Scientific: Sylvia atricapilla

Cymreag: Telor Penddu

Common breeding summer visitor. Found in similar habitats to the Garden Warbler, but with a preference for mature woodland. Sometimes overwinters, mostly in coastal areas.

1982
Singles in January at Llangennech, Stradey, Burry Port and Llanfynydd. First arrival, Stradey, 2 April. Singles in December. at Llanelli, Furnace, Pwll, Pembrey (2), Ferryside & Llanwrda.

1983
Ones and twos reported wintering (January-March) and (November-December) from 12 localities between Llansteffan and Llanelli, with 3 at Furnace, 21 November; also well inland at Llanfynydd, 2 on 2 January; Llanwrda, January and December; and Pontargothi, 20 November. First arrival of summer visitors Stradey Woods, Llanelli, 4 April; 6 singing, Pembrey Country Park, 30 April.

1984
Overwintering (January) at Furnace, Felinfoel, Llanwrda also probably 1, Felinfoel, 17 March; late year, female, Capel Hendre 2 November; male, Stradey, Llanelli, 16 December; Tywyn Burrows, 28 December. First, Pontargothi, 8 April last, Witchett Pool 16 September.

1985
Overwintering (January/February) at Pembrey (3), Pembrey Country park (2), Pwll (2) Felinfoel and Penyfai, Cydweli and Pontyates. November/December at Pembrey Country Park (2) Tywyn Point, Felinfoel, LlwynHendy and Capel Hendre. First, Stradey Woods, 3 April.

1986
Wintering records (January-February) from 6 localities in the Llanelli-Pwll area, involving 9 birds (6 male) and other 4, Llanelli, 6 December. First arrival, Castle Woods, Llandeilo, 16 April; last, Gwenffrwd Reserve, 30 October.

1987
First genuine spring migrants probably date from early April but the presence of local overwintering birds, including singing males, Pembrey, mid February and probably Furnace, 25 March, presents difficulties. Overwintering January/February at Dafen, Cwmbach and Swiss Valley; in November/December at Llanelli, Ginst Point, Laugharne, Derwydd and Llandovery.

1988
First singing males, Nantgaredig, Castle Woods, Llandeilo and Stradey Woods, 3 April Wintering at Llanelli and Pembrey January; Dryslwyn, 29 October; Llandovery, November; Pontyates, December.

1989
Early arrivals, Stradey Woods and Llandyry 27 March. Wintering Pontyates, January; Pwll, Llanelli and Dryslwyn November/December.

1990
First, Llandissilio, 8 April, last Rhandirmwyn, 19 August. Wintering birds at Gelli Aur, January/February; Cefn Sidan, November; Pendine, December.

1991
One singing Stradey Woods 22 March. Overwintering January/February at Laugharne, Pont Henri, Trimsaran, Burry Port (3), Pembrey, Cydweli and Carmel, late year (December) at Felinfoel, Pontyates and Laugharne Burrows.

1992
At least 8 individuals were noted in the first winter period. In January a male. was at Abergwili on 6th. and a male at Furnace on 15th. A male and 2 females visited a Felinfoel garden on 28th January, with 3 females there on 14th February. A pair were seen at Pendine Burrows in February.

First recorded in spring from Pilroath with 1 singing on 22nd March.

Autumn passage records were a male and 2 females at Morfa Bychan on 20th September and a pair at Cydweli Quay on 8th November.

1993
Spring birds at Pembrey Forest; Castle Woods, Llandeilo and Llangadog – all on the nicely-synchronised arrival date of 12th April provided the first 1993 records. There were several records of birds in October, but it is unclear whether these were departing birds or fresh arrivals of wintering Continental birds. Two males at Llandeilo on 10th November were probably winter visitors as their appearance coincided with an influx of winter thrushes. There were no less than eleven records of Nov-Dec birds, including 2 males and 1 female at Felinfoel on 19th November; all these winter sightings were from, or near, human habitations – Pentrecwrt, Llangynog, Llandeilo, Burry Port and Llanelli; there was also a record of a female from the traditional site at Ffordd-y-Wagen, Pwll on 7th November.

1994
There were a substantial number of January – early March records and again in the October – December period. Where the sex of the birds were noted, 11 males and 8 female s were recorded. Most of the overwintering birds were observed at coastal locations – Llangennech, Burry Port, Pembrey, Ferryside and Witchett Pool. Up to 3 (1 male, 2 females) visited a garden bird feeding station at Llandyry, Felinfoel on 1st January and late December.

Inland birds at Carmarthen on 17th March and Castle Woods on 21st were likely to represent spring arrivals as was a singing bird at Pembrey on 2nd April and several singing males at Stradey Woods on 4th.

Estimated maximum wintering totals – Jan (10), Feb (2), Nov (6), Dec (4).

1995
First winter period records were singles at Felinfoel on 1st January and 11th February; a male at Cydweli Quay on 8th January, another at Llanmiloe on 2nd February and 3 (2 males, 1 female) at Pemberton on 6th – 12th February.

First spring arrival was probably a singing male at Stradey Woods on 12th March.

Records for the second winter period included 2 females at Morfa Bychan on 29th October, a male at Penclacwydd on 17th November, with a female there on 3rd December; a pair in Felinfoel from 27th November – 16th December. A male was at Burry Port on 1st and 27th December; 4 (2 males, 2 females) at Pendine on 14th and a male at Llanerch, Llanelli on 26th.

1996
Records for the first winter period were of 2 at Pendine on 1st January and Felinfoel in January, with up to 3 there in February; single females at Burry Port on 3rd January and 7th February and Llanelli on 11th January, single males at Pwll on 7th and 14th January, Llangennech on 20th and Manordeilo on 3rd – 4th February. Up to 3 (1 male, 2 females) were regular at Llanmiloe in February.

Records for the second winter period were of a female at Cydweli Quay on 23rd November, a male at Felinfoel on 18th – 19th and 25th December and 2 males at Llangennech on 22nd – 23rd .

1997
In the first winter period there were records from mainly coastal locations involving 10 birds between January and March; with records of 5 individuals in November – December The first spring record was of a singing bird near Stradey Home Farm on 22nd March.

1998
The only record in the first winter period was of a female at Felinfoelon 7th January. The first singing male of the year was at Taliaris on 31st March. Five singing males were logged along Ffordd-y-wagen on 7th April. Records for the second winter period were of 2 males at Penclacwydd on 8th November and a single male at Felinfoel on 10th November and 7th – 11th December.

1999
A male wintering at Burry Port on 9th and 26th January with a male and female there on 13th-16th February with a third individual – a male – on the 13th only. At Lliedi Reservoir a male was seen on the earlier date of 6th February. The first singing birds were heard at Burry Port Park on 23rd and Vicarage Gardens, Llandeilo on 30th March. At Ffordd-y-Wagen, Pwll, 7 males sang along a one-kilometre length on 20th April. Breeding birds have now colonised the maturing planted woodland around Penclacwydd. Wintering individuals for the end of the year involved a single at Sandy Water Park on 29th November and another during the same month at Ffairfach and 2 males and a female at Pentrepoeth Road, Llanelli.

2000
Wintering birds were 2 at Cydweli Quay on 2nd January, whilst 1 at Pinged on 23rd March may have been a spring migrant, which was definitely the case with a singing bird at Stradey Woods on 27th March. Autumn-passage/wintering birds were singles at Ffordd y Wagen, Pwll: 1 on 23rd September; Cae’r-blaidd, Brechfa (male) on 3rd November and another male at Waun Road, Llanelli on 29th and 30th December.

2001
An overwintering bird was at Waun Road, Llanelli on 1st January. What was probably the first Spring arrival was singing in Stradey Woods on 1st April. 2 other May birds were noted, on 11th at WWT and Pwllau, Taliaris on 18th. 3 singing males were at Pendacwydd on 3rd May, with 6 there on 28th May. Presumed departing birds at the other end of the year were: 1 at Pwllau, Taliaris on 2nd October; 1 at Penclacwydd on 26th of the same month and 1 thereon 15th November. A bird recorded at Dolau Fan Road, Burry Port on 2th November might also be thought to be an autumn leaver but there was a record on 31st December of probably the same individual. Overwinterers were also recorded at Glenalla Road, Llanelli on 23rd December and Abergwili on 31st December.

2002
Possible overwinterers, 1 female and 1 male, were seen on 4th February and 21st March respectively, at Dolau Fan. Likely summer-visiting birds: east of Stradey Woods on 26th March; a male singing at Cwm Trebeddrod, Furnace, on 27th; 1, at Llandeilo on 29th; 1, Dryslwyn on 1st April (both Migration Watch); 1, Pwllau, Taliaris on 5th and 1, Abergwili on 6th. Autumn saw 1 male and 3 females at Cynghordy on 10th September. In Pembrey Country Park there was a male on 26th October. A female or immature fed on Privet berries at Pwllau, Taliaris on 30th. Overwinterers at close of the year came from Llanelli, on 11th and 25th November. A male on the first dale was seen to feed on White Cabbage Palm (Cordyline australis) berries, with Starlings and Blackbirds. There is apparently no record of this food source before now. The 25th November bird was feeding on Teasels and Weigela. Tailender was a bird at Salem on Christmas Day.

First at Penclacwydd on 3rd April, maximums of singing males, two in April, five in May, six in June and seven in July, maximum of six birds seen in August and five in September.

2003
Overwinterers at the beginning of the year: a female at Felinfoel on January; a male ‘… in garden in frosty weather, feeding on apple fragments and bread…’ at Tyrwaun, Pwll on 19th and 1, unsexed. at Glenalla Road, Llanelli on 22nd. Probable spring arrivals, at Rhydcymerau on 26th March: Castle Woods, Dinefwr Park on 31st and Penclacwydd [where 6 in May and June] on 5th April. Last bird of summer, at Rhydcymerau on 21st September. End of year overwinterers: a male at Cwmhiraeth on 7th November; a pair at Penybedd, Pembrey on 21st; a female at Llanfihangel-ar-arth about 30th and a male and female at Burry Port on 30th December.

2004
Taliaris April 13th and 12 Morfa Buchan September 12th. In winter 2 Burry Port January 2nd, 5th & 8th and a male at Penclacwydd January 11th. One at Llangennech feeding on fallen apples December 27th and a female at Usk Reservoir December 28th. 80 singing males reported from 32 sites.

2005
Penybanc April 2nd was probably the first spring arrival. In the summer 12 territories were reported from the Usk Reservoir. One on a feeder at Burry Port March 14th was almost certainly a wintering bird as were a female Kidwelly Quay January 3rd and 2 females at Laugharne and a male Kidwelly Quay on February 6th. A female at Tycroes November 11th, a pair Stradey Woods November 17th and another Burry Port November 25th could have been late migrants. Finally a female at Salem November 29th.

2006
27 breeding territories were located at the RSPB Gwenffrwd/Dinas Reserve. Wintering birds as follows: Laugharne January 29th, Kidwelly Quay February 5th, Pwll February 5th, Laugharne December 3rd and 2 at Ferryside December 11th.

2007
The situation with this species is similar to Chiffchaff with so many now spending the winter in the area. First migrants start arriving and singing in mid-March.