Berkut. Vol. 9. Is. 1-2. 2000. P. 102-106.

 

 

EXPANSION OF the PADDYFIELD WARBLER IN EUROPE IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE XX CENTURY

 

D.N. Nankinov

XX . - .. . - . 9 (1-2). 2000. - 1962 . . , . , . , , 1000 . , . , , , . , . , . , . , , .

 

Abstract. The expansion is observed in whole Europe since 1962. The enlargement of the breeding range began on territories situated to east from the Volga river, where the population density was very high. The expansion went step-wise, isolated breeding areas appeared far from the main breeding range. Probably the next enlargement of the range will be accomplished through increasing the population density in these nesting places and the colonisation of the adjacent territories. The species forms new wintering areas now, that are situated far from natural wintering grounds. Some of the birds expanding their habitat to west, remain wintering in Great Britain, Italy and other west European countries, i. e, except the new, isolated nesting areas. It is supposed, that the present expansion repeats a similar one, which probably existed in Europe about a hundred years ago. It is possible, that during the next few decades the power of diversion to decrease and the species again to hide in its old breeding range

Key words: Paddyfield Warbler, Europe, expansion, breeding range, wintering grounds.

Address: D.N. Nankinov, Institute of zoology, BAS, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

In the last decades of the 20th century an expansion and enlargement of the breeding range of the Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) was accomplished in whole Europe. Till the beginning of this process the breeding range of the species consists of isolated areas in the deltas of rivers Danube, Dnieper, Kuban, in the Crimea and Poltava region (Fig.), and the main range was to east from the river Volga towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean (Ptushenko, 1954). To north the birds reached to the regions of Poltava, Ekaterinburg, Omsk and Novosibirsk. The most western stable nesting place was in the Danube delta, where breeding birds were trapped in 1950 and 1975 (Paspaleva, Talpeanu, 1975). The Paddyfield Warbler has nested on isolated areas along the North Black Sea coast with low number (Orlov, 1965).

 

 

Expansion of the Paddyfield Warbler. Borders of the breeding range: 1 according to Ptushenko, 1954; 2 according to Cramp, 1992.

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Now between 110 000 and 310 000 pairs breed within the boundaries of the European habitat of the species (Tucker, Heath, 1994) or between 104 572 and 204 577 pairs, as it is assumed that they may be around 500 000 pairs (Dontchev, Serebryakov, 1997). This expansion of the Paddyfield Warbler in Europe began in the 1960es. The settlement was in different directions and the birds were found in most of the European countries. When writing this work except the observations in Bulgaria, we used and different literary sources, which we want to cite: Dontchev, 1970; Flumm, Lord, 1978; European news, 1979, 72; 1984, 77; 1993, 86; 1994, 87; 1995, 88; 1996, 89; 1997, 90; 1998, 91; 1999, 92; Gyorgypal, Bankovics, 1979; Dittberner, Jander, 1985; Thiede, 1987; Nankinov, 1990; Gudina, 1991; Hannu et. al., 1992; Cramp, 1992; Dutch Birding, 1992, 14; 1994, 16; 1995, 17; 1996, 18; Sanden., Steen, 1993; Handrinos, 1994; Zavyalov, 1995; Sotnikov, 1996; Snow, Perrins, 1998; Popelniukh, 2000.

1962 19.08 one Paddyfield Warbler was trapped near Falsterbo in Sweden.

1967 21.08 one bird was found in Zwarte-Meer-Reservat, Overijssel, The Netherlands.

1968 a new nesting area of the species arose to the south of the Danube delta on the territory of North-east Bulgaria. An adult male bird was shot and another one was observed on 20.06 in Shabla Lake. A month later, on 23.07 2 individuals were shot and a third one was observed with food in its bill in a lucerne field by the lake.

1969 the species was recorded to south, in Greece. On 16.04 a singing male bird was heard in Alneyros marsh in Crete.

1971 2.10 a new observation of the species in the Netherlands.

1974 August and September a new record of the species in North-eastern Bulgaria on Durankulak Lake.

30.09-15.10 a record in Great Britain on St. Maria Isle.

1978 11.08 first observation in Hungary, on Biro Isle, Kiskemgas National Park.

1979 the summer a male bird by Örebro, Sweden.

1980 June trapped in Finland.

1981 June trapped in Finland.

1982 June trapped in Finland.

30.07 an adult bird near Blekinge, Sweden.

1984 19-21.06 recorded in Finland.

13.10 a record in the Netherlands.

1986 22.05 2 specimens shot in Ukraine, along the river Orel in Dnepropetrovska district.

1987 a nesting area found on the Pape Lake in Latvia.

22.06 an adult bird trapped on the ornithological station Gumbaritsa on the south-east shore of Ladoga Lake.

1988 6.06, 19.06 and 22.06 3 adult birds were trapped on the station Gumbaritsa.

1989 27.06 a new nesting place found in East Bulgaria. A bird with breeding patch was trapped on Atanasovsko Lake.

8.08 a young bird trapped on the station Gumbaritsa.

1990 first observation in Estonia.

19.10 first observation in Norway.

1991 first nesting in Finland.

10.06 a record in Denmark.

19.09 a record in Belgium.

13.10 first observation in Ireland.

1992 May 3 birds recorded in Great Britain.

28.06 an adult bird was trapped on the ornithological station Gumbaritsa.

July 2 birds were trapped in France.

6.07-10.08 singing males were heard and many young birds were ringed in Finland.

19.08 a young bird was ringed on Falsterbo, Sweden.

28.08 first observation in Slovenia a bird trapped on Cerunisko jezero.

8.09 a bird was trapped in Ireland.

18.09 a bird was trapped in the Netherlands.

23.09 a bird was trapped in Hungary.

26.09 second observation in Norway, an adult bird was ringed at Gunnarsmyr, Farsund, Vest Agder.

27.09 recorded in Belgium.

19.10 an observation in Sweden.

1993 19.08, 20.09, 4.11 trapped in Belgium.

14.09 an observation in Ireland.

19.09 first record in Italy. A Paddyfield Warbler was ringed on the island of Sardinia, remained for the winter there and was retrapped on 30.09, 17 and 22.12.

2 and 4.10 adult birds were trapped in Camarge, South France.

5.10 one individual was trapped on the island of Helgoland, Germany.

14.11 first record in Portugal. A bird was ringed by the Ria de Alvor, Algarve.

17.12 second observation in Italy. One bird was ringed again on the island of Sardinia and it spent the winter of 1993/1994 there and was retrapped on 29.12, 5.01 and 19.03.

1994 12.03 a bird was ringed on the island of Sardinia and retrapped on 18.12 and 29.01.1995.

numerous observations in July, September and October in Great Britain.

July August a new nesting place with high density was found by the village of Dergachi, Saratov region (Russia).

observations in August, on 25.09 and 28.10 in France.

31.08 a bird was ringed in Italy.

September and October observations in Scotland.

17.09 an adult bird was ringed in Norway by the Slevdalsvann, Farsund, Vest-Agder.

17 and 18.09 a record in England.

18.09 observations in the Netherlands.

3.11 trapped in Belgium.

1995 31.03; 3, 10 and 23.06; 3.09 dozens of birds were ringed in Finland.

1.04 and 21.07 birds were trapped in Hungary, by Fenekpuszta and Hansag respectively.

17.04 a bird was ringed in Italy, by Nonantola, Emilia Romagna.

4.06-28.07 a nesting of 5-6 pairs arose in Russia, in Kirov region at 1000-1500 km to north from the main breeding range.

9.06 first observation in Poland, and adult bird was trapped by Nowakowo, Vistula Lagoon.

28.08 second observation in Portugal.

1.09 first observation in Spain, by Flix, Tarragona province.

9-17.09 records in Scotland.

1996 24.08 trapped in Germany, by Greifswalder Oie, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

24.08, 15 and 16.09 observations in France.

27.08 trapped in the Netherlands.

from September to December several observations in Great Britain.

8 and 19.09 first records in Lithuania, birds were trapped on Ventes ragas.

25.09 an observation in Norway.

1 and 31.10 observations in Scotland.

9.10 a bird was trapped in Slovenia.

6.11 second observation in Spain, by Coria del Rio, Sevilla province, Andalucia.

1997 31.07 singing birds were listened and observed alighted on the reed-tops by Diavolska river (one) and on Alepu marsh (two individuals) in South-east Bulgaria.

13.08, 17.09 and 21.10 recorded in Slovenia, on Ljubljansko barje.

1998 6.08 observed in Hungary, on the Sumony fishponds.

The observations of Paddyfield Warbler in Europe cited till now do not pretend for thoroughness, but they give a clear idea for the enlargement of the species range during this period. We suppose that the present expansion repeats a similar one, which probably existed in Europe about a hundred years ago, but then because of the few specialists and the small experience of some of them the Paddyfield Warbler was recorded only on the island of Helgoland 12.06.1864 (Br. Birds, 1996, 89,1: 40) and on the Danube delta 18.04.1907 (Floericke, 1918).

The expansion of the Paddyfield Warbler has started from the territories, situated to the east of the river Volga, where even in the 1950es the population density has been very high. As it could be seen the settlement was accomplished not gradually (with the inhabiting of all places suitable for nesting), but saltatory with the establishment of isolated nestings, sometimes situated at 1000 km away from the main nesting grounds. Probably the next enlargement of the range will be accomplished through increasing the population density in these nesting places and the colonisation of the adjacent territories. Such enlargement of the range is accomplished also on the territory of Asian Turkey. Since 8.05. 1986, when the Paddyfield Warbler was recorded in the Van Lake (van den Berg, Bosman, 1988), until now it has distributed to south-west and west and has been found in the Central regions (Eregli Marsh 15-17.08. 1990) and the Mediterranean coast of the country (Kirwan, Martins, 1994; van der Have, van den Berg, 1995). The birds observed in these regions may have a double origin, i. e. they may be from East Turkey or from the Black Sea coast nesting grounds. The cited observations together with the observations in East Bulgaria and Greece make us suppose that after a few years the Paddyfield Warbler may inhabit all suitable areas along the Black Sea.

There is no any doubt that except the already mentioned new nesting areas in Bulgaria, Ukraine, European Russia, Latvia and Finland, during the last decades the Paddyfield Warblers has been breeding once or many times in many other (unknown to us the explorers) places on the continent. A nesting probably exists by the Ladoga Lake, where a young bird was trapped on 8.08.1989 (Popelniukh, 2000). According to the same author the adult Paddyfield Warblers trapped in June far away from their nesting grounds are rather well-fed, i. e. they have substantial fat-resources a proof that they are still in the spring-migratory condition. Some of them are ready to breed. It strikes the great number of the male individuals participating in the expansion. As it was established in our previous studies of other species, great numbers of non-breeding male birds gather on the boundaries of the expanding habitat and they penetrate first in the new territories (Nankinov, 1974).

According to E. Ptushenko (1954), D. Snow and K. Perrins (1998) the whole population of the Paddyfield Warbler is migrating and wintering in the Indian subcontinent and the peninsula of Indochina. However some of the birds expanding their habitat to west, remain wintering in Great Britain, Italy and other west European countries, i. e, except the new, isolated nesting areas, the species is establishing new wintering grounds, situated far to east from the peninsula of Indostan. The Paddyfield Warbler visits regularly some European countries, for other countries it is irregular migrant.

It is hard to predict how long the expansion of the Paddyfield Warbler in Europe will continue. It is possible the scale to increase, new breeding and wintering grounds to be found. But according to our supposition of an expansion, existing a hundred years ago, it is possible, that during the next few decades the power of diversion to decrease and the species again to hide in its old breeding range.

 

REFERENCES

 

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Dontchev S., Serebryakov V. (1997): Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola). - Hagemeiler J., M. Blair (eds.). The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds: Their Distribution and Abudance. London: T. & A.D. Poyser. 569.

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