Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Marsh Mimicry

Do you ever get the feeling that when you step out of the front door that today is going to be a bit different?
I did on Monday when I went out with SH, there was a hint of thunder in the air combined with the previous day showers and a slight easterly wind which where all good signs.

Whilst driving to the bay a Merlin flew in front of the car whilst we crossed over the river Wansbeck, a failed breeder?
Things got better at Cresswell when a Grasshopper Warbler was acting strangely to the left of the hide. It seemed confused as it kept flying up and down the path towards the hide and perched on fence posts before reeling weakly.
Steve thought that from its behaviour that it had probably arrived over night meaning that something else was out there to be found.
A Little Gull, which landed on the sand bar in front of the hide, was the highlight on the pond itself.

We were going to check Druridge Polls from both hides but whilst walking up towards them we both stopped and listened to what sounded like a false House Sparrow calling from the trees to our right.
As we listened the House Sparrow suddenly changed into Blue Tit with a few Warbler type notes in between.

Carefully we went further into the long grass to listen and whilst we did the song which we now thought was coming from a Marsh Warbler, mimicked a Blue Tit again, Blackbird, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, House Martin and a strange Little Grebe style trill.
It seemed to be calling from the same area of trees and only once flew into the reed bed were we could see its head as it sang its olive head and white throat poking out from between reed stems.
After making sure we were happy with the identity without actually seeing all of the bird we sent a few texts and as birders arrived so did the rain, which stopped the Warbler signing.
Eventually it started signing again and we left happier with what we had heard rather than seen.


Ipin said...

Congratulations on the find - nice one..(and thanks to Steve for the call).

Was it a new bird for you?

Crammy Birder said...

cheers, I managed to see the St.Mary's bird last year for all of five seconds which is probably the same amount of time I saw the Druridge bird for also, at least I heard it sing.