Sunday, 21 December 2014

You're barred

I had a very brief window of opportunity to do some birding this morning. We were down in Weymouth to pick up Judith's mum for Xmas and I just had enough timer to nip over to Portland. The target was the barred warbler which has been in residence for over 3 weeks. What should be a rare Autumn visitor to the east coast is now coming regularly to apples put out in the observatory garden. It's so late in leaving you have to wonder if it will over winter? Would be very popular in the 1st week of Jan for year listers!!
Anyway, with time at a premium I was pleased to see Martin Cade had tweeted that it was there just before I pulled up. There were about 6 people in the obs watching the garden. The barred warbler was there already, pecking away at the apples. It is a large warbler, almost reminiscent of a chaffinch. The colouration is overall quite grey, but on it's chest it has the eponymous barring.
The photos below hopefully give an impression of the bird. Apologies for the quality but they are on very high ISO and even then it was hard to get the speed up.
You can make out the scalloping on it's flank which in breeding adults turn into full bars. It certainly loves the apples!!!