Friday, April 29, 2011

The northerly winds have continued and the number of migrants passing through has dropped considerably. But the diversity remains exciting with Spotted FlycatchersGrasshopper Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers all passing through along with a few hirundines and plenty of Wheatears. Today's highlight came in the form of the second Subalpine Warbler of the year. The bird was another male, but this time of the western form, cantillans. It appeared in the garden heligoland when trapping a Sedge Warbler and makes us wonder what else must be skulking through the garden unnoticed.

Compared with last weeks Subalp, this nominate male lacks the deep brick-red throat, instead having a peachy cinnamon orange wash which extends right down the flanks. The brown, well-worn flight feathers and coverts suggest this is a first year bird. (c) Richard Brown

An early start is the best way to catch the Grasshopper Warblers feeding out in the open. It seems strange to see them in Gorse but there is little else in the way of vegetation on the South End. Irish Sea coasts have traditionally seen particularly good numbers of spring Grasshopper Warblers and this year seems no exception. (c) Richard Brown

Common Whitethroats and Garden Warblers have also been trickling through. (c) Richard Brown

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