A call from Gary Woodburn and Tim Cleeves tonight about a 'funny' warbler at Hadston Links was intrigueing. Not enough to get me into the car until a second call confirmed that the bird was definately one of the Booted / Sykes Warbler pair. That was it, down tools and a short drive later had me on site with a crew of big Northumberland listers all needing this one.
Yes I saw it. And saw it well too. But still dont really know what it was. My total experience of the little hippolais warblers comes from 3 Booted Warblers, one on Shetland was thought to be a Sykes by better birders than me, until it was trapped when it turned out to be Booted. Long billed appearance counts for nothing in the hand.
So, I came home and read Birding World Vol 16 pages 400 odd seperating calligata from rama.
Conclusion? I think our bird might be a Booted.
Have a read, its quite interesting... I hope someone has some good photos to sort this one out. Where were Mssrs Fisher, Tams, Malloy, Dunn et al when needed? Mr McElwee arrived camera free!
What ever the outcome, I'll be happy to add one of them to my county list...
Proper blog post with moths'n'that tomorrow...