Sunday 12 June 2016

The master mimic

So the choice was Great Reed Warbler at Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire or Marsh Warbler at Reydon, Suffolk. Reydon was a little closer and with all that mimicry I really find that Marsh Warblers are very charismatic little Acros. So I choose the latter.
I hadn't been to the SWT Hen Reedbeds reserve before, to be honest I didn't even know of its existence but its a really fine reserve, I expect a pretty good spot for Bittern, Hobby, Cuckoo and plenty of other interesting stuff.
I arrived late afternoon, I didn't feel like a 6am start so I thought it better to leave it later in the day rather than go mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the sun would be strong. Turned out to be a good call because I met another birder returning from the spot and he told me he had waited two hours for it to show. Fortunately I only needed a couple of minutes before it came out onto its favoured singing perch where it showed and sang for at least quarter of an hour. It was a little distant though so these shots are all heavily cropped unfortunately.

Marsh Warbler, Hen Reedbeds, Reydon, Suffolk

And this rather rubbish video clip of it singing.

I spent around an hour there, the bird showed on and off in that time. This is only my second UK Marsh Warbler, the previous bird being last year's Narborough, Norfolk one which incidentally was on the exact same weekend (see Return to Narborough.). I only ever saw one bird in Ireland (a very skulking individual on Cape Clear in late September 2009). During the summer in Latvia they are probably the commonest Acrocephalus so I'm well used to them from there but still, they are such a charismatic and lively bird - one I'll never grow tired of seeing and hearing.
It took me quite a while to make it back to the car park, there are still some Reed and Sedge Warblers singing including this ringed Reed Warbler.

Reed Warbler, Hen Reedbeds, Reydon, Suffolk

It had a BTO ring on so ringed somewhere in the UK or Ireland and possibly even a locally ringed bird. I reported it through the BTO website so let's see what comes out of that.

Sedge Warbler, Hen Reedbeds, Suffolk
I made home just in time to see England play Russia and the less said about that the better!!


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