28 December 2018

The top ten birds of Wanstead 2009–2018: 7

No. 7 Wood Warbler      25th April 2015

While we've had a few records of autumn birds, singing spring birds are a much sought after rarity and the bird in the SSSI didn't make it easy or comfortable for its appreciative audience.

Tony's done us proud again.  Sloping off after a morning coffee with prime task of bagging the Garden Warbler back on its old haunt, he only goes and nails a singing Wood Warbler. Rare enough in London at the best of time, rarer in spring and only Bob has heard a singing Wood Warbler on patch before.

We were heading off to the Alex to find something good there–well it felt that kind of day–when he called.  We hurriedly back-tracked.  After a bit of a scare we all caught up with the smart bird singing intermittently in the increasing rain.

Wanstead finest (left to right): Tony B, "Badger" Bob V, Jono L, Dan H (obscured by) Tim H, Stuart F

Tony B:  "Another self-found bird and a wonderful singing spring male in the SSSI. The soft trilling song cut through the rain and delighted the small gathering of rain soaked Wanstead patch workers."

Tim Harris: "Singing in the rain.  Sweet!"

James Heal: "Hearing the song of Wood Warbler seem to fill Motorcycle Wood"

For me it was a toss up between, this here warbler, or that other fine warbler the Nightingale singing in virtually the same spot 2 year's later. Either way they both evoke strong emotions of a world we are losing rapidly.

I was going to add that even the boys in blue turned up driving their jam sandwich up to motorcycle wood to twitch it, now that doesn't happen very often!


Mike Ball, Suffolk, England

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