During April, May and June 2023, over 80 HOS volunteers took part in a survey of Dartford Warblers in Hampshire, including the Thames Basin and Wealden Heaths, coastal locations and a special focus on the New Forest where the survey was commissioned by Forestry England. Dartford Warbler populations fluctuate widely as a result of winter weather conditions – the last county-wide survey was done in 2018 which followed a hard winter and in the New Forest only 143 territories were found, of which 135 were within the New Forest Special Protection Area. In 2023, after a series of milder winters, a record 571 territories were found across the New Forest (544 within the SPA), and the population in north and east Hampshire was also high.
A report covering the New Forest area was provided to Forestry England and can be found on the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship website here.
A county-wide analysis will summarised here and published in Hampshire Bird Report 2023 (which will be produced in 2024).