Co-ordinated by Birdlife International’s Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT), the RSPB and the French organisation Bretagne Vivante, the search party located significant numbers of Aquatic Warblers in a region of some 100 sq kms within the boundaries of the
Feathers from Aquatic Warblers trapped in
The results from this analysis showed that the birds were wintering at sites just south of the Sahara, and a closer look at the sparse African records, alongside computer modelling of possible suitable climatic conditions, led the researchers to likely areas along the
AWCT Chairman Martin Flade commented: “Thankfully, substantial parts of the bird’s wintering range fall within protected areas, with the
Aquatic Warblers breed as far west in Europe as Poland and Hungary, but the population is declining and knowledge of the species in its winter range, as well as on the breeding grounds, is crucial to its conservation. Interestingly, it occurs regularly in small numbers in south-west England and Brittany on migration in autumn to its wintering areas, but not in spring, suggesting a different route back to Europe.
Photo: Steve Young.