Monday, October 26, 2009

Crowned jewel

We had just arrived at the caravan at Buckton at 10pm on Thursday evening (Oct 22nd) when the amazing news broke of an Eastern Crowned Warbler in Trow Quarry, Co Durham. A long predicted 'first for Britain' which had been gradually getting closer in recent years with a one day record in Holland the most recent of the 4 previous Western Paleartic records.
GERMANY (Heligoland on 4 October 1843)
NORWAY (trapped and ringed at Jaeren, Rogaland, on 30 September 2002)
FINLAND (at Harrbada, Kokkola, on 23 October 2004
THE NETHERLANDS (at Katwijk aan Zee, Zuid-Holland, on 5 October 2007)
I decided to play it cool, and put the Buckton nets up regardless. Just after 8am the following morning news came through that it was still present, this and a Firecrest flirting with the nets made my mind up - head north ! We arrived just after mid day and joined the 400 other observers all surrounding a few clumped sycamores and elders in the bottom of a small quarry some 200 metres from the sea. The warbler was top draw, being almost vireo like in appearance and every bit rare ! We enjoyed good views through the scope from the upper deck of the quarry, watching the bird at eye level. It was sharing the trees with a fellow Siberian traveller, a Yellow-browned Warbler - thank god for Sycamores! The journey back to Buckton was full of anticipation with news of a Bluetail at Bempton and Dusky Warbler at Flamborough. Thank god for east winds!

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