28 Apr 2006

Bird Song is so important when trying to be a better birder.

130. Sedge Warbler

This morning I went again to the Castle Island Hide. In the hide there was a very unfriendly individual ( You definately get all sorts when you visit hides ) However he did say he had heard a sedge warbler; so on the opposite side of the hide I went and opened the window and unmistakenly the sound of the sedge came in to the hide loud and clear. It did take me at least another fifteen minutes before I saw it. As the other person in the hide was not interested in talking at all I decided I wouldnt tell him it was less than three feet from the hide window :-)

When I left the hide I drove about half a mile and parked. I was right next to a number of willow trees and adjacent to a reed bed and for fifteen minutes I just stood and listened to all the birds I could identify. 3 or 4 Willow warbler,2 Sedge warbler, 2 Wren, 3 Chaffinch, 4/5 Long tailed tit, 1 Goldcrest,1 Robin. Loads of Black Headed Gull, The squealing pig sound of a Water Rail, Swallow, House Martin, Magpie and best of all the fly fishing reel sound of a grasshopper warbler.

I use both the RSPB Bird Guide on their web site or Birdforum Resources as a guide to birdsong or when I'm in the car I play Collins Bird songs and calls by Geoff Sample. Sometimes you can pick them up really easily and at other times you can be overwhelmed by the amount of different sound coming at you from all directions. I think it was Simon Barnes in his lovely book How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher that really made me think about birdsong as a good form of Bird identification. Certainly with a brief glimpse of a Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff you have to hear them to distinguish them from each other.

I bumped into a friend last night ,David Thompson The National Trust Head Warden for Strangford Lough He said he was doing a Dawn Chorus at Mount Stewart (Its a National Trust property) and would I like to come. Of course I said yes so he is picking me up at 4.30 am on Sunday morning. Now there's dedication for you.

Todays Mystery Bird offering


I do know this one but do you?

1 comment:

Ciderduck said...

er...wheatear?? :)