Sunday, 2 November 2014

Eastern-crowned Warbler - Cleveland - 1st November 2014








When I missed the opportunity to twitch the South Shields Eastern Crowned Warbler, I thought I'd have to wait a long time to get that back. When the bird was caught and ringed in Hertfordshire, I was amazed that a second British record turned up so soon! At no point did I think that would lead onto another record in the next few years. Much to my surprise, on Thursday 30th October, I got a text of Matthew Bruce asking me if I was up for Cleveland this weekend because of an Eastern Crowed Warbler! Blimey!
I got the train to Leeds and I joined a car of Matt and Daniel Branch on the trip north. Onsite, it took about 10 minutes before someone called the bird as being on show. As was a running theme through the bird's stay, it turned out to be a Chiffchaff. After the crowd settled down again, I got chatting with a St. Helens birder, who has seen the bird the day before and on the morning, there was a whistle that it had been refound. Initially I spotted movement and then got decent views of the bird at the top of a sycamore, but right into the sun. I held out for a little bit and tried to learn about the bird in the field whilst I was in a position where I could see it well. It was very long. Much longer than the Arctic Warbler I saw at Donna Nook two weeks prior, and the slight up turned bill with luminous orange lower mandible was very obvious. Despite being subtle, the wing bar stood out quite well against the very dark green upper body. The extensive supercillium was also obvious and in certain angles, the namesake crown stripe was also obvious. Much more so than the crown stripe on the Yellow-browed Warbler also present.
I moved round to where the light was brilliant and was rewarded with the bird sitting right in the open for at least two minutes. A wonderful bird and birding royalty well and truly on my list!

1 comment:

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