Saturday, 5 June 2010

Marmora's Warbler.

But first a photograph of one of five Common Sandpipers  - including a young bird - seen yesterday in the  Forest of Bowland and photographed by John Bateman....thanks for this John, captured on a not so routine  birding 'flycatcher day'....can't wait until the next time.

Marmora's Warbler. 

Highly unlikely in our area - and most other areas in the UK - but if you find what you think is a Dartford Warbler take a close look as it may well be a Marmora's Warbler like the one currently causing a stir in Gwent and of which the species is superficially like, though along with other differences the MW is more rounded in the body and has a slightly shorter tail.

It's only 28 years ago since the first record of Marmora's Warbler in Britain, a singing male found in a moorland valley in Yorkshire on 15 May 1982, it turned out to be a very obliging individual as it stayed there for just over two months until 22 July. It was ten years later before the second one made an appearance again in Yorkshire at Spurn in June 1992, this was another male as was the third one this time at St Abb's Head in Berwickshire in May 1993, then the last one to be found before today's bird in Wales was in May 2001 at Scolt Head in Norfolk, it was thought this same bird was present for one day later in the month at Sizewell in Suffolk.

You have to wonder just what makes a tiny short-range migrant travel so far, just one of many fascinating aspects of our world of birds, do they somehow forget to 'turn off' their migratory urges to end up being stranded almost a thousand miles out of range. There are those who consider birds reaching Britain to be of the race S.s.sarda found on Corsica and Sardinia.


Richard Shilling said...

Hey Pete, hope you are well.

Was out in the Eden valley today, up and down Wild Boar Fell, and on the way down got some superb views of a Great Grey Shrike sitting on a post. My guide book and the RSPB website seem to say that seeing one now is quite unusual and they should have migrated North by now? Do you think it is a noteworthy event or not really something that unusual?

Yesterday I was at the University and it was a treat to see an Oystercatcher chick on the roof with one parent with it and another down below on the ground. When I came back later on the chick was hiding and both parents were on the ground and loudly tapping on the glass of the door entrance to the student halls! Were they after food? Never seen anything like that! Quite remarkable.

Anyway have a good one.


Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for this Richard and good to hear from you again.

Just in case my other visitors think I'm ignoring your record I've e-mailed you on the Great Grey Shrike sighting.