Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Next Term's Wildlife 8: Wetland Warblers

Grasshopper Warbler (c) 2010 David Hobson
Cetti's Warbler (c) 2010 Ron McCombe Sedge Warbler (c) 2010 Maurice Gordon
Reed Warbler
Yes, next term as well as seeing all the wonderful, colourful wildlife shown on the blog in the last few days, we'll also be looking at an identifying LBJ's - "Little Brown Jobs". Although they aren't as colourful as some of the other birds & wildlife, I hope you'll agree by the end of the course they are also wonderful in their way - especially vocally. The Grasshopper Warbler will probably be one of the hardest to connect with, but we may be lucky enough to hear its incredible reeling insect-like song at a couple of venues. Even harder to see, but easier to hear is the Cetti's Warbler, which we should certainly hear at at least 1 location. If we do see it you'll notice a rich brown back, almost like a Wren; plus it sometimes cocks its tail, almost like a Wren; it has a pale stripe (supercilium) above its eye, almost like a Wren; & oh, did I say it has a very loud song for its size, almost like a ...I think you get the message. Then there is the Sedge Warbler, which has a far more noticeable eye-stripe & is easier to see than the previous 2 species, and has more obvious markings on its back. The Sedge Warbler also has a loud song, but is more varied, as it speeds up, slows down, whistles & churrs away. Finally, there is the plainer Reed Warbler, which also has a duller, more monotonous song. Some people can mistake the songs of Sedge and Reed Warblers, but hopefully you'll be able to differentiate the two by the end of the course. Can you tell I'm an optimist?

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