A research student has found that staggering numbers of warblers are opting to spend the winter in Britain in preference to moving further south.
Greg Conway is undertaking a PhD (sponsored by the BTO
) on the increasingly common phenomena of warblers wintering in Britain. Some native warblers - like the Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata
) and goldcrest (Regulus regulus
) - are resident species and do not migrate in the winter. The latter are also joined by many birds from the continent in the winter. However birds like the blackcap (Regulus regulus
), willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus
) and chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita
) are traditionally migrants - spending the winter in warmer climes. But over recent decades more and more of these birds have been spending the winter in Britain (many of these probably breed in continental Europe). If you see any warblers in your garden this winter (even the resident ones) you can help Greg with his research by recording your sightings here: BirdTrack
BTO. 2005. Looking for 'lazy birds'. BTO News Release No. 2005/11/37.