After the low of missing a Pallas's warbler on the reserve yesterday afternoon, I jammed in on it this morning.
With calm conditions I decided to spend the rest of Sunday (after my WeBS count) ringing in the garden. It was fairly quiet but a collared dove and 7 (5 re-traps) coal tits provided some interest, then my voicemail rang. It was Dave saying that a Pallas's warbler had just been found in the sueda bushes along the main path. Nets were packed away sharpish and I swiftly made my way to the reserve. Once on-site the bird was still showing and I met Dave on his way back having seen it. As I got there, people didn't seem to be watching the bird and were now looking at a short-eared owl - a nice bird but not the warbler. Nobody seemed to know where it had gone and by dusk I gave up!
The harrier sp, possibly northern, was around at the roost again and although nothing will ever be confirmed without good photos, it does look interesting. The bird is very orangy below with only light flank streaking and a very heavily streaked head making it look 'hooded' from a distance. It may only be a hen but it certainly has caused some interest and debate.
Back to the warbler. I was in the office on the phone when one of the volunteers was trying to get hold of me to say that the bird had been re-located. Thankfully (or not) my phonecall was about a problem with the new hide and I had to go and sort it out. The bird had been in the bushes by Island Hide and as I got there it wasn't showing! A small bird then moved through the bushes but never clear enough to get anything on it. At the end of the bushes it flew to the reed edge. I was able to look through a scope, central crown stripe, yellow rump, PALLAS'S WARBLER (201) finally. By now it was very windy, the bird fed along the reeds and then moved into another clump of willows. Even better news was that it was a reserve tick (255) and my 5th of the year.
All we need to do now is pin down this harrier.