Tuesday, 21 April 2015

21/04/15:GRASSHOPPER WARBLER

I headed off to Quarry Walk aka The Reed bed. It wasn't looking good first thing at the reed bed. The warming sun had created a mist that was quickly burnt off. I was hoping to catch up with some warblers and Cuckoo. But as I approached the boardwalk I could hear an all to familiar reeling call of a Grasshopper Warbler. It's not an uncommon bird on the site, this is the fourth consecutive spring/Summer one has showed.
Normally they're half away along the embankment/raised path, to far out in the scrub. Knowing my luck with this bird I hastily took the above image thinking it would vanish into the scrub, it didn't.

In fact it stayed close to the boardwalk but still tricky to get an uncluttered image.

Despite it's calling away I was struggling with all the vegetation. It briefly popped onto the handrail of the boardwalk and STILL branches going through it. I did get some but not in the pose I wanted.

I got one that was close to a good pose (image below).
 I did get some obscenely close views that left my binoculars redundant. Watching it wind itself up for another reeling call. With it's upper body shaking, then throwing it's head backwards and the tail bouncing to a rapid beat, beautiful views.
I could hear the Cuckoo calling down the bottom end of the reed bed so seeking shade I opted to go looking. Didn't refind the Cuckoo but did connect with some Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat too. Before leaving the boardwalk I had a few more attempts below is probably my best effort, I really think you need the tail in the image of a Grasshopper Warbler.
It was still on the site when I left this evening, I admit the bird beat my best efforts today....or was it the vegetation, definately the best showing Grasshopper Warbler encounter I've had and I didn't have to leave the boardwalk either. But easily my best efforts to date.

10 comments:

  1. Fantastic images Douglas...even with the twigs! I'd be more than happy to get a set like this!...[;o)

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    1. Cheers Trevor, I'm happy with what I got. But really wanted some poses with that fantastic tail. But I'd never swap for the views I got.

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  2. Now this bird is on my '' wanted list '', well done Douglas, images I would be proud of !.

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    1. Despite both Summer Leys and this spot holding host to this bird over the years I've struggled to get a clean image. Got really lucky yesterday with a showy bird. At one point down to about 3 foot away.

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  3. Nice shots Douglas! Just getting our first Grasshopper Warblers through the island now, but haven't managed to get any shots yet. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Ben, going through my records for this site this is the earliest by 6 days, wasn't expecting it yesterday.

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  4. The Gropper would be a life bird for me, Doug. I am, therefore, jealous that you managed to get such superb images. ;-} I can see what you mean about that wonderful tail, but it's the upper body markings that I find so attractive.

    Best wishes - - - - Richard

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    1. Cheers Richard, I have to admit and agree the markings on the bird, especially the mantle area is beautiful. Definately a bonus bird for me. I'd love to see one breed on the site, perfect habitat.

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  5. These are spot on It's good to have a twig or two. It sets them off a treat.

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    1. Thanks Adrian, compared to previous efforts they're not bad, but I really wanted a specific image, they can offer some unique poses at times.

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