Monday, 4 November 2013

It's getting dusky

Another early start, this time to go up to Marsh Lane near Solihull ( and the forest of Arden for those who remember the World/ Superpanel conference) for a dusky warbler. This really is a very nondescript warbler, but pretty rare. Normally it should be in Asia but recently has become a regular vagrant to our shores, mainly in the autumn. It was also as lifer for me.
So, got to a muddy field by about 8. The bird was calling, a harsh "tac, tac" call from low down in some nettles. I got a fairly decent view, making out the eye stripe and overall colouration, enough to id it anyway. It then moved to a sunnier location where about 10 of us followed it up and down the hedge for an hour or so getting tantalisingly brief views as it fed vigorously in ivy. Tow or three times it stopped to allow half decent views but never long enough for a photo. Good start to the week though, with two or three days in Weymouth coming up and a black-browed albatross patrolling the south coast - now that would be nice!!!!
On the way back I stopped at college Lake in Bucks where jack snipe have been seen recently. These are the smaller and rarer cousins of our common snipe and occur in late autumn/ winter. They have a lovely habit of bobbing up and down which is one good way to identify them (as well as overall smaller size, shorter beak and more marked facial patterns).