Thursday, 15 May 2014

Great Reed Warbler lands at Slimbridge

Great Reed Warbler

Before heading back up the M5 I checked RBA (Rare Bird Alert) to see if the previous days sighting at Slimbridge of a Great Reed Warbler was a one day wonder or whether it had re-emerged.

The reports showed it was seen early but nothing for fours hours by the time I arrived. There was plenty of birders scratching their heads and having their patience tested.  I was starting to wonder myself after 90 minutes of just watching a single reed bed other than three Spotted Flycatchers.

Thankfully I was rewarded when I picked up a feint croaking call which then got louder and louder. It was no doubt it was the Great Reed Warbler but where was it ? Every one had to wait another couple of minutes before it moved from the reeds to the hawthorn bushes before being chased towards the hide the other side of the path. Once there I managed to get some fantastic views much to my amazement and I even managed to get a few seconds of video and a digiscoped image. You could clearly see the very strong bill and the bird was more thrush like in build. Looking at the reports it was only the third time a Great Reed Warbler had visited Gloucestershire. 

Whilst at Slimbridge I checked the progress of the nesting cranes that looked very close to producing the first wild cranes hatched in Gloucestershire for 400 years. The male and female were switching roles and looked to be expecting an imminent new arrival. The film crew who had been following the Cranes could well be rewarded by the weekend.

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