Thursday, 23 April 2015

Day 171 - Wonderfully Windswept Willow Warbler (well, this one was :-)

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Hi all today's Day 171 and I have been at Fairburn Ings recently. We went to both the main reserve and something just off to the side called Lynn Dike. We saw a number of things but the final thing that we saw just before returning to the car park was something we were told to look out for by Matt Collis over Twitter. He will definitely know what this bird is along with the rest of you from the title and the pictures. Yup, that's right, today I'm covering Willow Warblers. This little chap was singing away at the very top of a willow tree in quite a windy place, almost out of range of my camera. It did well to hang on let along sing so nicely.

So, here are the facts:

  • The Willow Warblers have made it very easy to tell you where they live and when which is in the Summer and everywhere in the UK.
Here it is at the top of the tree when it was still
  • Even thought they have a huge amount of breeding territories, 2,400,000, they are still only an Amber Status bird.
  • This is because they have had a recent breeding population decline. It was VERY recent as in the last assessment (2002 - 2007) they were a Green Status bird.
  • The Willow Warbler is a very unique bird as in sheds all of its feathers twice a year. Once on the Breeding Grounds, and once on the Wintering Grounds.
  • They are small little birds being only 11cm long and only having a 19cm wingspan. Both Male and Female birds weigh 10g.
And here it is clinging on and still singing in the wind
  • They are found pretty frequently in all habitats but mostly in Scrubs, Coniferous Woods and Deciduous Woods.
  • Their local name (Willow Wren) is probably linked with their Latin name which is A Leaf Watcher mentioned by Aristotle probably a Wren.
  • They have a typical lifespan of 2 years but the oldest smashed this (in comparison) with 10 years, 11 months and 18 days.
  • They have a lovely set of collective nouns including a fall, a wrench, a confusion and a bouquet
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Awww, lovely photos as always Zach! Such a sweet bird! - Tasha