Saturday 5 October 2013

Bonelli's ticked

The Orkbird text alert sent out a message this afternoon to say that the Western Bonelli's Warbler was showing in the same place as yesterday over on the East side of Burray.

So I headed off to see if I could find it.

On arriving at the reported location I met Al, one of the RSPB wardens, who was the person who had reported it today. Al had been there for around a couple of hours looking for it and had finally found it fliting between a small clump of Sycamore trees and some Willows.

Everytime it flew into the Sycamores a Yellow-browed Warbler kept chasing it off. This could be a long search as Al hadn't seen it reappear for at least ten minutes. Suddenly Al spotted it back over by the Willows. A quick look through the binoculars and there it was sitting on the edge of the Willows in clear view.

So that was my first Western Bonelli's Warbler. The third life tick in a week!!

Al headed off leaving me to get my scope out for a closer look.

This warbler is about the same size as a Wood Warbler but has a paler brownish face instead of Yellow and White underparts like the Wood Warbler. Its most striking feature is the Yellowish-Green wings which contrast with its otherwise dull plumage.

Western Bonelli's Warbler - Photo by Pierre Dalous
A high pitched call from the Sycamores alerted me to the presence of a Yellow-browed Warbler which I eventually saw fliting amongst the leaves. After last week's missed opportunity to see one on Burray I now have that species on my Burray list too. I just need it to move a bit further West on the island to see it on my patch.

Not long after Al left I was joined by Alastair another birder and I was able to point out the location of the Bonelli's to him and we both enjoyed some good views of it. It was a shame it didn't come a bit closer so that we could get our own photos of it.

A small flock of Pink-footed Geese flying over added another species to my Burray list.

One the way back up the hill to my house I spotted three Swallows flying around over the fields.

No sign of the Ring Ouzel today.

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