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Friday, 31 May 2013

Garden Warbler, Killarney N.P.

Garden Warbler in song, Killarney National Park, 31st May 2013 (David O'Connor).

Garden Warblers, like Whitethroats (see post below) are one of the rarest of the regular breeding species in Kerry. In 1993, Terry Carruthers, in his book, The Birds of Killarney National Park, estimated that between 2 and 6 pairs bred each year in the park. This individual has been in song at the exact same spot in the park for the past four years showing that they are very faithful to a particular site, though whether this is the same individual is open to conjecture. Most records in Kerry are from headlands such as Dunquin/Coumeenoole in autumn when it is almost annual. Another recent spring record was from near Kilgarvan in 2011 during Atlas fieldwork. The species is probably overlooked not least because of its retiring habits, but also due to their subdued plumage and the uncanny similarity in song between the much commoner Blackcap which occurs in broadly similar habitat.