Whitethroat – first and last dates

Curruca communis – LLWYDFRON – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant.

Earlier records are summarised in Whitethroat 1994

YearFirstLast
199317 April12 October
199418 April23 October
19954 April18 October
199620 April9 November
19973 April4 October
199820 April30 September
199912 April24 September
200022 April30 September
200114 April28 October
200221 April2 October
200315 April28 August
200419 April30 October
200519 April17 November
200614 April3 October
200718 April23 September
200812 April17 September
200911 April16 October
20109 April7 September
20118 April19 October
201215 April28 September
201316 April16 October
201411 April25 Sept
201516 April11 October
201618 April11 October
20176 April1 October
20186 April24 September
201917 April25 September
202028 March23 September
20211 April6 October

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

More about the Whitethroat in Pembrokeshire

Whitethroat – 2003-07 breeding

Sylvia communis – LLWYDFRON – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in November

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed137115
Breeding probable248289
Breeding possible2112
No of tetrads occupied406 (of 478)416 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads84.9%84.9%

Whitethroats are perky, largely brown warblers are widespread in the county during the summer. They are particularly evident during their frequently performed song flights, when their disjointed, scratchy song draws attention to their presence. They inhabit heathlands, scrub, hedgerows, woodland edge and very young tree plantations. Nests are placed in low bushes, nettles, brambles and tall grass.

The map shows a similar distribution between the two local surveys at the tetrad level. Some minor changes were noted at a more local level, where young plantations had grown to the point where they became untenable for Whitethroats.

Assessing population levels at any given time has been complicated by periodic collapses in numbers. In 1969 the British population was reduced by about 77%. This was associated with drought conditions in the African area where Whitethroats winter. Subsequent recovery has been interrupted by further population crashes of varying magnitude. By 1974 the breeding population had stabilized at approaching half the pre 1969 level but the subsequent recovery was interrupted by another crash in 1984. The 1984-88 Pembrokeshire survey took place in a period of recovery and by 1988 it was estimated to have reached an average density of 20 pairs per tetrad, giving a county total of 8,000 pairs. The similar returns for the 2003-07 survey would seem to indicate no change in the county population but in the meantime the BBS calculated a 10% increase between 1994 and 2007 but a decrease of 18% between 2000 and 2005. It seems that the estimate of 8,000 pairs in Pembrokeshire by 2007 is realistic, despite fluctuations during the time between the two local surveys.

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 Whitethroat in Pembrokeshire

Whitethroat – 1994

Sylvia communis – LLWYDFRON – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in November

1984-88
Breeding confirmed137
Breeding probable248
Breeding possible21
No of tetrads occupied406 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads84.9%

Whitethroats were classed as common summer residents by Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) and this was the situation until 1967. In 1968 only about 30% of the population returned to breed. This depletion was noted throughout Britain and has been attributed to poor survival on the Whitethroats’ drought- stricken wintering grounds of the Sahel (Sharrock 1976). Recovery has been gradual and the population at the time of the 1984-1988 Breeding Birds Survey, with an average density of 20 pairs per tetrad, was probably about 8,000 pairs.

They generally arrive in Pembrokeshire between the middle of April and early June, but in some years occur from the 5 April onwards, with one at Fishguard on 23 March 1956. Their passage is dramatic, with thousands passing in a series of waves, particularly noticeable on the islands and headlands. Some diurnal falls are spectacular, such as the estimate of about 500 at Skokholm on 22 May 1959. They have been noted at night at the lanterns of the South Bishop and Smalls lighthouses.

They pass through the islands and coastal areas again between late July and 31 October, but are less numerous than during the spring passage.

A male was a regular visitor to a Haverfordwest bird-table from 20 December 1990 to April 1991.

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

SHARROCK, J.T.R. 1976. The atlas of breeding birds in Britain and Ireland. Berkhamsted, T. & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Whitethroat in Pembrokeshire

Whitethroat

Sylvia communis – LLWYDFRON – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in November

Whitethroat – 2003-07 breeding

Sylvia communis – LLWYDFRON – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in November Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 137 115 Breeding probable 248 289 Breeding possible 21 12 No of tetrads occupied 406 (of 478) 416 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 84.9% 84.9% Whitethroats are perky, largely brown warblers are widespread […]

Whitethroat – 1949

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

Whitethroat – 1894

Species account from the 1894 Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands by the Rev. Murray Mathew