Thursday, 24 November 2016

Dusky Dipping

Well this wasn't the blog post I was expecting to write today...

I'm usually pretty early to bed every night, guess it's because I'm an early riser. But for some reason last night I was still up gone midnight, and just before I headed up to bed I had a quick look at my phone for any new posts on the blogs that I follow. I clicked on the latest post on the Axe Estuary Ringing Group blog - detailing their captures during their most recent catch on Tuesday of this week - and honestly I thought I was suffering with some sort of sleep deprivation, or that I'd just gone delusional. In front of me was a photo of a Dusky Warbler, the first Dusky Warbler ever recorded on patch!

Here's the pic that was posted, thanks very much to Doug Rudge for a copy of it...



Here's the same pic, but with a few notes pointing out the features that make it the rare that it is (click on the photo to make it and the writing bigger)...



The short primary projection really is striking, although Chiffchaffs have shorter wings than Willow Warblers, they never look this short.

Doug Rudge kindly sent me another photo today, sadly still no legs on show but it's nice to see the bird in different light... 



What a thoroughly gripping photo. Naturally this morning I was out on Stafford Marsh hoping and hearing, but it was so windy I wasn't expecting any joy, and I didn't have any. Whilst out there though I did find out exactly where it had been caught, in this net ride (between two small reed beds)...



There is every chance it is still around, we just need a day of calm weather so we can have a proper look.

This morning actually felt good, the first morning this month with some decent passage. I only gave the dog a quick walk along the beach, but in that time I had four Pintail, four Wigeon and two Starling in off the sea, with four different ultra distant duck flocks flying past and a constant stream of gulls on the move. If I didn't have a Dusky Warbler to look for I would have set my scope up and had a proper sea watch.  Also saw the four Gadwall again this morning, they were on Black Hole Marsh. 

Well what a surprising turn of events. I have always dreamt of finding the first patch Dusky Warbler, but identifying it without seeing the bird was most certainly not in the script!

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