With non-birding friends staying with us over the weekend I hadn't expected to be out at all on Sunday or Monday. After the recent run of good birds and knowing that Nick would be out on the patch, I had a slight feeling of unease about what he might find. Sure enough soon after 0930 on Sunday morning I had a text from Nick saying he had found a new Marsh Warbler, this time at the ringing site. Another nice find, but fortunately nothing to concern me unduly after finding one yesterday... or so I thought. A comment from Nick that it was singing rather differently from yesterday's Marsh Warbler rang alarm bells and I responded with a text saying 'Not a Blyth's Reed then...". Before too long Nick was on the phone and clearly the Marsh Warbler ID was bugging him a little and although further views were going to be needed, it was sounding quite promising. However, there was no chance of me coming to help out and much of the day was spent doing other things.
Further updates from Nick during the day kept me in the picture and clearly he (along with Micky) was becoming convinced that this was indeed a Blyth's Reed, but it was hard to see and with it frequenting an area close to a couple of my net rides the possibility of trying to catch it to confirm the identification was mooted. So, in the late afternoon I was able to get down to the ringing site and soon we had a couple of nets up and before too long we'd caught it. Checks of the pertinent aspects of the wing formula were undertaken and the identification was confirmed - it was indeed a Blyth's Reed. Wow!
|Blyth's Reed Warbler|
Great work by Nick, with his usual dogged persistence paying dividends in style. It's been a bird I had been hoping might appear in the ringing site at some point and previous unstreaked Acros that have turned up in the nets had all proved to be Reed Warblers. However, this is further demonstration of what might be found at less well-watched sites along the Yorkshire coast. We are enjoying a wonderful run of great birds at the moment, and this is yet another first for the area following the recent long overdue additions of Short-toed Lark here at Long Nab and the Tawny Pipit at South Cliff Golf Course. With just a handful of birders covering this large stretch of coast it is a demonstration of the huge untapped potential there is around here. Given a determination to keep going through the lean spells you will get a chance to enjoy some great birds when the luck turns and then as some might say "you can punch above your weight".