Many of you will already know that hundreds of yellow-browed warblers have been flooding in to Britain in recent days, although naturally enough most of the records have come from coastal sites. However, some have already started moving inland, and we were thrilled to have one of them at Fowlmere last weekend.
I had just started walking along the path to Reedbed Hide at 6pm on Friday evening when I heard a soft call with which I was not familiar. As I stood looking and listening, wondering if it had come from a distant passerine that I saw flying over, I heard it again. Realising it was actually coming from the pollarded osiers a few metres from the path, I peered intently into the foliage and saw a tiny bird flitting from branch to branch. Over the next few minutes I was able to see the long pale supercilium and bold wing bar on the great coverts, and realized the call fitted yellow-browed warbler. Brilliant! I made some short phone calls to Birdguides and some local birders, two of whom managed to arrive before dusk, but the bird had flown into denser scrub and was not seen or heard again that day.
The following morning several people gathered in the same place, but were initially disappointed. The bird must have been having a lie-in, because suddenly it was heard and then seen at around 8am. Over the next few hours it was seen intermittently by the dozen people who assembled to see it, although it wasn't seen after about 11am. Thankfully a decent photo was taken by Toby Austin (http://cambsbirdclub.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://tobysbirdingetc.blogspot.co.uk/).
People were out again on Sunday morning, and it (or another) was heard well by the boardwalk first thing, but there were no more reports thereafter. This is actually the second reserve record of this rapidly increasing species, the first being by a single observer on 28th September 2014. The way things are going, there will be more...
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