Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Paddyfield Warbler at Pagham Harbour

male Teal

Mark called me to say there was a Paddyfield Warbler at Pagham Harbour so I was pleased to meet him there for a sighting of this rare immigrant to the U.K. It lives in Asia and normally winters in the Indian subcontinent. We arrived at 9:30am and found over a dozen enthusiasts already set up. The bird had been seen earlier but was hiding in the reed beds and after a couple of hours Mark spotted it when it rose up to catch an insect. It continued this behaviour for an hour before staying low. Every so often it would dart up above the reeds, then head down again, all in a second or so. I never had much opportunity to focus for a shot, though I saw it many times. It looks similar to a Reed Warbler. 
Others have captured good images of this bird, including Dave Barnes: http://www.pbase.com/davebarnes/paddyfield_warbler__west_sussex
All morning Curlews made their lovely call, and a huge flock of Brent Geese flew by. I also saw Teal, Reed Buntings, Redshank and Little Grebe and heard a Cetti's Warbler.

Little Grebe
Paddyfield Warbler
Paddyfield Warbler

male Reed Bunting in summer plumage
male Reed Bunting in winter plumage
male Teal
female Teal
Teal pair
Me on the left next to serious weaponry (Photo courtesy of Mark Colvin)

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