16 Aug 2014

16 Aug 14 - Curse Of The Birdfair

This is the Birdfair weekend at Rutland & another year when there has been a good rarity in Dorset. For 2 years on the trot, the Dorset guys at the Birdfair, had to put up with the knowledge of Aquatic Warblers being caught at Lytchett Bay in 2011 & 2012. However, these were on a private ringing site with no public access & therefore, perhaps less gripping than today. Today, the goodie trapped was a Bonelli's Warbler at Portland Bill which is a good county tick. I decided to wait to see if it was seen after it was released & once the news came through it had been seen again, I ran out of excuses to wait any longer. I arrived to find it was very elusive & hadn't been seen for over 2 hours. Tried the book shop, but didn't get very far before I saw a movement of people into the front garden. It has been relocated, but was elusive. Not joy. I drifted to the road side of the trees, but far too windy. Heading back into the Obs garden, I could see Martin watching it, but it had dropped by the time I reached him. Eventually, I decided to try the front corner again & wait as it was about the most sheltered & warm set of trees. After a short warm up act from a couple of Willow Warblers, my mate James Lowther picked it up in a Sycamore: nice one James. I was quickly onto it & trying to give directions, while also grabbing as many photos as possible. The poor quality of the photos, just proves us blokes can't multitask.
Bonelli's Warbler: Note, the short, but relatively strong supercilium, dark eye, plainer pale lower face & silvery-white underparts
Bonelli's Warbler: Unlike the Willow Warblers, it stayed in one place for a minute or so & slowly looked around for food
Bonelli's Warbler: Frustrating, the best shot & the bird wasn't in a good posture. Note, the silvery-white underparts & pale bill
Bonelli's Warbler: Note, the colouration of the upperparts
Bonelli's Warbler: The trendy peeps try to precede the name with Western, to separate it from Eastern Bonelli's Warbler. It's even more daft as some authors have renamed Eastern Bonelli's Warbler as Balkans Warbler: thus my shortened name works anyway
Bonelli's Warbler: Final view before it moved out of my view. Kept hoping it would reappear, but sadly not

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