Status and distribution Breeds in southern Belgium and through most of France, much of Italy, Slovenia and western Croatia, in Iberia and North-West Africa. In recent decades has expanded range and breeding has been recorded in Netherlands, Luxembourg, south-west Germany, west Switzerland, Corsica and Sicily.
Winters in West Africa, leaving breeding areas late July-late September and returns from April in the south to late May-early June in the north.
Vagrants recorded north to Iceland and the Faroes, Sweden, and east to Poland and Austria, also recorded Madeira and Canary Is, Malta, Libya and Kuwait. In Britain a scarce migrant with 20-40 recorded most years, the majority occur in Aug-mid Oct with small numbers in spring and most are in the south-west and on the south coast of England.
Habitat Mainly lowland deciduous woodland, hedgerows, and trees and bushes along canals and roadsides. Frequently in acacias and willows close to water. Vagrants are typically skulking and difficult to see.