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Figure 29 Breeding distribution of the willow warbler

in Wales.

Woodland management for birds: Priority species

Willow warbler

Long-distance migrant, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa

Status

  • The Population Status of Birds in Wales:

Green-listed26

Population trend and distribution

The most numerous and widespread summer visitor to Wales. The RWBS showed a decline of 49.0% (the RSPB) and

    • 50.8

      % (BTO) since the 1980s (Amar et al.

  • 2006)

    . The BBS shows a significant Welsh

decline of 20% between 1994 and 2007.

Species requirements

General: open scrubby woodland, woodland edge, clearings, rides and glades, young conifer plantations, damp areas with alder and willow, gardens, hedges and bushy areas of open moorland and ffridd. This is a species of early successional and transitional woodland habitats, and is particularly associated with birch.

Conservation issues

  • Adult survival during migration and in the winter grounds may be important (Fuller 2005).

  • Deterioration of habitat quality within woodland due to changes in management, eg increase in grazing may be a factor as this can result in the loss of nesting and foraging opportunities (Fuller 2005).

Nesting: located on the ground, well concealed in low vegetation at the base of low shrubs or grass tussocks.

Breeding season:

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Management advice

General

  • Promote open, scrubby woodland edges and edges to rides and glades.

  • Manage to allow areas of early successional and transitional woodland habitats.

  • Create and/or maintain wet features.

Feeding: Invertebrates including mayflies, damselflies, adult and larval butterflies, bees and wasps, also spiders in the breeding season, fruits and seeds in the autumn.

26 Preliminary assessment for 2008 revision of The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Amber-listed.

74

Mark Hamblin/rspb-images.com

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