Posts Tagged ‘Common Yellowthroat



It was one of those mornings where the sun was just breaking through a mist. Not warm but not cold. As I walked over the dewy mown grass to the bushes at the edge of the beach I could see one or two birds flitting around. It was August and we were on Grand Manan Island in North East Canada.

I stood and waited. There had obviously been a movement overnight. Birds had migrated down from the north and were heading south for the winter. Among the American Robins flying overhead I could make out other birds but they were too far away; I couldn’t identify them. My eyes wandered back to the bushes. The first thing I saw was the bright yellow throat and blue head of a Parula Warbler. My mind was instantly transported back 21 years to the 10th October 1995. I was sat in a small boat being taken to St Agnes. I wanted to look in the parsonage garden, a great place to find migrants. Even before I got there the news broke a Parula had been seen in the trees of the parsonage just below the lighthouse. After landing at the quay and walking double quick time it didn’t take long to get there. Within minutes I was watching my first British Northern Parula. A small warbler sporting a cape of gold over blue upperparts and sparkling white wingbars which coincidentally probably originated not too far from Grand Manan … where I was currently stood.

My eyes tripped to the next movement in the seashore bush. The bright yellow of a Common Yellowthroat filled my optics. Exit 2016, hello 1997. 11th October to be precise. This was ridiculous. I was beginning to feel as though I was in some sort of tardis. Again, on the Isles of Scilly. On the Lower Moors extension. From a well watched bramble I willed a Yellowthroat to venture forth. It did in spectacular style. The collective intake of breath from the assembled crowd was audible as the bird sat on the bush and began to preen. Not a face smacking field guide adult but a subtle washed out 1st winter bird; as are all American Warblers that occur on our shores during autumn.

All wonderful memories of wonderful birds in wonderful surroundings. All firmly filed away in memory.



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Jun 2023


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