Blog

Sat 26th May 2012

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM

An interesting and enjoyable day today, albeit quite frustrating. It started off great when I stood on the back doorstep drinking my cup of tea, enjoying the early morning sunshine. Quick as a flash, a superb Hobby came hurtling towards me from between the trees in the neighbours garden. It skipped over the shed roof and flashed its streaked underparts at me from just 20 yards away, and carried on down the driveway and across the road. Such close views, I think it was chasing the local House Martins. I've seen a few Hobbies soaring over the garden, but not whizzing through it like this.

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Then at quarter to nine, the grapevine text arrived : "singing Greenish Warbler at Pleinmont". Finally, a second rarity this spring, after the Red-rumped Swallow. Unusually, I was just able to get dressed and run out the door straight away for this one, and I was on site about 30 minutes later. Mark Guppy was there, who found the bird and he explained it was moving around quite a bit, feeding in a circuit, and every now and again stopping to sing. It was mostly in the Sycamores by the roadside above Pezeries Bay. Julian and Liz arrived and we looked around the area for a while until someone found it singing quite close to the road.

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We were very close to the bird but we just couldn't see it as it sang away in the back of a small Sycamore. Full credit to Mark for picking out the song on this bird - I would have most probably walked straight past it. It was different when you really listened to it, but it's not exactly a distinctive, unmissable song. It starts off as a Chaffinchy-warble, ending in a short Wren-like trill. Whilst we were waiting for it to show I managed to get a couple of recordings on the Remembird, but it was so windy, it was difficult to get a clean sound.

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song of Greenish Warbler - Pezeries, Pleinmont, 26 May 2012 - the best I could manage on such a windy day.

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After a while it did show itself briefly, as it quickly move through the backs of the Sycamores. I never managed to see it very well, just a very pale phyllosc flicking between the trees. I did eventually get my bins on it but it was feeding very high up above my head. The most distinctive feature was the very pale yellowish lower mandible. It then quickly filtered through the trees and away, and we could not find it again before I had to go. BUt despite the disappointing views, this was a new bird for my Guernsey List, only the second record for the island. (Below is a photo of the bird taken by Mark before I arrived.) 

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Greenish Warbler - Pleinmont, 26 May 2012 (M.Guppy)

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As I left the site at 10:45-ish, to get back for family stuff, the grapevine message came through for Black Kite over the Greenish Warbler site. As I was by Rocquaine, I 'scoped back towards Pleinmont and could see 3 Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier circling over the headland but no kite. So, I just missed the bird by a few minutes.

Categories: 2012 Spring, Other Rarities