It has been a bumper weekend for my A-Z Challenge, which is dragging on well into the second year, third summer!
I made it to ‘G’ back in December 2011, but then failed to see a garden warbler last summer, so here we are. I needed to make a special effort to see one, and I am pretty sure I have. As sure one can be with these ‘little brown jobs’.
I was heading to Cors Dyfi, a Montgomeryshire Wilflife Trust Reserve, to see the Osprey Project based there and since they boast to have 9 different warblers on the reserve I thought I would be sure to see one, and maybe even have some help in identifying one too! However, I had forgotten that he reserve is closed because they are building a fantastic new observation center. The osprey viewing hide is still open, though, so I got to see them, and also heard of garden warbler sightings in the car-park earlier in the week. So I sat in my car to have lunch, binoculars at the ready. The wind and rain made it unlikely, and it was not a success. However I also heard in the hide that just down the road at Ynys-hir RSPB Reserve, there lots seen that morning!
So, off I went. Even before going into the reserve I saw a blackcap and a white-throat and two slightly different LBJs but was one of them a garden warbler? I checked in the reference book in the bookshop and still wasn’t sure. I was looking for one that was more grey than the yellowy wood warbler, and singing like a black-cap without a black cap!
I saw lots more LBJs, but the lack of sunshine meant very few of them were singing. A couple did, showing that they were not my garden warbler, but then…
I heard close by what sounded like it could be a blackcap. After a visual search through the branches and new leaves I managed to focus the binoculars on the singer and to my joy I could not see a black cap! It was more yellow chested than I was lead to expect, but as far as I could tell it was my garden warbler! And to be honest, even if it wasn’t I am sure at least one of the others that refused to sing for me was one!
Despite being somewhat plain, the intent with which they mingle through the branches and leaves is exciting enough! And especially on a dull, windy, rainy day their bursts of song thrill the woodland. I am sure I will see one again, but I may not be so eager to identify it!