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Marsh Warbler at Porth Hellick

31st May 2020

Two days ago I went looking for a Rose-coloured Starling and found one. Today I went in search of a Blyth’s Reed or Marsh Warbler and stumbled upon the latter species at Porth Hellick given it some wellie!

I had a lazy day at home and the Hobby casually flew over the garden a few times. With a few Blyth’s and Marsh Warbler turning up in the UK at the moment, I had a listen to the songs of the two species so if by chance I hear one while I’m in the field. Yeh right! As if that’s goin to happen. I didn’t get out until gone 15.00 and thirty minutes later, I was on the Porth Hellick loop trail and I thought I could hear snippets of a Marsh Warbler. It was so difficult to hear it, being distant, the very windy conditions and a Chiffchaff was so over powering just above me as it sang in the Sallows. I decided to record the acro but when I listened to the recording after, I couldn’t really hear anythin. I had to put the recording out on the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp with Marsh Warbler singing. However, I couldn’t get any Wifi and so I called Ren instead. I told him that I had a Marsh Warbler and can you put the news out. Hang on a minute, with the wind etc, I couldn’t hear it that well and it could easily be a Blyth’s Reed Warbler. I told Ren to leave it and I’ll try and get closer to the songster. It had moved a lot closer towards the loop trail and was now singing in an isolated Sallow. Just as I was goin to call Ren to tell him that it is a Marsh Warbler, it started singing only a meter from me at the top of a dead reed stem very briefly! I got an awesome view before it flew only a few meters away and aloud me to snap off a few shots with the camera. It returned to the isolated Sallow and continued to sing. Ren put the news out and I stood there in frustration as I still couldn’t get any Wifi to put the recording out for everyone to listen to. Scott arrived with in a flash but the warbler had shut up and later on, only Will and Robin heard it and Higgo was the only other birder to see it. Hopefully it will stick around for oters to catch up with it. I also had a Kestrel, Wheatear, Swift and the Hobby on the airfield shortly afterwards.

I first had the Hobby over the garden this morning then I saw all over the shop on the island

The only other singing Marsh Warbler I’ve ever heard was below Tregrathen’s Hotel over twenty years ago.

Here’s a sonogram of the Porth Hellick Marsh Warbler

Also on the loop trail it looks like Goldcrest are breeding in the area as this individual was alarming for most of the time while I was present

Later on I was unsuccessful in looking for Darren Masons Golden Oriole he had earlier singing at Watermill but there was this female Blackcap caring food

Good numbers of Goldfinch around including in the garden

Also had this juvenile Carrion Crow nearby

I was talking to Higgo on the mobile when a small finch distantly flew past that sounded like a Trumpter Finch. I cut Higgo off without saying anythin and moved pretty fast to where it had come down. It was this bloody Zebra Finch enjoying a taste in the wild!!

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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