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Marsh Warbler at Pendrathen

13th June 2020

At last I’ve found myself a Marsh Warbler! However, this is the best record shot, taken by Scott Reid, as it proved very, very elusive with only a few seconds view out in the open in the three hours trying to observe it. It was also very quiet for a Marsh Warbler and on one occasion, in an hour, it just gave the odd brief burst of sub-song.

News of a Bee-eater and singing Rustic Bunting in the SW valleys of Cornwall was not enough for me to get out in the field. I was having a lazy morning. However, when Nigel Wheatly told me that his 11 year old son, Tom, had found a new Rose-coloured Starling from their house in St Just, then I thought, there’s got to be another one over here somewhere and at 11.00, I was out in the field looking for Starling flocks. In four hours, I had seen the Hobby and good numbers of Starling.

The Hobby over Maypole

With the influx of Blyth’s Reed and Marsh Warbler into the UK at the moment and a number of Greenish Warbler on the east coast, I was listening carefully all over the shop. An hour later, I arrived at Pendrathen and it was while walking on the main track up from the beach, that I heard to my right, what I thought was a distant sylivia warbler singing from the ferns in the bulb dump area. I knew that it wasn’t a Whitethroat and when I got a little closer I realised that it was in fact an acro warbler. Immediately I ruled out Reed Warbler leaving me with either Marsh or Blyth’s Reed Warbler. No! This can’t be happening to me again after almost two weeks to the day when I had that Reed Warbler singing like a Marsh Warbler at Porth Hellick. I really didn’t think I was goin to see anythin today. It was half an hour later that it gave a few burst of sub-song and I thought that it might be the Marsh Warbler but couldn’t rule out Blyth’s Reed Warbler as I had only heard it very briefly. I called the others to let them know that I’ve got either of the species of the acros. An hour later, there were a few of us gathered around the ferns where the warbler was sub-singing from and it was now thought to be a Blyth’s Reed Warbler after sending the recordings to others who know the song better than any of us who were present. They were crap recordings mind you. The warbler proved very elusive, with brief flight views and the odd burst of sub-song but when Scott got some record shots, on the very rare occasion of it out in the open, he reckoned it was a Marsh Warbler and he was spot on. After this, it started to continue sub-singing for over two minutes long now and still not mimicking many different species. Nothin compared to the Porth Hellick Reed Warbler two weeks ago with 14 species coming out of it’s mouth. Then it shut up again, went to ground and for the next hour there was no sight or sound of it and everyone had given up. It was fun and games and acro warblers and me just don’t go together that well. I like to think that if I heard a Marsh or Blyth’s Reed Warbler, that I will know which species it is when I hear it. Now that I’m an expert. Returning home and the Yellow-legged Gull was still at Porthloo.

Like a few of the others who twitched it, Higgo didn’t hear the Marsh Warbler for the first hour and when he did, he didn’t see it until another twenty minutes and they were very brief flight views until eventually we all saw it out in the open.

These were the record shots that I could get but I don’t care as I had found a Marsh Warbler at last! I wanted to put some recordings on here but for some reason it’s not letting me. The only other singing Marsh Warbler that I’ve heard singing was an individual that showed superbly at very close range just below to where Nigel Wheatly used to live at the SW end of Tregs car park some twenty years ago. Yes, he lived in a car at the time.

And the Yellow-legged Gull was still relaxing at Porthloo before some joggers flushed it

For the last two days we’ve had heavy rain lasting for long hours and as you can see, Rosie got soaked to the bone! Yesterday, during the downfall, my second Black-headed Gull for the garden briefly dropped in.

Not as good as the Jack Snipe from June last year but it was still a surprise when I came across this Snipe at Lower Moors for this time of year four days ago, 9th June.

Above the Snipe, the Red-rumped Swallow was hawking with a 4 Swallow

Thirty minutes later I was at Porth Hellick and here 3 Crossbill flew low north over the pool before I relocated them in the pines behind the Sussex hide. I thought I heard distant Crossbill earlier on at the Garrison while I was working.

And the Red-rumped Swallow returned to Porth Hellick and was now hawking with over 20 House Martin and 25+Swallow This was the last time the RRSwallow was seen.

I wasn’t expecting to see a stunning male Pied Wagtail up at the airfield later on

One of the 2 Wheatear that were also at the airfield

A pair of Collard Doves have started to bring their two youngest to the bird table in the last few days

Why wasn’t I and others taught who Churchill really was and the dark side of British history at school?

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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