Sunday, February 09, 2014


What a great surprise when Gary called me yesterday to tell me that there was a Myrtle Warbler in Co Durham and he had just seen it!

The other week it was seen at an undisclosed location during the RSPB Garden Birdwatch, by one of their volunteers. Quite reasonably, she was very reluctant to have her estate swamped by birders and did not wish the location to be disclosed. Luckily, Gary knew her from when he worked for the RSPB and entered into some negotiation. I was sworn to secrecy, in fact I was not told of the birds location until we were almost there this morning. 

The plan was to check that all was safe on the estate, then to release the news. As it happened, one of the 'trusted' people who were told about the record, clearly could not be trusted and blabbed away to the info services. A lesson learned here I think.

Anyway, as it turned out, everyone behaved well and there was no conflict. Gary paid for and placed his own feeding stuff in a hedge so that observers would not need to stare into gardens. A collection bucket rattled at visitors raised over £200 and the finder will be given the choice of charity it goes to. ( Yes I paid a fiver, did you?)

A bit of a twitch...
For the first two hours the bird showed regularly all over the place then a cold rain shower moved in and all went quiet until after lunch. As the rain clouds dispersed, it was relocated on Gary's feeders in the hedge where good views were had by everyone.

The Myrtle was a bit rangy for my camera...

Willow Tit
A nearby wood held a pair of Willow Tits and a Sparrowhawk flew over. Around the gardens a large flock of Goldfinches at niger feeders held Brambling and a lone Redpoll. I missed the three Waxwings that called in briefly.

Myrtle Warbler from my scribbled notes and pics later.
All in all and excellent day. Thanks to Gary who persevered in arranging the access this, only the 3rd mainland record, was my 403rd species. Superb!

[Update - I am giving my sketch above to the lady who found the bird...I hope she likes it!]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Setophaga ;-)