29 June, 2021

Surprise! A Wild Warbler Chase

Monday saw a surprise. The Veteran had found a couple of Reed Warblers at the Nose, the Teacher told me. Reeds, in late June?? Hmm...
Much better date for other sexier acrocephalus spp., so they had to be checked, as Pete had only had glimpses and couldn't rule said rarities out...
I found lots of assorted insects about - as I wandered down to the First and Last bushes, fully expecting to find nothing - and then to my shock, heard the dulcet tones of an acro. sp. from the biggest and lastest of said bushes.. An acro singing in short bursts, most like a Reed but with some mimicry including odd high whistles which were very non-Reed sounding.... Also singing from inside a bush, arrived at the end of June...
Hmm. Most likely an odd Reed, but you never know, right? Marsh can be little gits, and what does a singing Blyth's sound like..?? Errr...??

So I needed to see and ideally get a photo of it.
 See it? Ha.
 Eventually, after many false alarms with a brown and white Chiff and a female Whitethroat [both of which needed optics to distinguish them when moving through bushes..] The bird in question came out and moved through the bushes too. At that moment, of course, assorted mundanes show up, from both directions, just as I'm lining up the camera [which I went for over the bins; evidence to all beats proof to me, doesn't it...]

This is the only shot that even hit the target;

Below centre, facing left...

Let's have some other pics, shall we?
Facing right
Facing right
Facing right

ID thoughts?
Now, the camera lies. Last first; that's the very brown and white Chiffchaff. You can see it's a Chiff [plus it posed, so can't be rare], but doesn't - reflecting full sun into the lens - loook anything like as brown as it did in the field. It didn't call once, btw.
Next up is a naughty one, but a female Whitethroat pulling a banana pose couldn't be left out! :)

Above that is what I thought on BOC view to be The Bird, with raised crown and thin bill and all, but on the computer, you can see pink legs and strongly contrasting tertial fringes, so it's the female Whitethroat again...
Above that... tail tip of course hidden, as are legs, head... It's also in shade, looking far less brown. 
I got a look at head and shoulders of the bird iself through bins, and can attest it looked very Reed-y, with chestnutty brown uppers, small super, long bill with yellow at the base, and white throat. Yes it was singing when I was looking! But it never called once [neither did the 'throats] while I was there.

Later, the Teacher arrived and got a load of singing and calls [though he did have playback to help him], all Reed.

There is a saying - which I may have repeated too many times yesterday - "Weird-acting commons are far more likely than rares".  Yet more proof, dear readers.

Though now I wonder, what is the latest date for arriving Reed Warblers? [They turned up on the coast and started singing, they're not early-leaving failed/non- breeders, are they?]  Also, are any other birds still moving north? Or are these just an aberration?

Questions questions...

Coming up, more of what's been and even more insects

Be Seeing You...

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