Sykes’s Warbler

A lot easier like this!

This is all about Wednesday 6th October 2010. Started by telling our Shetland Nature Group not to expect too much today giving the winds coming off NE Scotland (mainland) . How wrong was I? After 110 Snow Buntings at Lamba Ness, Unst, Brydon rang to tell us to get to Fetlar. And see this:

A rare privilege. Me and Sykes’s Warbler by Brydon Thomason.Tresta, Fetlar, 6th October 2010

What do you think? Didn’t seem such a difficult ID when seen like this. Very acrocephalus-like- peaked crown. incredibly long tail. Plain upperparts with pink/ rosy tinge to sandy wings and tail contrasting with greyer toned mantle. The Channerwick Sykes’s W. also showed this. It may be a normal character of vagrant Sykes’s Warblers.

Check out the very worn tertials. Surely its a first winter bird – are we ageing them correctly? Wasn’t the Seafield, Lerwick bird accepted as an adult? Why have others like this bird had such worn wings? See also the longish bill (varied a bit with posture and viewing angle); little dark smudgy bit near tip of lower mandible. Also heard calling several times – will add recording later. Soft rather quiet ‘tchik’ or stac. It was a quiet call– you had to be close to the bird to hear it. On the sonagram it’s a thin spike and on the (rather poor) recording  you can hear it (just after the funny breath sound!). Learnt a lot about Sykes’s warbler from watching it.

Click >>here<< to listen to Mp3 recording of the Sykes’s Warbler

Not great recording but one call is near beginning just after the ‘breath sound’. A second call is muffled by wind and rustling.

Sonagram of Sykes’s Warbler call. Fetlar Shetland Oct 6th 2010. Its a pretty thin ‘spike’


Observers of the Fetlar Sykes’s Warbler in Tresta Yard

Shetland Nature and friends. Paul points to Jame McCallum, who seems unstoppable right now. He was only waiting for folk to get up so he could make a cuppa. Not wanting to disturb anyone, walked out into the yard straight on to this bird. Not bad pre-breakfast birding!

2 thoughts on “Sykes’s Warbler

  1. Russ Heselden

    James is certainly on a bit of a roll. What’s he going to turn up next? I’m very grateful for the (Alder) Flycatcher at Blakeney Point – a just reward for all the hours he puts in. I once found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper close to the same spot and he was one of the first on the scene after I rang it in, since he was wardening there at the time … that now seems very insignificant!

  2. Pingback: Shetland Spring Birding Part 3 | Birding Frontiers

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