Sunday 20 December 2020

Dusky Warbler

I managed to twitch the Exwick Dusky Warbler first thing this morning, fitting it in nicely with some work I needed to do nearby. It was always distant (on the opposite side of the river Exe) but audible from time to time - sticking to waterside vegetation and usually associating with Chiffchaffs. Poor views but nice to watch through the scope. Also there - at least four Chiffchaffs, 1 possible Siberian Chiffchaff (seen only briefly first-light), 1 Little Grebe and 4 Meadow Pipits.

Notables in Exmouth today included 1 Great Northern Diver, 16/17+ Teal, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and c10+ Great Crested Grebes off Mudbank. Shelly Beach produced the male Black Redstart, 2 Peregrines and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers.

This is only my sixth ever Dusky Warbler. Previous records for me are singles at Portland Bill on 5/11/94, Dawlish Warren on 24/11/94, Kenwith on 14/1/95, Clennon Valley on 22/11/03 and Orcombe Point on 28/10/11 - see below.

My last Dusky Warbler was this self-found individual on October 28th 2011. It was feeding in the weedy base of some farmland hedgerow on Orcombe Point. Today's individual was in more typical habitat and much more difficult to see.

Presumed Siberian Chiffchaff - only just noticed I'd inadvertently snatched a shot of this bird. It certainly looks the business.

 The female-type Goldeneye was off Mudbank yesterday. Otherwise very little to report with just 2 Common Scoter and the drake Eider off the seafront.

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