Sedge Warbler – records

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February

Earlier records are summarised in Sedge Warbler 1994

YearFirst sightingLast sightingNotes
199314 April25 SeptemberBreeding densities: 2 pairs Skokholm, 27-29 pairs Skomer, 14 pairs Dowrog
199412 April5 October3 pairs at Skokholm. 33 territories at Skomer, 12 pairs Dowrog
199511 April10 October5 pairs at Skokholm, 24 territories at Skomer (where an albino was noted and photographed), 15 territories Dowrog, CES at Teifi Marshes revealed record productivity with 217 of 278 trapped being juveniles. Strong autumn passage noted at Llangloffan where almost 500 ringed in mid-August. Controls included 2 ringed in south-west Scotland.
199620 April30 September4 pairs at Skokholm, 26 pairs Skomer where up to 4 albino or partial albino birds noted. 12 pairs at Dowrog
19979 April27 September12 territories at Dowrog, 24 Skomer, 3 Skokholm
199817 April2 October11 territories at Dowrog, 79 trapped at Teifi Marshes CES, (3 from previous years). Newly ringing 34 juvs and 42 adults.
199917 April14 October29 pairs bred at Skomer, 4 Skokholm, 12 Castlemartin Corse, 16 Dowrog, 69 at Teifi Marshes. All-white bird with black eyes, 25 July – August.
200020 April29 September35 pairs bred Skomer, 4 pairs Skokholm; 10 singing males St. David’s airfield 30 Apr, 13 pairs Dowrog.
200110 April1 OctoberReported breeding: Pembroke MP; Skokholm; Castle Martin range, min. of 27 territories; Skomer, 34 territories, fledglings noted 7 July
200221 April3 OctoberBreeding: Skokholm – 6 territories identified, 5 pairs definitely bred. Skomer – 39 pairs bred; fledglings noted 27 June. An albino seen on Skomer 1 Aug.
200315 April27 SeptemberBreeding: Skokholm, 4 pairs with first fledglings seen 8 July; Skomer, 25 pairs bred and fledglings noted from 17 June.
200423 April25 September
20056 April8 AugustBreeding: 30 territories at Skomer, 10 Dowrog, 20 Ivor’s Pond/Treleddyd Fawr, 5 singing Goodwick Moor 24 April
200620 April4 AugustSkomer recorded 44 territories, its highest breeding total on record, only single figures bred before 1981.
200714 April27 SeptemberBetween 53 and 59 territories were mapped on Skomer, 20% increase on the 44 territories in 2006. 4 pairs on Skokholm, 2 on Ramsey.
200812 April31 August18 singing birds Teifi Marshes on 8th June
20096 April19 SeptemberCES ringing at Teifi Marshes caught a total of 271, with 144 on 4 May, and 116 on 10 May. The largest count on Skomer was 34 on 28 May.
201014 April18 September15 territories held on Skomer, 6 on Ramsey
20119 April5 October26 territories held on Skomer
201211 April8 SeptemberMax count 30+ near Jordanston 24 July
201318 April31 August17 breeding territories at Gupton Farm, 32 on Skomer
201411 April21 SeptemberSingle on Grassholm, 31 May.
44 territories on Skomer
201517 April25 September40 territories on Skomer
201611 April18 AugustMax count, 102 at Teifi Marshes 3 May. Recorded from at least 33 1km squares, with breeding evidence from at least 19 of these.
20172 April19 SeptemberRecorded from at least 54 1km squares. Breeding evidence reported from at least 35 locations, including 53 pairs mapped on Skomer and 11 pairs on Skokholm.
20187 April24 SeptemberReported from at least 41 1km square locations. Breeding evidence from 15 of these. Highest counts from Skokholm were 43 on 9th Aug and 41 on 4th Aug.
20191 April2 NovemberReported from at least 55 locations. Breeding evidence was reported from 28 locations.
Largest counts in spring were: 25 on Skokholm 1 May, 100 Teifi Marshes 7 May, and 14 on Skomer 31 May. In autumn: 15 Skomer 15 July, 26 on Skokholm 16 July with 22 there on 1 Aug and 20 on Grassholm 4 Aug.
20207 April18 September12 territories in 1km squares SM7225 & 7325 (Trefaiddan). 42 territories counted on Skomer and one on Ramsey, the first in 25 years.
Largest spring counts in were: 10 Marloes Mere 10 May, 13 Teifi Marshes 1 May.
In autumn only large count was of 18 on Skomer 30 Aug.
Monthly max counts on Skokholm: 9 April, 12 May, 14 June, 16 July & August, 1 Sept (14th)

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

More about the Sedge Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Sedge Warbler – 2003-07 breeding

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed3027
Breeding probable91109
Breeding possible1311
No of tetrads occupied134 (of 478)147 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads28%30%

The Sedge Warbler is a small, chubby warbler with brown upperparts streaked black, creamy white underparts and a broad cream stripe above the eye. Its varied chattering song is often delivered whilst it is perched in full view or in its song–flight. It is to be found mostly in damp places like reedbeds, bogs and around ponds. Its nest is placed in bushes or tall vegetation, near or on the ground. It is a summer visitor.

The UK population level has varied considerably over the years, affected mainly by varying rainfall in its winter quarters in West Africa. Analysis of various data sets gathered by the BTO shows year to year fluctuations, with similar levels of population in the UK in the years 1988 and 2007, which is relevant to the two local surveys. The 2003-07 survey results show an almost 10% increase compared with those of 1984-88.This suggests that about 700 pairs were nesting in Pembrokeshire at the end of 2007, compared to 650 pairs 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 Sedge Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Sedge Warbler – 1994

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February

1984-88
Breeding confirmed30
Breeding probable91
Breeding possible13
No of tetrads occupied134 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads28%

Mathew (1894) considered the Sedge Warbler to be the second most numerous, after the Chiffchaff, of the warblers to visit Pembrokeshire. Lockley et al. (1949) stated that it was a “numerous summer resident in almost every reedy, sedgy cover”. Lloyd’s detailed diaries for 1925-1935 recorded Sedge Warblers in localities where they are now absent, the habitat having become unsuitable. Lockley (1957) stated that “they can be found singing in every overgrown water ditch”.

Sedge Warblers are less numerous in Pembrokeshire today, the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988 finding them to be locally distributed. Most were found in reedbeds and other marshy areas but some were breeding in completely dry scrubby places, including pairs at Haverfordwest Golf Course, around Mathry and along parts of the coastal path. Numbers vary from year to year, depending on how they survive the rigours of migration and the conditions they encounter at their wintering grounds south of the Sahara. They were noticeably less numerous during the first two years of the survey than in the latter three. By the end of this period there were estimated to be about 650 pairs breeding in Pembrokeshire. This is based upon individual assessments at some of the larger marshes plus an estimated average density of four pairs per tetrad elsewhere.

Sedge Warblers generally appear in Pembrokeshire in the second half of April, with occasional birds in the vanguard from 6 April. One was at Tenby Marsh on 25 March 1964. They continue to pass until about 9 June, and occur in most coastal areas, with occasional notable falls such as the 250 birds seen at Skokholm in May 1953.

Return passage is spread between July and 17 October, though one was recorded at Skomer on 29 October 1963.  Usually ones and twos are seen in coastal areas, with occasional falls of 20 or so, although up to 100 were recorded at Skokholm in August during the 1940s.

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

LOCKLEY, R.M. 1957. Pembrokeshire. London, Robert Hale

More about the Sedge Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Sedge Warbler – 1894

Acrocephalus phragmitis

A common summer visitor.

Next to the Chiff-chaff, perhaps, the most numerous of the soft-billed summer visitors in Pembrokeshire. When we were fishing in the Cleddy below our house in the spring and summer, we were always provided with entertainment by the Sedge Warblers that were very abundant in the tangled cover by the side of the stream through which we had to force our way. Their restless plunging into the bushes and out again, sometimes scolding at us, sometimes trilling a few notes of their babbling song, was most amusing. And every now and then we would start one from its nest.

After this experience of the abundance of the bird in our locality it is curious to read that Mr. Tracy considered it scarce, and that Mr. Dix had only heard it in one place, ” in some willow bushes near Cardigan.” We do not consider that this is any proof of any inequality in the bird’s distribution, but only that it points to these two excellent observers and naturalists not having had at hand the country that the Sedge Warbler alone frequents; swampy, bushy places, and the banks of brooks that are fringed with thick growth of brambles, furze, and other suitable cover for the bird to nest and harbour in.

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

More about the Sedge Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Sedge Warbler

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February

Sedge Warbler – records

Records of first and last dates, breeding densities on some sites, and max counts from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports since 1993.

Sedge Warbler – 2003-07 breeding

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 30 27 Breeding probable 91 109 Breeding possible 13 11 No of tetrads occupied 134 (of 478) 147 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 28% 30% The Sedge Warbler is […]

Sedge Warbler – 1994

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus – TELOR YR HESG – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to February 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 30 Breeding probable 91 Breeding possible 13 No of tetrads occupied 134 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 28% Mathew (1894) considered the Sedge Warbler to be the second most numerous, after the Chiffchaff, of […]

Sedge Warbler – 1894

Acrocephalus phragmitis A common summer visitor. Next to the Chiff-chaff, perhaps, the most numerous of the soft-billed summer visitors in Pembrokeshire. When we were fishing in the Cleddy below our house in the spring and summer, we were always provided with entertainment by the Sedge Warblers that were very abundant in the tangled cover by the side of the stream through […]