I went for a couple of walks last weekend, not entirely with birdwatching in mind. One was round the country park – I know now that there is both a reed warbler and a sedge warbler there at the moment. I have also realised that the sedge warbler that I thought was singing from the reeds in the Industrial Estate all these years was probably a reed warbler – or at least it is this year. And I can confirm that despite trying to confuse me by duetting with a reed bunting, there are more reed warblers around Barnes Meadow than sedge warblers and quite a lot of common whitethroats this year too.
Even better though, I found my first ever willow warbler on my local patch. I had wondered if they were there, but I just didn’t know it and they were. It was singing its little drifting down song from the top of a willow tree on the old railway track, 5 minutes from home. I even managed to pick it out with my binoculars. So a lifetime first for me – that’s four new warblers that I’ve seen this year, and one new one that I’ve heard but not seen.
Hopefully I will remember everything from my warbler ID course after a long winter when there are no warblers about to bring sunshine into the grey.