The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
Palearctic; in Britain and Ireland increasing; 6090 pairs in the 1950s had increased to 450 pairs by 1991 and 2000 by the year 2000.
Cornwall: increasing summer visitor and passage migrant in small numbers. Formerly a very sporadic breeder but one or two pairs have bred annually in recent years in the east of Cornwall. Isles of Scilly: annual, but scarce, on passage.
Habitat & Ecology
Formerly associated with heathland, but now utilise a variety of wooded country with
access to open areas for hunting. It specialises in catching insects, especially dragonflies and small birds on the wing.
Human disturbance. Clear-felling of woodland.
Protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.