Following a prolonged, severe cold period during the second half winter 2009-10, it was obvious that many small birds had suffered a heavy casualty rate. Most inland pairs of Stonechats were wiped out and, based on evidence gathered so far, many of the coastal pairs suffered a similar fate. This kind of thing has happened before, and the species will, doubtless,bounce back. However, it would be useful to know just how bad the situation is prior to the recovery.
I’d be really grateful if anyone with observations of single territorial males, or breeding pairs of Stonechats anywhere in Ayrshire this year could send their records to me (please include the site name and, if possible, a grid reference) before mid November. I’m hoping to write up a short note in the SOC Ayr Branch Newsletter outlining the current breeding status of our county bird. The deadline for inclusion in the newsletter is late November.