Sunday 10 January 2016

Dusky Warbler at Ham Wall RSPB reserve UTB ..... at last

Sunday 10th January light to fresh S Sunny interval with heavy rain shower band from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Not out as early as I should be but breakfast at the Newhouse Farm B and B, Westhay is superb. Out by 9:15am, I head immediately for Ham Wall RSPB reserve and yet another go at seeing the dusky warbler.
Arriving at the spot I know so well by now I hear it calling. It is there in front of me amongst some thistles away from the water's edge and near the path. Call a soft tack repeated quite quickly, pale legs obvious to see and the supercilium is whitish both before and after the eye.
It crosses the canal in front of me and keeps low in amongst the ground vegetation only allowing brief glimpses. A very fast, erratic bird, it stops calling and disappears.
Feeling that I really deserved this one, having missed a couple last year by minutes, I celebrate in my time honoured way. “Yes!”
A '16' bird in 2016; I need sixteen new birds above what I achieved last year to take the European record.
I searched the reedbeds and lakes adjacent to the muddy path but didn't see much of note, except unfortunately for a black mink swimming across the canal and heading into the reedbed.
Leaving ham wall after almost forty eight hours here I head for Greylake RSPB reserve and arrive just in time to enjoy lunch, four pieces of Toblerone and some orange juice, and shelter from some heavy rain showers.
Later I reach Taunton for an overnight stop.

The Green Year list now stands at 102.

26.18 miles 950 feet elevation up 861 feet elevation down

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