Posts Tagged ‘Grasshopper Warbler


The Warmth of the Sun

An evening walk paid dividends yesterday.

Sat atop a bramble a ‘freshly-in’ Grasshopper Warbler drank up the last of the suns rays. It must have been such a wonderful feeling to be warmed; after fighting those cold northerlies whipping in off the sea.

This enigmatic, secretive but well traveled bird is one of my favorites. The throat and underparts are washed with just a hint of primrose. The embers of the dying sun brought that alive … and turned it to a rich, burnished gold.



Long ago … in a place far, far away … I saw my first Grasshopper Warbler. I had heard them a-plenty but never clapped eyes on one. Elusive little suckers they are; ‘reeling’ from within a bush or bramble and only venturing out in the half-light. They are true denizens of the twilight hours. I didn’t find it myself. It was located by my step daughter. As we stood slightly apart scanning the vegetation the conversation went something like this …

“I can see it!”

“Sssshhh Beckie”

“… It’s here!”

“Will you be quiet, I’m trying to find this warbler”

“… but Carlie … I CAN SEE IT”

I stood behind her … … “Bloody hell she can too!”

I reckon she must have been about seven at the time. Beckie now lives in Australia, and is a parent herself. She reminded me of that conversation just this last week. I can still see the bird in my mind’s eye sat in the reed bed at Blacktoft Sands and I can still see her proud little face staring up at me. She found it!

In a moment of deja vous a couple of days ago at Cley Marshes I came face to face with an atypical Grasshopper Warbler. A Grasshopper Warbler that had not read the books; one that took to perching up and singing in the middle of the day. It cried out to be photographed.

This one is for you Beckie xxX

Grasshopper Warbler

I just love the subtle flecks and edging to the feathering and the chevrons on the under-tail coverts on these birds. The shades of forest, dark yellows and olives within the plumage are worthy of any artist’s palette.

Grasshopper Warbler II

2015 04 24 Grasshopper Warbler Cley Marshes Norfolk_Z5A7503



The Second Coming

As we walked through the reedbed last week we could hear the distinct sound of one of our summer warblers.
Hardly a song and not often recognised by the uninitiated as emanating from a bird; many think an insect is the culprit. The reeling of the Grasshopper warbler is so called because of the similarity to the winding of a fishing reel. This is a secretive bird, heard but not seen; a denizen of the thickest reedbeds and vegetation. Just a voice.
More than a little patience and a movement was glimpsed. It was “the reeler”, perched, bill agape throwing his voice; defending his territory and staking his claim. This first claim of the year was staked many weeks ago. This was a second coming; a new brood to raise a new territory to hold, a new mate to lure.

Grasshopper Warbler

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Mar 2023


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