
Spotted flycatcher and female pied flycatcher (not together). Just two large whites so far, no painted ladies or red admirals yet, but we have them every year. No hummingbird hawkmoths yet either, we normally have one or two, they're late this year. There are swifts, swallows and house martins in the village (Bitterley, at the foot of Clee Hill in Shropshire). None of them nest in our garden, although I have seen a single swallow over the pond. I thought we had Silver Y's, but I borrowed a moth trap, and caught the very similar looking Ni moth, so I may have been mistaken in my daytime spotting. As usual, we have large numbers of hoverflies - I'm not convinced that many are migrant, we seem to have a healthy resident population. LOCATION: 52.3932,-2.6422 DATE: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 20:38:34 UTC

Tiggy Ayoub
What should I do with the American invading ladybird? My garden seems to have almost no native species this summer, but instead I have a plethora of orange multi-spotted ones, and need to know what I should do with them. LOCATION: 50.8632,-1.1041 DATE: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 20:37:43 GMT

Eric Thirkettle
I have a pair of Spotted Flycatchers using my front garden to find food. In fact they use the aerial of my car as their perch. its fascinating to watch their acrobatic flight as they swoop for food. I cannot remember seeing them in previous years, mind you there were more cats about then. I am not sure when they might depart but I hope they will return next year LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 10:26:48 UTC

Dave Austin
Swallow numbers are down this year, they always nest in our stables with several families but we seem to be down to one family this year. They returned at the usual sort of ime but few in number, heyseem to be breeding so hopefully they can start to restore the numbers. There are NO House Martins around at all - they don't breed here but e always see them flying around us but one pair came through and that has been it. There are Swifts in the usual places. We are lucky to have Cuckoos, indeed in the spring they were so loud and frequent as to be a real irritation. Heard one yesterday in fact! LOCATION: 52.0221,0.7086 DATE: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 18:13:06 UTC

nicky griffiths
Hello,I was wondering if you could help. Last year I found this insect in my garden, it was approximately 1.5 - 2" long, with a long sting and four wings. It was black with yellow antennae, legs and the last quarter of it's abdomen. It also made a very loud and threatening buzzing noise. I have been trying to identify it ever since but have drawn a complete blank. It was not a wasp or hornet, nor was it an insect I have seen before or since - I do have an excellent photo of it if there was a way I could send it. I look forward to hearing from you.Nicky LOCATION: 52.200001,-2.200000 DATE: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 14:08:31 UTC WOtM team: We wouldn't risk identifying this from a description, but it does sound like woodwasp called a Great Horntail. If so, the "sting" is actually used for egg-laying and boring into dead wood. But to be sure a photo and geographic location are essential.

Martin Johnson
We have housemartins nesting under the eaves on the east side of our house 5 nests and swifts nesting in the roof on the west sides of the house. All seem to get on with the sparrows and starlings also in residence. Current score 50 not including a possible hummingbird hawk moth seen a few weeks ago but seemed to small and was only briefly visible. LOCATION: 52.3253,0.9503 DATE: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 12:23:25 UTC

stephen warrington
We're within the city of Leeds, but live near Meanwood Beck, which forms a natural green corridor for wildlife, with plenty woodland accessible as well as water. Kingfishers, dippers and herons are regularly seen. Tawny owls and sparrowhawks live in nearby woods, I've seen buzzards (once in the middle of town, on a tall building) and a keen birdwatcher pal swears he saw a Montagu's Harrier. If you take a birdseye view of Leeds, approaching from the south, Meanwood valley is visible as a green stripe, and forms the easiest route, with cover and food.I saw a spotted flycatcher last year, but none yet this year. Swallows swifts and house martins are around, as well as a good range of tits (great, blue, coal, and long-tailed), finches (sparrow, bullfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch). Great- and lesser-spotted woodpeckers live a mile away, with nuthatches and tree-creepers. Great-crested grebes have nested regularly on ponds 2 miles north. I've seen three species of blue butterfly this year, a purple hairstreak and a copper. These were unheard of in Leeds a few years ago. A wood a few miles away was alive with speckled wood butterflies - I had never seen them before. This year stag beetles bred in large numbers in old apple logs I had left for them. These too are a newcomer to Leeds. I ought to be pleased, but it doesn't seem right somehow. LOCATION: 53.8233,-1.5724 DATE: Tue, 01 Jul 2008 10:51:54 GMT

steve evans
scored 30 points. got house martin, swallows, swifts. have seen this year Hilly Blue desspite being very bad year for butterflies so far, have also seen common white and large white. Have chiffchaff, willow warbler, whitethroat, blackcap, tawny owl, goldfinch. goldcrest in nearbly gardens and scrub. have bullfinch, nuthatch, collared dove, greater spotted woodpecker coming to the feeder, as well as the common tits ( including coal tit). we have pippistrelle and brown long-eared bats nearby. sometimes get sparrowhawk, goshawk and peregrine taking shots at the birds on the feeders. have buzzards and red kites in the area. in a good year have seen small tortoiseshells and red admirals. LOCATION: 52.4218,-4.0416 DATE: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 10:23:47 UTC

Janet Denney
Spotted flycatchers fledged yesterday (30 June). We know there were 4, maybe 5 in the box, and now young are being fed by adults in trees round garden. Adult flycatcher dive bombed young GS woodpecker in garden this morning, also had 'set-to' with willow warbler (ww often seems quite aggressive little bird.) Can hear turtle dove singing in woods about 200m away from our house. Heard cuckoo until week ago calling in distance, has visited our garden at least 3 times, presumably to attempt to lay. Swallows fledged from garage loft on 28 June - at least 2 young. LOCATION: 54.2941,-0.9421 DATE: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 08:41:31 UTC

Samantha Emery-Brown
We live at Roweltown which is in North East Cumbria, about 10 miles from Brampton. We have had a pair of spotted flycatchers in our garden for the two years that we have lived here and this year I have seen chicks on the nest which seems to me to be rather precariously positioned on the edge of our house wall just under the roof, only 5 feet from the ground. I can clearly see these lovely birds flying to and from the garden fence catching insects and taking them to the nest. They stay up quite late, I see them until 10.30 at night, flying backwards and forwards. It really is a bird's eye view! LOCATION: 54.1399,-2.2302 DATE: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 14:07:58 UTC

j m chilver
We have spotted flycatchers every year. LOCATION: 51.883301,0.566700 DATE: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 20:31:50 UTC

J & B Skellern
We have a pair of spotted flycatchers nesting in our covered yard at Oare, Wiltshire; the fledglings are about to fly. There is another pair half a mile away in the village, and another pair in another village 3 miles away. LOCATION: 50.700001,-3.533300 DATE: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 09:51:34 UTC

david ellis
I am trying to attract goldfinches to my garden but so far have not suceeded. What sure fire method is there? LOCATION: 51.1656,0.8844 DATE: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 17:05:44 UTC WOtM team: Plant teasels and use niger seed (sometimes spelled "nyjer") year-round in feeders and you can't go wrong! Goldfinches have thin, tweezer-like bills and so can't eat peanuts and sunflower seeds. However they love teasels which you can grow in a wilder part of the garden.

Valerie & Bernhard Klotz
We have Bats, starlings, sparrows, red tail and blue tits in the garden LOCATION: 49.7103,7.3608 DATE: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 14:59:14 UTC

Peter Nicholson
I have a photo of a tree creeper on my leg - stunned after flying into the conservatory. Any interest? LOCATION: 54.6871,-3.4109 DATE: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 12:09:48 UTC WOtM team: Definitely - join our flickr group and tag your photo "the garden": http://www.flickr.com/groups/worldonthemove/

Janet Denney
Flycatchers with 4 young almost ready to fledge, nesting in box on our house. Understand from neighbours their flycatchers have also returned this year, although other neighbours say have not seen their flycatchers this year. (All houses where flycatchers normally seen are farm houses on edge of North York Moors) LOCATION: 54.2973,-0.9695 DATE: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 07:51:04 UTC

Roger Kane
I have a photo of what I believe to be a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, taken near my home last weekend. LOCATION: 52.0626,-1.8292 DATE: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 21:35:36 UTC WOtM team: That's incredible! Well it sounds like you need to prove it - why not join our flickr group and upload your photos: http://www.flickr.com/groups/worldonthemove/ For the picture to appear on The Garden page, please tag them "the garden".

shirley eldridge
Spotted flycatchers have been coming to the garden for the past 40 or so years. this year however, as last year, we are only seeing a single bird. they usually breed successfully, though sometimes are predated by sparrows. LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 08:54:55 GMT

Mrs Rita Waters
We have lived in the very rural village of Westbury, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire for nearly 39 years. Housemartins have nested under the gable at both ends of our house every year since it was built in 1969. They have returned every year, repairing/re-using their original nests or constructing new ones when the old ones have fallen down. In 2007 only one pair returned to nest at one end of the house and the nest at the other end of the house, which fell down during the 2006 winter, was not rebuilt. This year there are no nests. In 1989 we were adopted by a colony of Pipistrelle bats when their original nesting site (the adjacent Church tower ) underwent major repairs. They live inside the void between the soffite/barge board at both ends of our house and the Housemartins, when they were here, seemed not to be put off by their presence. In the dusk one evening some years ago I stood and counted each bat as it took off from under the eaves - at just one end of the house - when I got to 41 I gave up counting ! In May 1996 a pair of Swallows built a nest on top of the bulkhead light which is attached to the highest point of the centre beam of the middle stable in our 'L' shaped stable block. The two adjacent stables are occupied at night by my horses but the middle one, now used for storage, is quite dark. They have returned every year since 1996. What amazes me is that when I am walking over the yard, I can hear the babies twittering away like mad but as soon as I open the stable door they shut up immediately and are as quiet as mice. Their parents are continually swooping around the paddock, catching insects, but I notice that each time they return to the youngsters, they don't fly straight to the nest but perch on the top edge of the partition walls until they think the coast is clear to approach the nest without drawing attention to it. When the babies have fledged, they too sit in a row along the top edge of the partition, well out of reach of our three cats who sit underneath swearing at them through chattering teeth. The Swallows return every year to the same nest which is well supported by the bulk head light so has never fallen down, and the only sign that they are in residence is the pile of bird poo immediately below . When the babies have hatched, you would expect them just to drop the shells over the sides of the nest like their poo, but no, they carry them outside and drop them on the yard just outside the stable door, so diverting attention from the exact position of the nest - very clever !We also have a rookery in the top most branches of the massive Beech and an adjacent slightly smaller Beech in our spinney. The rooks starting nesting there for the first time in 1999. There are now 16 individual nests which are fairly close to the house, so we have no need of alarm clocks ! We have several owls, masses of pigeons and many smaller birds which visit our feeders not to mention two cheeky blackbirds which came through the fanlight of our garage window (left open for the cats) and thence into the utility room to pinch the cats' food until they were making such a mess that we had to shut the window. Re: your programme's mention of cuckoos today, this year for the first time I have not heard a single cuckoo. LOCATION: 52.6397,-3.0295 DATE: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 01:30:05 GMT

Ron & Karen Jackson
We live in a small village, 7 miles south east of Lincoln. We have a large garden with open countryside to the rear. Last yr we had a pair of fly catchers with 2 chicks nesting in some dead ivy on our mature pear tree. This yr we've seen 1 in the garden but not located the nest. Regular visitors to the garden include green woodpeckers, robins, goldfinch, blackbirds, wrens, blue tits, song thrush, pheasants, partridge, collared doves. We do have owls but we are unsure what type because it's too dark to ID them! We're also relieved to find an abundance of bees both bumble and honey. In January we had a monkjack deer visiting the garden in the early morning which was absolutely amazing. LOCATION: 52.183300,-1.700000 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 22:11:09 UTC

Howard & Sue King
We are in Kythira, an island due south of the Pelopponese in Greece and an important stop-over for migrating birds, being visited we are told by about 250 species in all, and having about 65 species resident all the year. At the moment in our garden we have Spotted Flycatchers, Goldfinches and various Warblers - and, last week, an amazing Hoopoe! Overhead we have Buzzards, Crows, Kestrels and occasionally Eleanora's Falcons; large mixed groups of Swifts, Alpine swifts, Swallows and Red-rumped swallows (groups of up to 100 earlier this month) ; and beautiful, vocal Bee-eaters. On the coast we often see Kingfishers and sometimes Squacco Herons; inland on the open moorland, the bird we see most frequently is the Crested Lark, also Woodchat Shrikes and Collared Flycatchers. At night we are serenaded by Little Owls & the unmistakeable Scops Owls. In October there seem to be Robins all of a sudden - do they migrate too? We had never thought of them as migratory. LOCATION: 36.1467,22.9752 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 21:38:24 GMT WOtM team: Robins have a very wide breeding range. In western Europe, Italy, mainland Grrece and Turkey they are resident birds, some staying all year round. There are many migrants in these populations though, for example, a proportion of British birds leaves in winter and is replaced by birds from farther north. In Scandinavia and eastern Europe, they are summer visitors which head south in autumn and spend the winter around the Mediterranean coasts. This explains the influx of birds you see in autumn on Kythira - they're birds heading south to escape cold winters.

Brian McRae
Not sure my garden has hosted any international high flying guests, but mine & the neighbouring semi are host to a vast multitude of nesting house sparrows & starlings within the eaves. Had considered replacing my soffits & fascia boards on the roof with modern UPVC stuff, but a near neighbour warned me that since he did so the sparrows & starlings previously nesting within his eaves had been effectively made homeless! Perhaps this modern obsession with UPVC soffits etc partly explains the house sparrows decline?! Not doing so well on the amphibian front, although since installing a pond in my back garden 3 weeks ago a solitary frog has found its way in for a cooling soak - not forgetting a pair of Common Blue Damselflies busy laying eggs recently. Also a pair of bats patrol my back garden, but sadly no exotic birdlife so far. LOCATION: 51.7695,-0.4285 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:58:54 UTC

Corinne Curtis
25th May: spotted flycatcher arrived within walled garden (formed by two low sheds, the house and a lower stone wall) in front of house late afternoon. I observed it for several hours. It looked like it was preparing to stop the night (in a small tree in the corner of the garden) until I made the mistake of closing the bedroom window. This scared it and sent it flying off over the shed wall towards Rousay. Not in this count, but I have also seen a couple of bonxies recently (great skua), and it seems like there are more black headed gulls and large black backed gulls around this year than last. I live on Westray, one of the north isles of Orkney. LOCATION: 59.2758,-3.0034 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:51:18 UTC

Glenn King
Spotted Flycatchers return most years to their old nest on a trellis on the east wall of my house and they are using the nest again this year. They have had problems in the past with predation and it is notable that, this year, the climbing plant that usually gives cover to the nest has died and their nest is now quite exposed. It wil be interesting to see whether they are able to fledge a brood this year. LOCATION: 52.1234,0.9970 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:39:28 UTC

Katherine Shearer
I mentioned before that my parents had spotted fly catchers in their garden. I forgot to mention that last year the fly catcher nest was intertwined with a wren's nest. Both birds seemed to be nesting together - semi-detached! We still have the nest. Is this common? Thanks, Katherine, Hepworth, Suffolk LOCATION: 52.4091,0.9668 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:43:49 GMT WOtM team: Communal Spotted Flycatchers and Wrens aren't common at all, and must make a fascinating sight! What's interesting is that the birds tolerated each other, which suggests that there is plenty of insect food in the garden. If you've got photos, why not join our flickr group and upload your photos: http://www.flickr.com/groups/worldonthemove/ For pictures to appear on The Garden page, please tag them "the garden".

Katherine Shearer
My parents have a pair of spotted flycatchers than nest in their garden each year. The nest is always in the porch by the front door. If they remove the nest when it is empty the fly catchers will make another and start again in the same year.Their garden is in Hepworth, Suffolk LOCATION: 51.9443,0.5273 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:33:10 GMT

James Barton
We have lived here, in a village between Bury st Edmunds and Diss for 25 years. Every year until now we have had huge numbers of swifts here in the summer. One can sit out on a June/July evening and look to the sky and see literally hundreds of swifts.This year it is quite, quite different:hardly any at all; until today have only seen a dozen or so over the garden at most. Is this the same anywhere else? Has there been a catastrophic event anywhere that has decimated the swift population? If this is permenant I feel that a great joy of our summer has been lost (I think we'll be part of the world on the move if this is the case). LOCATION: 52.3432,1.0327 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 14:01:01 GMT

Tom Harris
60 so far -Spotted flycatchers and House martins. Do any of these other migrants count?- Barn Swallow, Redstart, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler . LOCATION: 52.1235,-4.1028 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 13:23:46 UTC WOtM team: Not to this particular event but those are obviously all very good finds.

Joan S
Delighted to observe spotted flycatcher visiting garden daily - first time ever seen in garden. LOCATION: 54.7991,-3.0954 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:24:44 UTC

Tony Gordon
I should have added that our score is 60 (all made up of 10s). Listening to your latest World on the Move, it was mentioned that Dunnocks are getting rarer. Well, for the first time since we moved here 11 years ago, we have a breading pair in the garden - rather than the odd one coming to feed. As we also have a breading pair of Song Thrushes (that's a first for the garden), at least two breeding pairs of black birds (rather than the normal one) and a breeding pair of Robins (we think that's a first) and possibly two Wren's nests, we must be doing something right. Ours is a suburban garden and not very big - about 60yds by 25yds, LOCATION: 52.9999,-0.4147 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 10:35:38 GMT

Tony Gordon
House Martins have always been regular visitors to our Edwardian semi - even after we and our neighbours had the roof re-done five years ago. They are back this year but not in the same numbers (perhaps 5 nests per house active rather than the ten of previous years). And they haven't yet started the constant stream dive bombing the house at the end of each day. Mind you, that probably is a July thing. LOCATION: 52.9983,-0.4312 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 10:28:35 GMT

Anthony Stone
We have a pair of spotted flycatchers nesting in a nest-box behind a rose on an east-facing wall. They have at least one chick hatched. We have had flycatchers nesting in our garden in most of the last 10 years or so. LOCATION: 52.1824,0.3049 DATE: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:21:57 GMT

Susan Turner
Pair of Flycatchers nesting in garden. Annual visitors our garden. LOCATION: 54.1608,-1.4667 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 21:21:47 GMT

Claire Godfrey
90 points! We have had a Spotted Flycatcher this year. 2 years ago they nested in a shed behind our house but I think they are a little further away this time. LOCATION: 54.7753,-2.9800 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 20:36:37 UTC

Olwen Green
We live in a small village surrounded by arable land and last year we had two House Martins nests, one at the peak of the north gable and one at the peak of the south gable. The north gable nest had two broods and the south gable one brood. This year both nest sites were investigated by a pair of House Martins but both sites remain unoccupied.LOCATION: 53.7601,-1.1014 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 20:00:32 UTC LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 20:04:18 UTC

Olwen Green
We live in a small village surrounded by arable land and last year we had two House Martins nests, one at the peak of the north gable and one at the peak of the south gable. The north gable nest has two broods and the south gable one brood. LOCATION: 53.7601,-1.1014 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 20:00:32 UTC

Anne House
I am situated on Exmoor and run a sheep sanctuary - Fleecehaven. On the 6th June I was devastate when a cat leapt from a hay rack in one of my stables and destroyed a newly hatched nest of house martins. The nest had been built on top of security camera in a 'special needs' stable when the elderly sheep of Fleecehaven are housed. The nest was broken into pieces but I managed to recover two chicks from the straw underneath the nest - they were just beginning to grow feathers. Initially, I put the chicks into an abandoned sparrows nest and temporarily put it back on top of the camera. The parents were fretfully flying around and clearly distressed. I remembered that there was an old house martins nest from last year that was attached to one of the other stable walls that did not appear to have any occupants. I carefully removed this nest, transferred the chicks into it and placed it where the original nest had been, wedging it well into the space with hay. I then left well alone, but wasn't overly optimistic that the parents would return. However, after just 20 minutes they did return and I have carefully watched them ever since. I am pleased to report that they have now flown the nest, although are still living happily in the stable and return to it with their parents, especially at night time, when they tuck up close to the heat lamp that is provided for the old sheep. We have many lovely pictures of them and will shortly feature them on our charity website, www.fleecehaven.org.uk LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 17:53:49 GMT WOtM team: That's fantastic news! We're so glad to hear you were there to keep this family together.

carol duncan
We were the honoured hosts to a family of spotted flycatchers, just outside our sunroom, in among the honeysuckle. 5 babies were hatched and we eagerly watched the comings and goings of a very busy mum and dad feeding them all day long.Sadly - on Sunday morning - the fledglings were all dead. The storm, wind and rain on Saturday night [and the cold] were all too much. Will the parents just head back to warmer climes - and what are our chances of them returning next year? LOCATION: 54.8829,-2.9526 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 14:40:21 UTC WOtM team: It's sad to hear of stories like this, but this is a regular problem for migrants, and spotted flycatchers are particularly badly hit by wet weather because they prefer to feed on flying insects. One of the reasons for the decline in spotted flycatchers here in the UK is that increasing wet weather is forcing the birds to glean insects from leaves, a less efficient method than catching them in flight. Even if they manage to rear a brood, the nestlings are at the mercy of bad weather which chills the chicks. There's a good chance that the pair will try to raise another family this summer if the weather allows them, so do keep a watch out for breeding activity.

Grace Fenwick
Our house in Galloway has been in the family for 30+ years and house martins moved in from the start. Used to have 20+ nests (high density living). Now numbers much reduced - only 3 nests this year and late arrival. Swallows in barn, pheasants, blackbirds, mistle thrush in the garden. Bramblings and siskins (?), great, blue and coal tits in abundance in the spring. Peacocks in residence for several months in the spring! Gt. crested woodpecker (juvenile) visited once. Barn owl and short-eared owls in the adjoining forest. Given the recent concerns about bees - we've had loads around this year. LOCATION: 55.833302,-4.250000 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:58:31 UTC

Paul Tarling
Our spotted fly catchers have returned to the garden here in Herefordshire. They actually arrived here on June 2nd. This year we seem to have two pairs. LOCATION: 52.2009,-3.0377 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:37:01 UTC

Jenifer Williams
We have a pair of spotted flycatchers nesting. They have chosen a new site this year--it is a purpose built 'platform' under the eaves of the summer house. We are well pleased that they realised it was for them !! We have never had house martins but 'our' swallows returned, inspected their nest from last year and have now disappeared. LOCATION: 51.733299,0.483300 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:32:19 UTC

shirley eldridge
we have had spotted flycatchers coming to the garden for the past 40 or so years. However, this year as last, we only see one, not a pair. They usually breed successfully although occasionally predated by sparrows. They generally nest in the wisteria, sometimes in the garden shed, not at all concerned by my coming and going. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:00:48 GMT

Caroline
Here in SW Scotland I have a pair of house martins nesting in my laundry room which they access through the window which is slightly open. They have built a round nest on top of a box on a top shelf, near the ceiling. Another pair are nesting in a crack in a wall. In previous years house martins have nested above the windows but invariably these get destroyed by wind and rain as the house is on an exposed hill-top, so I'm glad they're thinking laterally this year! I regularly have buzzards sitting in the large trees and on fence posts and telegraph poles. I've heard skylarks but not actually seen them yet, the same with cuckoos and woodpeckers. I often hear tawny owls and have occasionally spotted one. I seem to have been adopted by a partridge which appears to like watching me mow the grass for some strange reason - its mate isn't so interested in gardening! LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:53:20 UTC

L Edward
Hume, Kelso, Scottish Borders . We have had flycatchers nesting on the wall of the house for 5 years now (since I have been there), usually on the outside light above the back door. They are extremely shy and will stay away from the nest if anyone is near, but we can observe them by going to another part of our garden. This year they have chosen a gap in the wall where a heating vent comes out - only about 10 feet from our door. Incredible that they can migrate so far away and come back to the same place year after year. Like Andrew Straton, below ,we also had a humming bird hawkmoth last year, but none so far this year. House Martins and swallows nest in the village about 100 yds away. LOCATION: 55.6667,-2.4623 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:51:04 UTC

W Henry
Spotted Flycatcher feeding chicks nesting in porch roof. LOCATION: 54.4141,-2.9855 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:42:40 UTC

Sue Morison
We live in North Norfolk.I have 5 house martin nests on my house, these are old nests and the birds have returned to them. There do not seem to be any new nests this year.We also have a nest of swallows.A barn owl lives in a nearby garden and we often see her/him (difficult to tell) looking for food - especially in the early evening.Hope this helps LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:10:09 UTC

Liz Barrie
Beeston, Nottingham. I have one house martin nest; they are raising a brood. They are using the same nest as last year. Two broods were raised in 2007. LOCATION: 53.366699,-1.500000 DATE: Sun, 22 Jun 2008 13:59:02 UTC

Andrew Straton
I live in a relatively new town house (2004) in Ripon. The garden birds have been slow to to come to the feeders we have put up but are gradually comong more reguarly. I have seen House Sparrows, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Starling, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Jackdaw and Pheasant all feeding in the garden. Looking out over the field at the back I have seen Little Owl, Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Kestrel, Heron, Mallard, Canada Geese,(there is a pond in the field) and last year there were a flock of goldfinch visited briefly. Of course there are Magpies as well but not as many as we used to see when we lived in Leeds! The Swifts fly overhead and the first sighting this year was on 3rd May. I have not noted any House Martins locally but they do fly over the water at Beaverdyke Reservoir, near Harrogate, where I fish. Last year we had a HUMMING BIRD HAWK MOTH in the front garden, but no sign of any this year yet. Can I claim 50 points for seeing it last year?! LOCATION: 54.1423,-1.5302 DATE: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:03:14 UTC WOtM Team: Thanks Andrew - that's a very good score, As for wanting to claim points retrospectively, well I think that would have to be considered by the Ethics Committee :) !

Davina
Score 60 (so far). House Martins have nested on the house for the past 2 years ( house was built 4 years ago, we moved in 3 years ago).. Do the following count?Red Kite, Buzzard, Oyster Catcher, Heron, sky lark, all seen from the garden. LOCATION: 55.7024,1.0107 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 23:11:57 UTC WOtM team: Terrific list for a Garden. Lucky you! All the birds you mention are residents in the UK, although of course we might get the odd interloper from mainland Europe. Red Kites and Buzzards are expanding their range significantly - East and North. Skylarks from your garden - a species in decline and one that many are worried about - is a great observation. And the Oyster catcher and Heron, which you're lucky to see from your garden (although we hear many people talk of Herons raiding their pond fish). Can't give you any points - but a huge :o)

Stephen Brooks
Canterbury used to be renowned for its resident swifts. However the numbers go down each year. The flocks of 50 or more visible in the late summer evenings ten years ago are now down to under 20. I believe that demolition and redevelopment of much of the city has left them with no nesting sites and nothing has been done to encourage them to breed. Maybe the insects are not so abundant either, as many of the once green areas close to the River Stour are now building sites or car parks. LOCATION: 51.500000,-0.116700 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:54:01 UTC

mary munro
we have quite a few swifts in Cleobury Mortimer, s shropshire each year, but there does not seem to be quite as many as last year. I do know that at least one old barn where they used to nest has now been converted to a house. I have seen a couple of painted ladies earlier this summer but they do not seem to be around now. (We used to get an occasional hummingbird moth in our garden in gloucestershire when we lived there in 2000 / 2001 but I have never seen them here in south shropshire, I think perhaps we are too high up for them here on the Clee hills). We used to get huge numbers of house martins and swallows in Gloustershire too but not many here none so far this year. LOCATION: 53.5599,-2.0215 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:36:59 UTC WOtM team: Our contacts in the British Trust for Ornithology do note a decline in Swifts and Swallows in Britain and they want to find out more about the numbers of House Martins. These birds could be perishing anywhere along the migration route, including the UK. Decline in insects could also be having an impact of adult and chick survival.

Dave Ellison
We live in a small village overlooking the Tay, opposite Dundee. We have had housemartins for the past 25 years at least. There were two nests last year. One was knocked down in spring due to barge board replacement. The other was occupied briefly (a couple of weeks) from 4th May, but then they disappeared, and have not returned. The other has not been rebuilt. Generally there seem to be far fewer flying around the village than usual. LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 20:43:59 UTC

Lee Brett
I have a pair of House Martins nesting on the South gable end of my garage(Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford, Essex), they have been there for some weeks. There is usually a nest on the North gable as well but not this year. The nest on the South side always survives the winter but the northern one has to be rebuilt each year, the winter weather sees to that. LOCATION: 51.599998,0.516600 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 20:01:23 GMT

mark thorpe
The Senne area north of Paderborn is a fabulous site for Raptors. Having seen a pair of Hen Harriers interacting with a Buzzard; plus sitings of Hobby; March Harrier; Goshawk; and nesting Peregrines since early May; my evening bike ride on 2nd June was the "tops"... Having seen an odd looking shape about half a mile away - looking like the head of a small brown dog - it suddenly took off and flew at low level across my field of view. A white tailed eagle in full flight - nearly eight foot wing span - a really exceptional summer visitor. LOCATION: 51.8477,8.7781 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 16:00:30 UTC

Paul H
Re: House Martins - here in the Yorkshire Dales, I have one pair nesting in the corner of a window this year as usual, although some years there have been two nests. Numbers of House Martins in my village are probably slightly down, but we still have quite a lot about. In one slightly broken down and disused House Martin's nest last year we enjoyed the novelty of Swallows using it - they fledged successfully and have been seen this year swooping up to where the nest was. I note your expert suggested leaving last year's nests in place. There is however the argument that old nests dry out excessively and become very fragile, leading to collapse. I have seen this happen, and one year had to rescue chicks by nailing an old washing powder carton to the window where the nest had been. The parents immediately resumed feeding and the chicks succesfully fledged a couple of weeks later. Last evening, down by the river, I watched all the 'hirodelle' species flying in small groups - Swallows, House Martins, Sand Martins and Swifts - absolutley delightful. LOCATION: 52.933300,-1.500000 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 15:29:04 UTC

FIONA MELVILLE
when should swallows hatch their chicks? LOCATION: 56.0889,-3.3453 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 13:00:11 UTC WOtM team: Swallows' eggs will hatch in June and chicks would have already fledged.

Chris Godfrey
House Martins adopted our house when newly built 15 years ago, due I think to the rural location and the old style overhanging eaves. Most years we have 4 or 5 nests, but this year we have more than ever(9) despite taking the old nests down in the winter. The only nests which are unacceptable are the ones which are made directly above the door. These we discourage because of the mess which treads into the house. LOCATION: 54.000000,-2.000000 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 10:50:39 UTC

janice broom
well????? do Kangaroos count ? LOCATION: -31.9428,115.9937 DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 09:34:03 GMT WOtM team: We would love kangaroos to count. Tell us more about the species you see, how many and what they are doing.

colin
House martins are building a nest next door. Also when going for an early evening stroll we spotted about ten house martins flying over our local park. LOCATION: 52.7629,-2.3703 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 22:17:08 UTC

Dora Almy
I am looking at a spotted flycatcher as I write this (one of a pair), they are nesting in the jasmine just above the window. We have swifts flying high overhead do they count? In which case 60 points! In past years we've had humming-bird hawk-moths visit the garden but sadly none sighted so far. LOCATION: 51.1397,-2.7191 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 19:10:19 GMT

Judith Law
I live on the Isle of Skye and within a year of building our house (4 years ago) we had 3 house martins nests, all with young. This has risen to a fourth nest being built this year. There are young again as there was a dead chick on the ground by one of the nests. The house martins help with the midge problem which affects us here. LOCATION: 57.1109,-5.8777 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 18:19:06 GMT

Mrs Elaine Shortle
we have just put different seed containers hanging from our bird table in the garden and yesterday I noticed two birds spending quite sometime enjoying the seed I cannot be sure of their identity so could someone tell me which species they were.Description:- red round the beak browny green body didnt look like a Goldfinches or chaffinches. LOCATION: 53.8574,-1.2112 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 17:50:57 UTC WOtM team: Could be a Greenfinch if it had quite an erect posture and a heavy bill.

Sheila Smyth
We have had swifts in this area (Walthamstow, London) all the years I have lived here which now totals 14 and they regularly nest in my roof. However, I have noticed that the numbers are reducing each year and am unsure of why this is. The area is ideal for Swifts as it contains a number of resovoirs a river and a canal. LOCATION: 51.4968,-0.0934 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 14:38:08 UTC WOtM team: Swifts get you 10 points but what else have you seen and what's your running total? A few other people have mentioned low numbers of Swifts - is there anyone else from London who can confirm these rumours?

Bill Graham
I am responding to todays item about housemartins - we have two pairs nesting in the eaves of our house, we live just outside Carlisle, Cumbria [CA4 8HR] - 1 is a nest that was built last year & the other is a new one - they are both raising broods. We also had another pair trying to build a new nest but they gave up and went away, perhaps they were young birds? LOCATION: 54.8845,-2.8729 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 13:40:57 UTC WOtM team: It is possible that these were young inexperienced birds. One of the reasons that House Martins abandon is that they run out of supplies of mud. In times of drought they can't build nests if they don't have the mud available. Another possibility is that one of the pair died or was killed by a predator. House Martins can be quite fickle in their choice of nesting sites and sometimes whole colonies will disappear to reappear next year in a different place. We're not entirely sure why!

norman defoe
I heard a mention of crossbills on todays World on the Move but can find no reference on this website?Fairly common in my garden, i put up cuttlefish bone for them. The reason I mention it is because i understand there are two distinct species in GB. One of which is the Scottish Crossbill, but i do not know how to differentiate them. LOCATION: 57.650002,-3.333300 DATE: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 11:26:23 UTC WOtM team: Scottish Crossbills are endemic to the UK - they are the only bird to be found solely in the UK, and only in certain pine forests of the Highlands at that. It's extremely difficult to distinguish them from other Crossbills and most guides advise against trying it in the field as it's so hard. However, there are very subtle differences in bill size and call.

Jacqueline Weddell
House martins have nested on my house for the last fourteen years. until last year there were always two nests but last year although they started to rebuild a nest they did not raise a brood. This year one of the nests has been rebuilt and is being used. Many of my neighbours have had at least one nest over the last ten years but there have been fewer pairs aroundfor the last three years. LOCATION: 52.1301,-2.0242 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 12:00:49 UTC

Trevor Clarke
I am responding to today's (17 /6/08) item on house martins. I live in Ashton under Lyne in Greater Manchester (postcode OL6 8PF) and we've shared our house with house martins every summer since moving in in 1984 - apart from this summer. Of our (their!) five nests under our eaves one has collapsed over the winter and the other four are empty. Three of the nests were occupied last year and over the years this has varied but we've never had less than two occupied. Even the year a house-painter knocked the nests down they rebuilt and bred! And they were here, of course, before we were.Usually there are house martins darting and twittering in flight in the air space over the local streets but not this year. In fact, the only house martins I've seen this summer were at Wessenden Head reservoir between here and Holmfirth - that was in late April. I hope this contributes to the big picture and helps, if only in a small way, towards solving the mystery. It's obviously a problem returning to Africa last autumn, a problem in Africa or a problem returning to Europe this spring; but that doesn't get us much nearer does it?Summer's not the same without their toing and froing during the day, and the twittering under the eaves as we sit in bed with our first cuppa. LOCATION: 51.583302,0.200000 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 11:27:30 UTC

Gill Caven
90 so far LOCATION: 50.1206,-5.6909 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:59:56 UTC

Hilary Hopkins
We live on Dartmoor and have a wide variety of bird life.- and butterflies.I would like to question your advice on the knocking down of bedraggled house martin nests in the winter. When the adults return and use old nests, the weight of the new babies dislodges the nest and the babies fall and die. This was observed with a wren nest too.Swallows(2) and housemartins (6) arrived together 23rd. April, in 07 they came on the 13th of April. LOCATION: 50.6164,-3.8947 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:51:55 UTC

Mrs Mary Chaunt
You asked about house martins in today's programme. When we came here thirty years ago martins made attempts to build under our eaves but the nests kept falling off. I suspect that this was due to the quality of the paint. We put up one artificial nest which was immediately full and then another one. Up till last year we had the two full each year. Last year martins built one of their own next to them and this year they are back again and we have three full nests. LOCATION: 52.0457,-1.4502 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:51:04 UTC

Barbara Youngman
I was listening to your Tuesday morning programme about house martins. I live in N-E London, in Chingford. We moved into our present house in 1981 and for many years, while our children were growing up, we looked forward each summer to the arrival of house martins and swifts in our area. The skies would be full of them both, especially in the evenings. We even had a house martin nesting above our front door one year.Then about 10 years ago,almost from one year to the next, the house martins vanished and have not returned. We get a few swifts, but only a few. Any ideas as to what has happened in the Lea Valley here to make it less attractive to the martins? I miss them!! LOCATION: 51.6436,0.0659 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:47:56 UTC

Deirdre Waddington
Not a sign of a house martin as yet this year. Until a few years ago we had several nests under the eves. For the last couple of years house martins have appeared early in the season and done what looks like an inspection of certain former nests. They have then disappeared, but paid a second visit late in the season and done another apparent inspection before disappearing. Could they be showing the young birds possible sites for the following year? Do house martins join together to share the labour of buildig nests? LOCATION: 51.3941,-0.9998 DATE: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:41:41 UTC WOtM team: Both the male and the female collect and use materials to build their nest.

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