Species: Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)

Family: Old World Warblers (SYLVIIDAE)

Category: Birds

Location: Widespread

A. Birds

More extensive information on birds can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Old World Warblers (SYLVIIDAE)

The Phylloscopus, or leaf, warblers are amongst the smallest warblers and are to be seen flitting amongst the foliage, gleaning small insects with their delicate, pointed bills. Most are shades of green or yellow, and several species have prominent wing-bars or eye-stripes which play a major role in species identification (for the birds as well as humans!).

Most warblers in Europe and Asia are migratory, leaving their northern breeding grounds for the winter months to find insects in the warmer south.

Most migration occurs at night, and birds will put on substantial fat reserves before undertaking these long journeys; it is not unknown for birds to double their body weight with fat in preparation. However, as climates change, this pattern of migration is evolving with birds not moving so far south, and a few individuals even overwintering on their breeding grounds.

C. Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)

The Garden Warbler is a common, rather small bird that has somewhat featureless plumage. It prefers to spend time in deep cover in trees and bushes. Despite its name, it prefers deciduous and mixed woodland rather than gardens.

This warbler averages 14 centimetres in length and has a wingspan of 22 centimetres. It arrives in Britain in late April and early May, leaving from mid-July onwards. It winters in sub-Saharan Africa. The Garden Warbler feeds mainly on insects, although in autumn it prefers fruit, which is higher in energy, to help prepare it for the impending migration. In Portugal, because of its propensity for eating fruit in autumn, it is known as the fig-warbler.

The Garden Warbler has a GREEN conservation status.


Garden Warbler

This Garden Warbler may have been a visitor from Europe, as it was spotted in the Cemetery in September, but it may have been readying for its departure.