Wood Warbler – first and last dates

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March

Note that where there is no ‘last’ date, it is probably because whatever the last date the species was recorded in that year, it was so early as to reflect the last bird heard singing, rather than the last date birds were still here.

YearFirstLast
199027 April9 August
199126 April20 September
199221 April8 September
19938 May7 October
19942 May30 August
199524 April8 October
199626 April7 September
199724 April25 October
199820 April19 September
199917 April12 October
200024 April17 September
200126 April23 August
200224 April3 September
200323 April6 August
200427 April 
20057 May 
200629 April29 September
200728 April 
200826 April 
200913 April25 September
201020 April 
201123 April 
201227 April 
201327 April
20142 May 
201518 April 
201629 April 
201729 April 
201820 April 
201922 April2 August

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail.

More about the Wood Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Wood Warbler – 2003-07 breeding

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed73
Breeding probable4019
Breeding possible43
No of tetrads occupied51 (of 478)25 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads10.7%5.1%

This summer visitor is the largest and most colourful of the British leaf warblers, its green upperparts contrasting with its bright yellow breast and silky white belly. Seeing the male trembling while it delivers its trilling song is a fulfilling experience. Closed canopy woodland with little understory is the favoured habitat, where the nest is concealed on the ground among rank vegetation.

About a third of the UK population is found in Wales, where ideal habitat of deciduous woodland grazed by sheep has very little understory growth. Those breeding in Pembrokeshire are at the periphery of their distribution and have been found to be less abundant than in the main area. This may in part reflect the fact that the majority of county’s woodlands are not grazed and the understory and shrub layers are too dense for this species.

The UK population was estimated at 17,200 singing males in 1984–85 and the Pembrokeshire total at 250 singing males in 1988. A subsequent steady decline has been detected across northern and western Europe, the UK total being estimated at 9,000 -10,500 by the year 2000. The 2003-07 Pembrokeshire survey found that distribution had decreased by 50% compared with 1984-88, the remaining total being no more than 100 singing males, perhaps fewer.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

Rees G.H., Haycock R.J., Haycock A, Hodges J.E., Sutcliffe S.J., Jenks P, and Dobbins R. 2008, Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pembrokeshire 2003-07. Pembrokeshire Bird Group.

More about the Wood Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Wood Warbler – 1994

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March

1984-88
Breeding confirmed7
Breeding probable40
Breeding possible4
No of tetrads occupied51 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads10.7%

Mathew (1894) knew of no definite breeding records for Wood Warbler, and described it as a scarce and very local summer visitor, doubting if it occurred west of the Preseli Mountains, whereas Lockley et al. (1949) recorded it nesting in the east of the county and along the Western Cleddau between Hook and Benton. They also noted it had been recorded just once on the islands, at Skomer on 9 May 1946.

Wood Warblers are still very local breeders, their distribution showing a heavy easterly bias (see map). Their favoured habitat is oak and beech woodland, though in recent years a few pairs have occupied pure sitka and larch plantations. Apparently suitable woodlands exist west of this range, such as St Bride’s and Hilton Woods, and males have been known to occupy these areas, singing for a week or more before moving on. They arrive on the breeding grounds between 25 April and early May, but when they depart has not apparently been recorded. On the assumption that most nesting sites were located during the 1984-1988 Breeding Birds Survey, and that singing males are indicative of breeding pairs, the total county population can be fairly accurately assessed at about 250 pairs.

The Wood Warbler is a scarce passage migrant to the mainland coast and offshore islands, one or two being noted in most years. Spring records usually fall between 25 April and 25 May, though one was at Skokholm on 7 April 1977.

One or two autumn passage birds occur between 8 August and 27 September in most years, with one at Strumble Head on 2 October 1983. Autumn birds, although scarce, have occurred with increasing frequency in the last ten years.

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

More about the Wood Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Wood Warbler – 1894

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – A scarce and very local summer visitor.

We greatly doubt if it occurs to the west of the Precelly Mountains. We could never meet with it in the woods at Stone Hall, or in the large covers of Trecwn, which we have visited in the summer on purpose to search for it. In the south of the county Mr. Tracy considered it scarce: “Although I can mostly procure a few specimens the latter end of April or the first week in May, I think they do not stay here to breed, for I have never found them later; and being so well acquainted with the voices of the other Warblers, the peculiar twitter of the Wood Warbler could not have escaped me.”

Mr. Dix has a very different account to give from his post on the Cardiganshire borders. Writing of this species, he says: “More generally distributed, and I think also more numerous, than in most parts of England. One is almost sure to meet with this bird in a plantation of beech and oak. It certainly prefers the beech to any other tree; I have invariably found them upon or near this tree when there are any in the plantation.”

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

More about the Wood Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March

Wood Warbler – first and last dates

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March Note that where there is no ‘last’ date, it is probably because whatever the last date the species was recorded in that year, it was so early as to reflect the last bird heard singing, rather […]

Wood Warbler – 2003-07 breeding

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 7 3 Breeding probable 40 19 Breeding possible 4 3 No of tetrads occupied 51 (of 478) 25 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 10.7% 5.1% This summer visitor […]

Wood Warbler – 1994

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 7 Breeding probable 40 Breeding possible 4 No of tetrads occupied 51 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 10.7% Mathew (1894) knew of no definite breeding records for Wood Warbler, and described it as […]

Wood Warbler – 1949

Phylloscopus sibilatrix Local summer resident, chiefly in larger woods in eastern half of county, but breeds on west bank of Cleddau (Benton Woods and near Hook).  Only once seen on islands (Skomer, 9 may 1946) R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society More about the Wood Warbler in Pembrokeshire

Wood Warbler – 1894

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – A scarce and very local summer visitor. We greatly doubt if it occurs to the west of the Precelly Mountains. We could never meet with it in the woods at Stone Hall, or in the large covers of Trecwn, which we have visited in the summer on purpose to search for it. In the south of the […]

Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix – TELOR Y COED – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March