Tim writes: Wood Warbler is by far the rarest and most stunning of the three Phylloscopus warblers that breed in Britain. Willow Warbler has about 2.2 million pairs, whereas Chiffchaff has about 1.1 million, whereas Wood Warbler solely has round 6000 pairs, and that’s more likely to have fallen because the species is in steep decline. They’re thinly distributed in upland woodlands all through Britain, with just a few remoted pockets within the lowlands, such because the New Forest and Thames Basin heathlands. Wood Warblers are extra fantastically marked than their congeners with a lemon wash on the face and throat contrasting with silky white underparts. The upperparts are additionally a cleaner, lime inexperienced, not like the sullied brownish inexperienced of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.
Most Wood Warbler images are of singing males as that’s when they’re comparatively simple to seize, however I managed to seize this feminine gathering nesting materials from a woodland path. The sexes are comparable however I do know that is the feminine as solely she builds the nest. Additionally her mate was nonetheless singing close by. Probably the most acquainted track of Wood Warbler is an accelerating trill although that is usually interspersed by a gentle, plaintive “puu, puu, puu” often repeated 5 or extra occasions. I’ve seen the male sing each songs however this present day I noticed the feminine give the softer name, once more repeated numerous occasions. I even noticed her sing whereas she had a beakful of nesting materials.
Wood Warbler was separated from Willow Warbler by Gilbert White in 1768. In a letter to Thomas Pennant he described how by listening to their songs, he had discovered there are three species of Willow-Wren. He referred to as Wood Warbler the Massive Shivering Willow Wren. This completely describes the accelerating trill of a track which culminates with the chicken vigorously shivering its physique. Its scientific title Phylloscopus means leaf-gleaner, whereas a sibilatrix is a whistler, from the track.