Monday, October 31, 2016

Hume's Leaf Warbler, Middleton, Gower - or is it ?

News broke last Saturday of a Hume's Leaf Warbler found by Eddie Hunter mixing with a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers at Middleton on Gower, Ed covers this little patch and has discovered some great birds in the past month.
I couldn't make it down there on Saturday but met up with Richard Smith at 8.00am yesterday morning at Sarn Junc 36 on the M4 and with Richard at the wheel and quiet roads we rolled up at Middleton at 8.55am.
Eddie Hunter, Alistair Flanagan, Paul Parsons and Paul Tabor were already present and Ed led the two of us into the cottage garden which the bird had been frequenting with the kind permission of the lady owner of the property.
The warbler had already been seen and throughout the morning we heard it's distinctive call a few times and got views of the bird in the dense foliage but getting a clear shot of the bird with the camera was another thing !!
As lunchtime approached we decided to take a break for a sarnie and Paul Tabor phoned to let us know that he and 'Sid' had found a Pallas's Warbler in the lane leading down to the coast from the village.
As we set off we were joined by Chris Brewer and bumped into the two Pauls who gave us directions to the location but also advised that the bird had been lost from view.
We reached the location and decided that it would be impossible to refind the bird and so headed back to the cottage for another go at the Hume's joining the two Pauls in the garden.
After a little while we struck it lucky and the warbler came into the apple tree on the boundary and showed about as well as one could hope for and both myself and Richard managed some shots in the gloom at high ISO.........

A few birders looked in on the bird one of which was Gary Harper the Carmarthenshire County Recorder and much discussion ensued about the bird's characteristics, the call was perfect for Hume's in comparison to YB which had also called whilst we were there and the general consensus as we left was that the bird looked good for a 1st winter Hume's.
We next headed for Broughton Bay Caravan Park near Llangennith where Mike and Emma Cram had found a pair of Black Redstarts during the half term break.
We found the location on the site but no birds but after a search found two over the opposite side of the park which include a smart but rather dowdy male.......

We decided to finish the day at Llanrhidian hoping for a couple of owls but had to be satisfied with a distant female Marsh Harrier in the gloom as the Little Egrets came in to roost.

My run of cracking day's out connecting with some great birds in the last couple of months had continued with Hume's Leaf Warbler if accepted being a 'lifer' for me having failed to connect with one over in Norfolk on a winter lad's weekend some years ago.

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