Blackcap – 2003-07 breeding

Sylvia atricapilla – TELOR PENDDU – Breeding summer visitor, passage migrant and winter visitor

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed8671
Breeding probable248317
Breeding possible59
No of tetrads occupied339 (of 478)397 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads70.9%81%

A predominantly grey warbler, the male with a distinctive black cap, the female’s cap ginger, the Blackcap inhabits the cover of trees and scrub, where it nests. It is found in all bar the barest parts of the county. Its melodic, fluty, song draws attention to its presence but it can be difficult to locate. Most Blackcaps are summer visitors to Pembrokeshire.

A variety of monitoring schemes have concluded that Blackcaps have been consistently increasing since at least the 1970’s. Despite much conjecture, no convincing explanation has been suggested as to why this has been so. The 2003-07 county survey found that there had been a 17% increase in distribution compared with that found in 1984-88.  The BBS has calculated an increase of 87% in Wales between 1994 and 2007. Applying these increases locally suggests approaching 13,000 pairs were breeding in Pembrokeshire at the end of 2007, compared to 7,000 pairs estimated in 1988. 

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Blackcap in Pembrokeshire