Wednesday, 13 April 2011
What a cracking day. It was an early start to make the most of the still conditions for listening for bitterns. Within 10 mins of arriving the male started booming (3 weeks later than last year) and continued every few minutes for the next hour. A male gropper was reeling on the edge of the reedbed and my first cuckoo of the year somewhere near Island Hide. A check for beardies did manage to confirm the first nest of the year but there was little other activity so hopefully they will be late like the bitterns - fingers crossed. As I came back down the path I could here a bird singing just along the Meadow Trail. As soon as I saw the warbler I knew that it was an Iberian chiffchaff - self found, get in. The bird was showing well and I managed to get one of our volunteers onto it so he could get some photos before getting Dave. The bird showed really well throughout the day and down to 6' at times. I tried to record the song and call but it was impossible on either my mobile or dictaphone. Apart from the song, the bird is subtle but easy to pick out once you have got your eye in. The combination of the yellow eyestripe, white underparts, yellowish undertail coverts and the green cast to the upperparts gives it a wood x willow warbler feel. If I can get some of Andy's photos I will post them at a later date.