Saturday, 15 February 2014

Myrtle Warbler, Durham

Myrtle warbler 1 young male

Aberford (near the A1 / M1 junction)
Red kite 1

UK Life: 396 (Myrtle warbler)   Year 136

Over about a four hour period we strung together a few decent views of the Myrtle warbler, which was found during the Big Garden Birdwatch and is about the 17th for Britain, but only about the 4th on the mainland. It's been feeding on several coconuts hung out to feed it.

When we first arrived, the bird hoped up onto a branch in full view and showed well for about 30 seconds. After that it became much more difficult. It skulked around in the undergrowth, giving fleeting views, before occasionally landing on the most obscured coconut to feed, which annoyingly had its husk facing us so that when the bird fed you could only see its tail or its wings, only rarely the full bird.

However if you followed it through the scope as it moved through the undergrowth, you would occasionally see the bird quite well through all of the branches etc. On these occasions it was seen to have bright yellow flanks and an almost startlingly bright yellow rump. Perhaps most interestingly, I also managed to see its tiny yellow crown starting to develop, which seems to indicate that the bird is a male.

Photographs? No chance....

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