16 Aug 2010

Syke's Warbler at last - or is it?

An early night last night was rudely disturbed by the mega alert going off. I knew what is was instantly. The possible Booted or Syke's Warbler in Northumberland had been positively identified as the rarer of the two recently split species. No point in going to sleep then and I lay waiting for the first calls..............

Having to go to work at least for a few hours I debated what to do until Pod Antrobus and Two Phones Et Al rang to say they were thinking of going. That made my mind up and we met around 12.45 in a layby off the M56 to start our long journey around the M62 and up the A1/M.  We made excellent time and arrived around 3 hours later to find the bird showing well but active all the time as it flitted from bush to bush. Everyone kept a respectable distance but no one could complain of the views we got even if it was hard to photograph with the small Sigma.

Mike Stokes texted me to ask if I planned to go for the Syke's to which  I replied I was actually watching it! Keep up Shropshire. You've got to move faster than that to match us Cheshire lot! As for the ASBO birders - not one in sight.

Although hardly staying still for more than a few seconds 'scope views were good enough to ascertain all the relevant identification features although the supercillium behind the eye looked a bit longer at times than that shown in Collin's! Still, better birders than me have seen the bird today and are happy with the identification.

Leaving site at around 17.30 we were safely home in Cheshire before it got dark. Another bogey bird off the hit list after the disappointment of missing one in Shetland by a matter of hours.

No. 460 BOU!


Podster said...

You photographed the same bird as me Phil?
On my blow up piccy theres not a hint, smudge, mark whatever behind the eye.
No dark tip to the bill either, but hey what do I know?

Remember the Yellow coated DJ confirmed its ID and he's the BBA President!!!

Phil Woollen. said...

I know. Its wierd. Looked at loads of photos and some show super behind eye and dark centred tertials and others don't. Happy now I've researched it. Texted El Presidente and commented on super etc and he said there were lots of other supporting ID features so there. Pics of Portland bird Steve referred me to were spit of our bird.

Going Hilbre tomorrow. Expecting either Ollie or Olive Tree. You'll be first to know as all Cheshire mates on speed text group! Heres t othe next successful twitch.