At Mersehead the Warden lives on the reserve and is going to try and keep you updated on the wonderful wildlife they see at Mersehead during their daily walk.

Mersehead Moments

New spring migrants have arrived at Mersehead over the weekend. The first to be heard was the Whitethroat as it skulked in its favoured patch of gorse near the beach at the end of the woodland. It eventually showed itself as it flew across to a nearby willow. The whitethroat is a summer visitor to woodland, scrub and heath.

Whitethroat. Photo credit: John Bridges (

The Blackcap is a distinctive warbler, the male has the obligatory black cap whereas the female has a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'.

Blackcap. Photo credit: Paul Chesterfield (

An assortment of song is echoing from the reedbed with the arrival of Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler. A great mimic, the male sedge warbler introduces random phrases into its repertoire, never singing the same song twice.

Sedge Warbler. Photo credit: Chris Gomersall (

Grasshopper Warbler. Photo credit: Ben Andrew (

The Willow Warbler is one of the most common summer visitors to this country with 2.4 million breeding pairs. This little spring migrant first announced its arrival on the reserve two weeks ago. One of the easiest spring migrant songs to learn must be the Chiffchaff, who repeatedly calls its own name.

Willow Warbler. Photo credit: John Bridges (

Chiffchaff. Photo credit: John Bridges (

Check out the song of each of the species by clicking on the links and playing the audio on the right-hand side. How many can you hear from your own garden?


Rowena Flavelle, Warden