Thursday, October 4, 2012

Well it's been a little while coming, but Yellow-browed Warblers finally made it to Bardsey today. There were at least two; one at the Obs and one we trapped and ringed at Nant. Either a third bird, or more likely the Obs bird working North, turned up at Nant with a wave of Goldcrests bearing rings added at the Obs. A couple of Garden Warblers and a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps joined the hoards of franticly gleaning Goldcrests. Approximately 120 migrants were trapped whilst reasonable numbers of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches passed over head.

Following only a single record in 2011, it was nice to again see a couple of these little stunners of the Siberian taiga. It is likely that this bird is a female; the tail was 38mm in length (males typically have tails of 40mm or longer) and the wing chord was 54mm (males are usually at least 55mm long). We feel that the scientific name inornatus is a little harsh; this little female is neither plain or unadorned. It has been suggested that so many of these fantastic phylloscs turn up in Western Europe that they might not really be vagrants at all, but rather birds from an enterprising population eminating from the Western Urals who, by overwintering here, save themselves the extra 2000km or so that they would have had to have travelled to reach Southeast Asia. (c) Richard Brown

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