WHERE TO WATCH?
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.