1 Willow Warbler at Thompson common
I had only limited time this morning for a walk, therefore I chose a walk which took in a variety of exquisite habitats over a shortish route. A friend of mine recently commented on the numbers of Chiffchaffs about, and indeed, I have had similar thoughts as site counts have been quite high. This morning I counted 15+ Chiffchaffs in song, a good count over a small area, and since my last walk on the patch Blackcaps have clearly arrived, as has my first Willow Warbler of the year...a very late bird for me but undoubtedly seen by others elsewhere locally.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (drumming)
Nuthatch 2 sites (low count)
1 Willow Warbler
Reed Bunting 2 sites
Willow Warbler on Thompson Common: My intention this morning was to find my first, and somewhat later than usual, Willow Warbler of the year. My walk was to take in habitat on Thompson Common where I thought I would locate the bird. As was the case throughout the Brecks, Chiffchaffs dominated, however, approaching an area of scrub and a large patch of Hawthorn, I could hear what I thought was the sweet descending song of Willow Warbler....but something wasn't right. As I positioned myself at the given locality, I could hear 2 'Chiffchaffs' singing in the same area, but, one of the songs initially confused me, then, after a while, the odd 'Chiffchaff song' ran into a not quite right, descending sweet song of Willow Warbler. I then located the bird visually and despite poorish early light a couple of factors sealed Willow Warbler for me, the tail never 'dipped' as with Chiffchaff, and the primary projection was clearly longer than on Chiffchaff. After a short while, the Willow Warbler then entered into its full song.
The Chiffchaff often gave chase to the Willow Warbler around the Hawthorn.
Why did the Willow Warbler use Chiffchaff-like notes to start its song? I have heard this before with a Willow Warbler almost perfectly replicating Chiffchaff song before entering into its own melody, this was again in the Thompson area a couple of years ago. Perhaps the Willow Warbler was imitating the Chiffchaff.
Song Thrush (2) from garden: Following my arrival back from Thompson I popped into the garden and heard a familiar "tick" call of Song Thrush, looking up I saw 2 Song Thrushes quite high in a north heading. Late, outgoing migrants perhaps.