Distribution Britain 15 (-28.6%) Ireland 0
Numbers breeding: Britain 32 RBBP Ireland 0
European status: 1,700,000 (0% in Britain and Ireland)
British population trend: possibly increasing
How likely are you to record it? 3 squares (0.1%) Ranked 171=
A hundred years ago it was recognised that this species mainly bred in the Severn Valley with a few sporadically breeding in adjacent counties and Hampshire. Later there may have been an increase as birds were found in the south-east corner of England as well. However by 1950 the birds had started to decline although they were still concentrated along the Severn. The first Breeding Atlas recorded 50 80 pairs and considered 75% were in Worcestershire with very few in the South-east. Now the Severn population is very weak and the majority are in Kent and Sussex and the numbers are often down to a maximum of less than 30 (but 58 in 1993). Marsh Warblers do breed sporadically elsewhere (including Wales) and there are even two records on Orkney (1993 and 1997). The population is very strong in the Low Countries. The species may be lost from its traditional areas but the new ones look very good.
Meek, E.R & Adam, R.G. 1997 British Birds: 90, 230.
UKBAP. Environment Agency RSPB & Wildlife Trusts.
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From The State of the Nations Birds
Copyright © 2000 by Chris Mead