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dartford warbler minehead sommerset (1 Viewer)


been working in minehead for a few weeks now and found the birds over the north hill area.. at first only only showed breifly..then returning to the car a male landed 6 feet away from me totaly not bothered by my presence!!! managed these photos with my canon a620..


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Well-known member
Excellent photos Steve. You were certainly lucky to get so close to Dartfords.
Over the past few years Dartford Warblers have become quite widespread in suitable habitat anywhere in the far South West. Whilst on Dartmoor on Wednesday looking for Grasshopper Warbler we saw a Dartford Warbler where we didn't expect to see one. Roger


cheers roger
its a first for me this bird so to get so close and have a camera at the ready was a real bonus!...anywhere else in the area when i have a few hours spare worth visiting?
steve egg..
a northern contracter


Well-known member
cheers roger
its a first for me this bird so to get so close and have a camera at the ready was a real bonus!...anywhere else in the area when i have a few hours spare worth visiting?
steve egg..
a northern contracter

Dunster beach is the nearest site that can be worth a visit. It is private but you can either park in the road outside and walk in or drive in and pay to park. You need to catch the tide right though and winter is best.
This time of the year the hill down from Webbers Post to Cloutsham may give you chance to use your camera as you can get close views of Pied Flycatcher and other woodland species. Take the road up to Dunkery Beacon from Luccombe and you will see a road off to your right with a large car park at the junction.. I tend to drive down the hill then to Cloutsham and park the other side of the ford and walk back up the hill. Redtart and Wood Warbler are also in this area. Roger


Well-known member
thanks again roger
will post my sitings here as i am back down for a few weeks tomorrow

Look forward to reading them when I get back from Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. Also hope the Skuas will be passing Bowness on Solway tomorrow late afternoon. Roger

hen harrier

Active member
Dartford Warbler

Could any body tell me where is the most Northernly point in the UK that it would be possible to see Dartford Warblers not counting the odd one offs that are found in the North.

I was just reading the report that these birds are moving further North and would be grateful for any feed back thanks inanticipation for any help given.
Good Birding to you all.


hi hen
i would be interested also to this question. sorry i don`t know.. just enjoyed these brilliant birds in the s.w.


somerset visit

thanks rodger
you where spot on with the location you recommended down from dunkery hill, what a place for pied flycatcher! and quite approachable as you said! counted 6 singing males on my first visit.. 3 male redstarts and 2 females, all in this short quarter of a mile stretch.. visited 4 times in all had 3 singing wood warbler on the 2nd trip here.. beautiful area!!!
buzzards very common around here too, but only had one kestrel the whole time i was down here!
never repeated the expreince with the dartfords i had previously... pity..only glimpses after that on minehead moor.. also went to bossington woods.. again most of the woodland birds here and 2 pair of redpoll where nice to get.. in all a excellent area to visit (pity about having to go to work!)
sorry for spelling somerset wrong on the first post..
many thanks
steve egg


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Chris Monk

Well-known member
Warblers advance on all fronts

Natural England Press Release 31/05/07


Warblers advance on all fronts

Britain’s most colourful warbler is spreading its territorial wings because warmer winters and better heathland management have increased its chances of survival.

The latest UK survey of Dartford warblers, by Natural England, RSPB, BTO, and Forestry Commission England, shows that numbers have soared by 70 per cent since the last count in 1994. The bird has returned to Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia and now there are more than 3,000 pairs – the highest tally for more than 40 years.

The warbler has returned to Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia and now there are more than 3,000 pairs.

But while the Dartford warbler is flying north, west and east from its strongholds in southern England, conservationists say that more is needed to protect and restore heathlands to help the bird further its advance.

Phil Grice, senior ornithologist at Natural England, said: “Part of the spectacular increase in Dartford warbler numbers is no doubt down to the massive £25 million plus investment in the Tomorrow’s Heathland Heritage, a ten-year programme led by Natural England together with a consortium of 140 partners, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“The result is the restoration of many of England’s treasure trove of heathlands to a healthy condition supporting delightful native wild species like the marsh gentian, Dartford warbler, natterjack toad and silver studded blue butterfly that depend on it for survival.

“We remain concerned about the very recent decline in numbers on the Thames Basins Heaths which reflects the vulnerability of this beautiful bird, which is why we are working hard for to maintain the right conditions for Dartford warblers and other key species on the internationally important wildlife site.”

Simon Wotton, Research Biologist at the RSPB, said: “This survey is fantastic news for a very vulnerable bird, particularly because it has moved to higher ground not used by Dartford warblers for many years.

“Warmer winters mean the birds are likely to push even further north but they can only do that if there are heathland sites available, which are protected from development. If the government is to help wildlife adapt to climate change it should be assigning more land for the creation of habitats to help birds like these.”

Two harsh winters left just 11 pairs of this attractive bird in 1963 and the warbler’s revival, to an estimated 3,208 pairs from 1,890 in 1994, is due both to milder winters and heathland improvements, partly funded by the £25 million Tomorrow’s Heathland Heritage (THH) initiative.

But the bird remains vulnerable, and on the Thames Basin Heaths in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, where surrounding land is being targeted by house builders, numbers fell by 40 per cent from 2005 to 2006.

The reasons are unclear but losses like that underline the importance of the THH and of protection and management of the bird’s existing strongholds. The creation of new heathland sites is vital to help Dartford warblers move further afield.

Greg Conway, Research Ecologist at the BTO, said: “We are all very grateful to the hundreds of birdwatchers across England and Wales that made this survey such a success. Not only did they go out and count birds on traditional Dartford warbler sites, they also found new sites in areas where the species had been absent for forty years or more.”

Related links
BTO (British Trust for Ornithlogy)
Forestry Commission England

KC Foggin

Long time member
United States
There is a good population of Dartford Warblers on the Quantocks, I counted 11 in an hour in late March 2022
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