Lesser Whitethroat - Front profile showing buff flank feathers
Preening - wing feathers showing well
Sub-song front view - appears to be a faint pinkish blush
Back view - showing tail feathers
At last I was able to spend quality time with our visitor which turned up on Boxing Day & has been with us ever since. Sounds like the relative from Hell, but not quite! Some people have got bored with Waxwings this winter, but how many have got fed up of Lesser Whitethroats? The arrival date of 26th of December led some to speculate that this individual belonged to an Eastern race, but the fact it is still present, may make this seem less likely. In the warm afternoon sunshine this bird started to sing, which continued on and off for several hours. Not once did it break into its usual British song of a loud tuneless rattle; instead it sang quietly to itself, a sort of tuneful sub-song, at times reminiscent of a Blackcap's sub-song with occasional phrases similar to Garden Warbler, and even a Dunnock. The Whitethroat was often the closest bird to the microphone but was drowned out by Sparrows and Robins which were further away. Hopefully, if we have a bright early morning over the weekend it may be possible to make some recordings without the ever present traffic noise. So, is this a genuine British-bred 1st summer male Lesser Whitethroat, or is it of an Eastern race? - the jury is still out.