Saturday, 14 April 2012

Warbler windfall

One of the consequences of Wednesday evening's rain was a very large landfall of willow warbler. On Thursday, at al Hayer, there were just about everywhere, in the bushes and the fields.

willow warbler at al Hayer

The highest density of willow warbler were in the tamarisk and other bushes near the water. I spent some time there on Thursday morning watching them. 

bushes near the water with so many willow warbler

It was the easy photography since there were so many exposing themselves in their search for food. 

second view of the same willow warbler

Quite a few of the willow warbler were grey birds with very little yellow. These are apparently characteristic of birds from northern Europe.

grey-looking willow warbler

These birds looked particularly strange to me when I saw a group of four on a pivot arm in a fodder field. I didn't know what they were. 


This chiffchaff was with the willow warbler on the pivot arm. It also had a different characteristic from most other chiffchaff. It was one of those with some streaking on its breast. A photo of one of these type is appearing in a future blog!

reed beds at al Hayer

It wasn't just the trees and bushes which were heaving with warblers. The reed beds near-by were too.

two reed warbler

It is entirely possible that the "local" reed warbler were  supplemented by passage birds making life a bit crowded in the reeds. certainly it looked that way because I got my first photos ever of reed warbler as they spilled out on the edge of the reeds.

reed warbler

After taking advice the above bird is probably a reed warbler too. It was photographed as part of a pair very near the first couple. Indeed it might be one of the same birds. Having not had much chance to actually see reed warbler in my birding career, I must admit I hadn't realised how different they can look from different angles.

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