WHERE TO WATCH?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Species Dartford Warbler -

Dartford War­blers can be found on many heath­land sites across south­ern Eng­land. Many of these sites are man­aged as re­serves and the or­gan­i­sa­tions that run them will be able to pro­vide you with in­for­ma­tion on the species that are present; so go armed with ques­tions. Strongholds for the species in­clude the Sur­rey Heaths, with Fren­sham Com­mon near Farn­ham be­ing a par­tic­u­larly good site; the east Devon Peb­blebed Heaths, with the RSPB’S Ayles­beare re­serve near Ex­eter a good place to look; the Dorset heaths, with the Arne RSPB re­serve per­haps be­ing the most fa­mous of all Dartford sites, and, of course, the New For­est in Hamp­shire, which boasts the large pop­u­la­tion of the birds through­out its heath­lands. In Wales, the bird has un­der­gone a re­mark­able ex­pan­sion – in 1990 there were no breed­ing ter­ri­to­ries, but in 2006 there were 73 recorded, mainly in the south. Since then, the bird has been recorded in lots of new sites. Try the Na­tional Trust land at St David’s Head in Pem­brokeshire, to see the bird in some of the most scenic Dartford War­bler habi­tat that you’re likely to find in Bri­tain.

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