The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hippolais and Trendy

First of all, please do cast your eyes back to the end of my post 'Well and Truly Spurned', as I've added a video of an Arctic Skua chasing a Tern that I totally forgot I had taken when I came to the write-up!


On my way to Bridport, I popped into Ferrybridge just in case.  Nice to actually be able to see some mud, unlike my visits last week.  Although as it happens, there was nothing particularly notable present.  Best were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling, a Curlew, and 25 Mediterranean Gull.

After work, there was I just sitting down to a well-deserved rest and a spot of lunch, when Martin's message comes through that Joe has found a Melodious Warbler down the Bill.  Oh well, birds come first!  I've only seen one Melodious previously, and it was a 5 second view of a bird down at Land's End several years ago.

On arrival, I was rather amazed to see the spot the bird had chosen.  A tiny patch of three small Tree Mallow plants right next to the car park.  Surely there was no missing the bird.  Sure enough, the Melodious Warbler was immediately in view.  A few phonescoped efforts.

In fact, in my hour or so there, the bird was rarely out of view, and that was purely down to the rather open plants it had chosen to feed.  This is despite it spending quite some time attempting to skulk right in the middle, preening (but still visible!).

A Chiffchaff kindly decided to show a good comparison, and I added a bit of footage of that at the end of my video of the Melodious.

I can't believe I've easily seen two normally very skulking scarce warblers in two days!  Subalpine tomorrow please ;-)
The easterly winds are now in control here, so hopefully this is just the start (though I probably won't be around to see it, unless something turns up at Ferrybridge. Working the next 5 days in Bridport).

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