Two species of warbler return to the heart of reeds each year, the reed warbler and the white throat.075

REED WARBLER  The reed warblers have now returned in the Heart of Reeds where they will nest. Their arrival on the reserve follows a long migration as the warblers fly to the UK from their winter feeding grounds in Africa.

The reed warbler is soft brown in colour with a paler buff underside. Reed warblers are difficult to distinguish from other warblers, partly because it’s very difficult to get a good view of them as they flit in and out of the reedbed. However, this behaviour helps to prevent predators from spotting the location of the nest. Reed warblers are very vocal and are often heard rather than seen.

Unlike many other birds, the reed warbler sings from within the reedbed rather than from a perch.


The nest is made from reed leaves. It is built above the ground between two or three reed stems that grow from the water making it difficult for a predator to reach. The female builds the nest and will lay between three and five eggs. Both parents will incubate the eggs. many flying insects and midges live in and around the reed bed will provide a constant supply of insect food for the developing chicks.

The reed warblers will leave the reserve by the end of October, returning to their wintering grounds in the sub-Sahara where they live in thickets and tall grass, as well as bushes and forest edges.

CETTI'S  WARBLER                                                                                                                                                                                  The less common Cetti's warbler was also recorded on the reserve last year and we are hoping that they will return this year.

SUMMER MIGRANTS                                                                                                                                                                          Many birds migrate to the UK in the summer and some are easy to identify, such as swallows, house martins and swifts. Many insects also migrate to the UK, crossing the English Channel which include species of butterflies, moths and hoverflies.

Summer migrants activity

In this linked activity we have chosen 5 species that migrate to the UK. See how many you can find in and around your school grounds. Children can take a look in and around their own gardens too. Summer migrants in and around your school grounds Reply to this post to let us know what summer migrants you see in you school grounds.