Mouse over links for pictures; click for detail page.

Warblers form a large group of birds, most of which come to Britain in the summer to breed after spending the winter in Africa. They all live mainly on insects. They are small, slim birds and many, like the willow warbler and chiffchaff, are a drab brown or olive colour with few markings to help identify them. To make identification even more difficult, they tend to keep well hidden among vegetation.

Fortunately though, many are accomplished songsters, and few better than blackcaps and garden warblers.

All these are woodland birds, but reed warblers and sedge warblers frequent reedbeds. Both have a noisy chattering song with many trills and runs, usually sung from the depths of the reeds.

Common whitethroats and lesser whitethroats, by contrast, like more open conditions, such as scrubby areas or hedgerows.

Cetti's warblers are one of the very few warbler species that stay all year. At the northern limit of their range, they suffer badly in hard winters, but with the climate warming they are doing well at the moment.

© David Harrison