Category
A
Status
Scarce
Breeding status
First Record
Last Recorded

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca


Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 24/5/2010. Photo: © Jamie Hooper
  Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 24/5/2010 Photo: © Jamie Hooper (visit site)

The Lesser Whitethroat is a summer visitor to the upper and mid-latitudes of the Western Palaearctic but is absent in western France, the Iberian peninsula and Italy. Guernsey is at the western edge of its current range.

The fortunes of Lesser Whitethroat have been mixed since Smith's time. In 1879, he noted it as a 'regular, but no means numerous summer visitant' and had seen a few in willow hedges around the Grande Mare. 'Young Le Cheminant' also had a few eggs in his collection, probably from L'Eree. In 1951, Dobson questioned whether it should be recorded in a list of the birds of the Channel Islands. It was, at that time very rare in the south-west of England and almost unknown in the north-west of France and Dobson noted that M. Noel Mayaud doubted the evidence that it occurred in the Channel Islands.

Since Dobson's time, the Lesser Whitethroat has increased in number sand now regularly breeds in small numbers in Guernsey, mostly in areas of scrub on the south coast. The exact timing of when this species became more common is difficult to elucidate. Despite Dobson's comments, several birds were seen at ‘Le Marais’ (presumably the St Sampsons Marais) on 16 April YEAR and further records appeared in the Transactions in September1956, July 1958 (in song) and in September 1960 (Alderney). These records led to it being described as a rare spring migrant in Colin Carey's 1961 'List of the Birds of the Channel Islands.'

By 1965 it still merited a mention in the Transactions (May 14 Alderney) but by 1968 this species appeared in the ringing totals without any further mention in the selected records and it seemed to lose its noteworthy status. The first confirmed recent breeding attempt took place in in Guernsey in 1970. A family party of birds was seen at Houges Peres in the Vale on 18 June and a bird with a brood patch was trapped there the following day. Two years later, a singing bird was seen at Le Gouffre although confirmation of breeding was not obtained. By 1972, Philip Guille was regularly catching significant numbers of birds and at the time of his death in 1987 he had ringed 174 (78%) out of a total of 223 birds ringed in the Bailiwick at the time.

Since then, Lesser Whitethroats have been a scarce, but regular breeder and passage migrant. This species is still far more common in spring. The mean date for the first arrivals is the 30 April and there is some evidence that there has been a trend for earlier arrival although the arrival date has been relatively stable at the last week in April or the first week in May since the early 1980s.

After the end of July there are very few records of this species, presumably due to its silent and secretive nature. There are a scattering of records from July to the first week in October. There is one remarkable record of one wintering in a garden at Les Amballes in St Peter Port in the winter of 1998/1999.



View all photos (7)
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 24/5/2010. Photo: © Jamie Hooper
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 24/5/2010. Photo: © Jamie Hooper (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Grande Mare [GMA] on 10/1/2009. Photo: © Barry Wells
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Grande Mare [GMA] on 10/1/2009. Photo: © Barry Wells (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 26/11/2010. Photo: © Jamie Hooper
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 26/11/2010. Photo: © Jamie Hooper (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 8/12/2013. Photo: © Michelle Hooper
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Trinity [TRI] on 8/12/2013. Photo: © Michelle Hooper (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Pleinmont [PLE] on 0/5/2007. Photo: © Jamie Hooper
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Pleinmont [PLE] on 0/5/2007. Photo: © Jamie Hooper (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Vaux de Monel [MON] on 28/10/2015. Photo: © Dan Scott
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Vaux de Monel [MON] on 28/10/2015. Photo: © Dan Scott (visit site)

Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Grand Bouet, SPP [GDB] on 0/12/2007. Photo: © Anon.
Lesser Whitethroat photographed at Grand Bouet, SPP [GDB] on 0/12/2007. Photo: © Anon. (visit site)



View database records (186)
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 2/5/1993 16/5/1993 2
Lesser Whitethroat Petit Bot 5/5/1993 1
Lesser Whitethroat Bouvée 13/6/1993 2
Lesser Whitethroat Grands Marais/Pré 28/6/1993 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 4/7/1993 6/7/1993 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 8/8/1993 22/8/1993 1
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere 1/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 1/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat L'Eree 1/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel 1/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 8/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 15/5/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel 26/6/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 10/7/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 5/10/1994 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm 28/4/1995 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 7/5/1995 3
Lesser Whitethroat Icart 8/5/1995 1
Lesser Whitethroat Bouvée 23/9/1995 1
Lesser Whitethroat Capelles 20/4/1996 1
Lesser Whitethroat Reservoir 29/4/1996 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 5/5/1996 2+
Lesser Whitethroat Les Landes, SPW 15/6/1996 1
Lesser Whitethroat Silbe 1/9/1996 4/9/1996 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 4/5/1997 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm 14/5/1997 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 15/5/1997 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 13/4/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 18/4/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 1/5/1998 17/5/1998 1-2
Lesser Whitethroat Gouffre 21/6/1998 28/6/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat Bigard 28/6/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 1/9/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 4/10/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat St. Johns 30/12/1998 31/12/1998 1
Lesser Whitethroat St. Johns 1/1/1999 31/1/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat Arculon Lane, SPP 14/1/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat St. Johns 1/2/1999 28/2/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat St. Johns 1/3/1999 15/3/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat Gouffre 16/5/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 13/6/1999 16/6/1999 2
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 5/9/1999 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Le Marchant 16/4/2000 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 16/4/2000 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mt. Herault 30/4/2000 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue Sauvage 5/5/2000 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 12/5/2002 2
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere 2/6/2002 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fond du Val, FST 20/7/2002 1
Lesser Whitethroat Reservoir 9/8/2002 1
Lesser Whitethroat Catioroc 28/8/2002 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 23/9/2002 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mt. Herault 4/4/2003 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 17/8/2003 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 16/4/2004 1
Lesser Whitethroat Bordeaux 30/4/2004 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm 2/5/2004 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 4/7/2004 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 18/10/2004 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont 20/8/2005 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel 19/10/2005 1
Lesser Whitethroat Jerbourg 12/5/2006 1
Lesser Whitethroat Jerbourg 1/6/2006 1
Lesser Whitethroat Marais Nord/Vale Marais 28/4/2007 1
Lesser Whitethroat Capelles 25/8/2007 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Doyle [DOY] 31/8/2009 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 20/9/2009 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Le Marchant [MAR] 21/9/2009 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 6/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 7/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Lihou Headland [LCH] 7/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 8/5/2010 2
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 9/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 9/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 10/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 13/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 14/5/2010 1-2
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 15/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue de Valniquets [RDV] 16/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Imperial Hotel, Rocquaine 16/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Grande Mare [GMA] 20/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 24/5/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 26/11/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 26/11/2010 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 20/5/2011 1
Lesser Whitethroat Tielles [TIE] 26/6/2011 P
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2012 3
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2012 2
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2012 3
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2012 3
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 3/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 8/5/2012 2
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 12/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Le Marchant [MAR] 21/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 25/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 25/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Le Crocq [FLC] 26/5/2012 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 15/4/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 15/4/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm [HER] 27/4/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 28/4/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 1/5/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 6/5/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mont d'Aval 6/5/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mont d'Aval 7/5/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 18/7/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Claire Mare [CLA] 7/11/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Claire Mare [CLA] 7/11/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 7/12/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 8/12/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 8/12/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 14/12/2013 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 21/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 25/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 26/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 26/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel [MON] 26/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 26/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 26/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 29/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel [MON] 30/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 30/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 30/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 30/4/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Saumarez [FSA] 1/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Le Coudre [CRD] 2/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel [MON] 3/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Trinity [TRI] 4/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 4/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Alderney [ALD] 4/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 4/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Le Coudre [CRD] 6/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Le Coudre [CRD] 6/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Fort Grey [FO2] 6/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Le Coudre [CRD] 7/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Icart [ICA] 10/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 14/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 16/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 16/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 16/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 17/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 17/5/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 19/9/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pezeries [PEZ] 19/9/2014 1
Lesser Whitethroat Grand Pre, La Rochelle 27/9/2014 1 ringed
Lesser Whitethroat Colin Best NR [CNR] 26/4/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 4/5/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm [HER] 8/5/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Prevote [PRV] 10/5/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 12/5/2015 2
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel [MON] 28/10/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Vaux de Monel [MON] 28/10/2015 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mannez Quarry 19/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Rue du Lorier, SPW [LOR] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Saumarez Park [SAU] 22/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Grands Marais/Pre [PRE] 23/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Essex Hill 25/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Barrackmaster's Lane 28/4/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mannez Garenne 1/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Herm [HER] 1/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 1/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 3/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mannez Lighthouse 4/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 8/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mannez Quarry 8/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Bigard [BIG] 9/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 9/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 9/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere [COR] 10/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere [COR] 10/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere [COR] 11/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 27/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Pleinmont [PLE] 27/5/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Corbiere [COR] 5/6/2016 1
Lesser Whitethroat Essex Hill 24/4/2017 1
Lesser Whitethroat Mannez Garenne 24/4/2017 1