Wood warbler

Wood warbler

Latin name: Phylloscopus sibilitrix

Length: 12cm Wingspan: 19.5 - 24cm

Where: Broadleaved woodland; East Loch Lomond; Falls of Falloch; Inchcailloch

When: April to August

Wood warblers are elusive birds. Delicately coloured in mossy green and lemon, they blend perfectly with the spring leaves of the cool, damp oak and beech woodlands where they make their summer home. They stay high up in the branches, revealed only by their distinctive, double-versed song. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it is not two species singing high in the tree canopy – one giving a melancholy whistle, the other a merry trill – but it is indeed only the wood warbler torn between sadness and joy.

Their Latin name, ‘phylloscopus’, means ‘leaf searcher’ – aptly describing the way they rifle through the leaves finding small insects and spiders. Like many insect-eating birds they can only stay in this country during the summer, returning to sub-Saharan Africa in August before the autumn frosts kill off their food supply.

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Any natural place contains an infinite reservoir of information, and therefore the potential for inexhaustible new discoveries.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods