The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
Widespread but local in the UK with the strongest populations found in the uplands and heaths to the West and North.
This species is locally common in Cornwall. It occurs on a fluctuating basis on the Isles of Scilly (Beavis per. comm.). Likely to be under-recorded although present records give a reasonable idea of distribution.
Habitat & Ecology
This is a short-tongued species, found nesting in a variety of situations. It is found most commonly on heathland where there is an abundance of Bell Heather Erica cinerea . It can occur in good numbers in heathland both on the coast and inland. Away from this habitat the species occurs on a more dipersed basis. The species occurs in two broods. The first brood can be very early such as February 2004. Earlier broods can be found in diverse habitats away from heathland. Forage species including Bell Heather Erica cinerea , Heather (Ling) Calluna vulgaris , Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus , Willow Salix sp., Wild Thyme Thymus polytrichus and members of the bean family Fabaceae.
The over- and under-grazing of moorland and heathland habitats are the main threats. It may be threatened by development on brownfield ex-mining sites.
Conservation management such as grazing and burning is required, to encourage heathers Erica cinerea / Calluna vulgaris and Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus rich heathland.
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.