Monday, 4 May 2009

A Brief Visit - Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia curruca) 01/05/09

An excellent addition was added to the garden list on Friday. Whilst listening to a male Chaffinch singing with vigour from the trees nearby I heard a call that I couldn't quite recognise, I waited for it to call again to try and locate the bird and after a few short burst of song I found it calling from one of the trees on the perimeter of the nearby paddock. I now had to wait for the unknown individual to appear from the far side of the tree, with a barbed wire fence running along the adjacent field it wasn't possible to view it so I had to sit tight and wait for it to show itself. As I listened to the short, sharp rattling song I was beginning to think that it was a Finch or Bunting, the song of male Chaffinch that was singing away nearby sounded similar but the unknown individual's song seemed to stop short of the final flourish of notes. I was scratching my head at this point and was going over songs in my head to shed some light. Firstly the 'Little bit of bread but no cheese' song of the Yellowhammer, this was nothing like it and it certainly didn't have the whistling dull song of Reed Bunting or the wheezy calls of many of the common Finches. So by now I'm edging towards Warblers, Obviously not Chiffchaff and this song was far too raw and rattling to be confused with the melodic tones of Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Garden Warbler. Eventually after about 5 minutes the bird flew in to an adjacent tree which luckily has only just started to leaf giving me clear views of it as it perched in the bows, it was now clear to see that it was a male Lesser Whitethroat and I watched it sing from the tree for a good few minutes before it flew along the row of trees coming to rest in a Hawthorn. From here it sang again and showed briefly before disappearing in to the undergrowth. It continued to sing on and off for about 30 minutes slowly moving from tree to tree along the hedgerow until it fell silent and couldn't be located. No doubt a brief visit from a migrating bird.

I have never recorded them in this area before so to have one actually in the garden is a fantastic record.

Garden List 2009
52. Lesser Whitethroat

Full Garden List
64. Lesser Whitethroat

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