Friday, 9 March 2012
Having a Paddy in Sussex
A couple of weeks ago me and Chris Orders decided to venture to the southern climes of West Sussex in search of a rare visitor to Britain that had decided to spend the winter in a place called Pagham Harbour. This bird was the Paddyfield Warbler, a small, short-winged, boldy face patterned relative of the more familiar Reed Warbler. This warbler comes from central Asia and should have been spending the winter months in the Indian subcontinent, but instead ended up in the U.K.
This bird had been present for a number of weeks and so we thought that there would only be a few others there, how wrong we were! As you can see from the above photos (supplied by Chris), there were upwards of 70 people present, all vying for a glimpse of this exotic little beauty.
On arrival at the site we were greeted with the news that the bird had been showing rather well, right up to our arrival, but had now disappeared. We started our vigil. Whilst scanning a distant patch of reed I noticed a small bird `flycatching`, settling on top of some barbed wire and then dropping to the floor where it was out of sight. I was sure that this was the bird. I was proved correct when the bird showed again and I managed to get others onto it as it moved slowly closer, always remaining in the reeds, apart from when it was `flycatching`. The bird showed well for 20-25 minutes, giving good scope views and I even managed to get a few digiscoped images. However, on inspection of these images I discovered that I had some stunning shots of a reed bed and a rather blurry picture of what I think is a brown bird with an obvious eye stripe! Gutted! I did, however remember that I am a birder first and a photographer second (some may say third!). We both managed to see this lifer, the majority present `ticked` this bird for the first time in Britain and we left with another tick in our book.
For a stunning photo of this bird click HERE