Monday, 7 September 2015

Barred Warbler

I am not a great fan of twitches. Usually, there will too many people there and you end up too far away from the bird to get a decent picture. That does mean that I miss a lot of good birds but then I have always said that I would rather have a good picture of an ordinary bird, than a poor picture of a rare bird.

Except, I do really want to see the rare birds. If only everyone else would stay at home and leave me to see the bird by myself. It's not going to happen, so I usually wait until the initial rush has died down and then if the bird is still around I go along when it's a bit quieter.

On that basis, today, I went to look for the juvenile Barred Warbler at Staines Moor near Heathrow. Sunday is not really a good day as more people would be there but then it's probably better than the Monday morning traffic on the M25 and that assumes that the bird would stay around for another day.

It was not too difficult to find. There were some good directions on the London Bird Club web page (see end of blog) and I was soon standing in front of a large patch of brambles along with about a dozen other people. The bird was actively feeding for a time but then settled down to observe the strange looking group of twitchers.

Barred Warbler at rest - and just too far away for a decent picture

A bit disappointing as far as pictures go but fortunately most people wandered off once they had their ticks and with the bird moving around I was able to get some better pictures.

Barred Warbler

a juvenile so barred underside markings not yet developed

Rear View

A bit of barring starting to show on the undertail-coverts

Not too painful as far as twitches go, a life tick for me,  and a great bird to see. I am glad I decided to go.

Other birds seen were a Kestrel, Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Swallows, and House Martins. There were probably others but I wasn't really paying attention.




and here is a Whinchat from a couple of days ago. It's a bit distant but it gets into the blog as it was my first of the year.


Directions for the Barred Warbler: 

Park at the end of Hithermoor Road in Stanwell Moor village. Walk along the Colne Valley Way (following the west bank of KGVI Reservoir), turn right through the kissing gate and follow the path, cross the boardwalk and over the bridge onto Staines Moor. Walk south following the Colne and then turn right cross the concrete bridge, follow the path and go across the first wooden bridge, turn right before the second wooden bridge and view the hawthorns and bramble to the right.

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