November Sylvia

I’ve talked often on ‘Letter from Norfolk’ of sharing nature and the things it has to offer. Sometimes we can’t always share everything.

I was on my morning walk yesterday. Through binoculars I was following a small flock of birds feeding in the top of a sycamore when what looked like a warbler swung behind the trunk of the tree. I expected it to be a Chiffchaff, most other arboreal warblers are long gone by the 13th November. It didn’t reappear. Repositioning myself to where I wasn’t staring up into bright sunshine I scanned the higher branches carefully. Discounting Blue Tit after Blue Tit I eventually re-found it. Instead of the presumed dumpy dark Phylloscopus it was a pale sleek Sylvia. It was a Lesser Whitethroat … in November.

The concolourous crown and mantle, the lack of dark ear coverts, the small size, long tail and very grey and white overall colouration meant it surely had to be one of the Eastern races.

Firing off a few hurriedly taken photographs I watched the bird take flight and silently follow the tit flock east. Bugger!

Looking at the timings of the shots; from it coming into view to flying off was a full 1 minute 50 seconds! I alerted others but to no avail, it could not be relocated. It would have been good to get more people involved in the search but this is just about as sensitive an area as we have here locally.

Let’s hope it gets found somewhere a little ways away and everyone can have an opinion on its identity.


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November 2012
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