Today we were at Testwood Lakes reserve for a staff meeting. Myself and another member of staff, Trevor, had made a plan to go for a walk at lunch time to look for yellow-browed warblers, as there are presently large numbers in the country, and surprisingly within a minute or so of leaving the visitor centre we could hear one! The bird was calling frequently amongst a patch of dogwood and poplars at the far end of the car park. It disappeared into thicker cover but then returned to the original patch of dogwood and was eventually seen by a few members of trust staff. It was highly mobile weaving amongst the leaves on the hunt for insects so no photographs unfortunately.
Small numbers of Yellow-browed warblers turn up in Britain every autumn but this year there has been more than ever before. They breed in Siberia and winter in south-east Asia but each autumn a few seem to head the wrong way and end up in Europe. Over the last couple of weeks masses have been recorded in the northern isles of Scotland and the east coast, and are gradually working their way south. On the 27th of September an unprecedented 450+ were recorded around Britain and yesterday they were seen in Dorset, Kent and the Isle of Wight so one just had to turn up in Hampshire soon. There must be many more waiting to be found and hopefully one will turn up at Blashford Lakes. If you’re wondering what they look like here is a picture of a bird ringed at Titchfield Haven national nature reserve last October:
They have a very distinctive call which can help with finding them, if your interested in what it sounds like have a listen here:
Why not have a listen with a nice cup of tea?