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

Blackcap – 1994

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

Map produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre
1984-88
Breeding confirmed86
Breeding probable248
Breeding possible5
No of tetrads occupied339 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads70.9%

Mathew (1894) classified the Blackcap as a summer visitor that was far from common, with a few pairs in the north-east of the county, also noting that it was “stated to be common in the extreme south”. Lockley et al. (1949) regarded it as a “fairly common” summer resident which appeared on the islands on spring migration but rarely in autumn.

Today they breed throughout Pembrokeshire and appear to be equally common in all parts of the county. An average density of 20 pairs per tetrad, based on singing birds, suggests that the total breeding population is about 7,000 pairs. They arrive at the breeding grounds throughout April and early May, whereas migrants pass through the islands from 26 March to mid-June, most of them in April. Autumn passage has been noted from 23 July to 30 November with a distinct peak in October.

Blackcaps regularly winter here, though the birds involved are not neccessarily part of the local breeding stock. Wintering birds obscure the validity of early and late passage dates, but, as they do not normally winter on Skokholm and Skomer, island data has been used to delineate migration periods.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Blackcap in Pembrokeshire

Blackcap – 1980s winter

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

The BTO winter atlas showed that Blackcaps were present in almost 40% of 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 3 birds recorded per day.

Blackcaps visiting bird feeders has aided detection.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Blackcap in Pembrokeshire

Blackcap – 1894

Sylvia atricapilla

A summer visitor, far from common.

We could never detect this beautiful songster at Stone Hall until the small fruit began to ripen in the kitchen-garden. Writing of it in his neighbourhood Mr. Dix says, “First heard on 12th April; three or four pairs bred in the plantations near, but it is not numerous.” In Mr. Tracy’s list, which refers chiefly to the birds observed in the south of the county, the Blackcap is stated to be common.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Blackcap in Pembrokeshire

Blackcap

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

Blackcap – 2003-07 breeding

Sylvia atricapilla – TELOR PENDDU – Breeding summer visitor, passage migrant and winter visitor Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 86 71 Breeding probable 248 317 Breeding possible 5 9 No of tetrads occupied 339 (of 478) 397 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 70.9% 81% A predominantly grey warbler, the male with a […]

Blackcap – 1994

Sylvia atricapilla – TELOR PENDDU – Breeding summer visitor, passage migrant and winter visitor 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 86 Breeding probable 248 Breeding possible 5 No of tetrads occupied 339 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 70.9% Mathew (1894) classified the Blackcap as a summer visitor that was far from common, with a few pairs in the […]

Blackcap – 1980s winter

Sylvia atricapilla – TELOR PENDDU – Breeding summer visitor, passage migrant and winter visitor The BTO winter atlas showed that Blackcaps were present in almost 40% of 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 3 […]

Blackcap – 1968-72 breeding

Red = breeding confirmed Orange = breeding probable Yellow = breeding possible More about the Blackcap in Pembrokeshire

Blackcap – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Blackcap – 1894

Sylvia atricapilla A summer visitor, far from common. We could never detect this beautiful songster at Stone Hall until the small fruit began to ripen in the kitchen-garden. Writing of it in his neighbourhood Mr. Dix says, “First heard on 12th April; three or four pairs bred in the plantations near, but it is not numerous.” In Mr. Tracy’s […]