Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Gropper headlines mini fall

Whinchat (left) & Wheatear (right)

I predicted that today might be productive for seeking out passerines at the patch, taking into account yesterday's wet north easterlies and today's less harsh weather.

I was very soon onto a Whinchat this morning. It was considerably flighty but eventually appeared to settle down around the hay bales in Bunting Field in the company of a male Wheatear. Another Wheatear, probably yesterday's bird, was in Skylark Field. While I was watching this, four Yellow Wagtails called as they headed south. I didn't see too much else until after Lunch when I was walking through the undergrowth at The Scrub (this I've been doing daily and thoroughly, mainly in hope of a Wryneck) and disturbed an interesting looking warbler. It settled nearby where it showed well for a few seconds, it was a Grasshopper Warbler! I aimed the camera at it and would have achieved a good shot but peering through the viewfinder was like being in a carpet of mist. It seems some moisture has snuck into the lens - bugger!!! It only came back from being fixed no more than a fortnight ago!!! Unbelievably infuriating, I tell you.

Grasshopper Warbler appears to be quite regular at the patch. The first record was last September when I flushed one with a gathering of House Sparrows in the north west corner of Broadfield and there were four singing males this April: three at Canons Farm and one at The Scrub. All this spring's singers were practically impossible to see; I saw one of them for a couple of seconds.