In our recent Notes on Nature TV episode, RSPB’s Jamie Wyver gives a run-down of 10 warblers that you might find on a spring adventureIn total there are around 15 warbler species native to the UK, during winter some of them have been keeping warm further south in southern Europe and Africa, while others have been braving the British winter. Athe darker months draw to a close, many of the migrants will be returning to spend the summer breeding months back on our shores.   

Some of you have already been ticking them off your lists and getting some incredible photographs too, here are a selection of your wonderful warblers. 

 

Chiffchaff - Colin Bray
Chiffchaff - Colin Bray 

Let’s start off with a spring classic. The chiffchaff. Supporter Colin Bray sent us this photo in mid-April of an early morning chiffchaff. Named after their iconic call “chiff-chaff chiff-chaff" for many this species is the sound of spring as their voice suddenly fills our woodlands in April. When did you hear your first chiffchaff? 

 

Cetti’s warbler at RSPB Otmoor - Judith Hadgkiss
Cetti’s warbler at RSPB Otmoor - Judith Hadgkiss 

If you’ve ever taken a walk around a reedbed or wetland habitat (in the south of Britain at least), you’ve probably heard this species maybe without even realising it. Notorious for their loud call, the Cetti’s warbler are often heard but not seen so this photograph by Judith is extra special. The Cetti’s warbler is one UK warbler species that doesn’t migrate for winter and can be found across the south of the UK all year round. 

 


Dartford warbler at RSPB Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Andrzej Środa 

Is this my good side? Another non-migratory warbler is the Dartford warbler. This species has gone from strength to strength, back in the 1970’s there were only 10 breeding pairs due to severe habitat loss of heathlands. There are now around 3,200 breeding pairs in the UK, and spring is a fantastic time to see the males calling and displaying in the morning sun, just as Andrzej has captured here. Their iconic long tail helps them maneuver their spiky homes as they choose to build their nests in gorse bushes. 

 


Sedge warbler at RSPB Frampton Marsh - Jeremy Eyeons 

One of our more striking summer warblers. The sedge warblers eye stripe (or supercilium if you want the fancy name for it), is one of the most prominent, standing out from their darker crown. As the name suggests, this species is often seen in sedge habitats and marshes, just like this individual taken by Jeremy at RSPB Frampton Marsh. Fantastic photo. 

 

If you want to discover more about this stunning and varied group of birds, or perhaps brush up on your warbler ID after the winter, check out our Notes on Nature TV episode.