Tag: Subalpine Warbler

Sublime panic

by on Oct.06, 2013, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland

“What do you on days when you’re not working?” is a question I’m frequently asked by clients.  My answer’s always the same “I do this, just without clients 🙂  It’s what I love doing, and what I’ve done since I was very young”

Friday was an ‘office day’ (which translates roughly into ‘day when I really should be working at home…) but, after a few hours of admin tasks, I decided to have a couple of hours on the coast.  As I passed Cooper’s Corner I could see that it was misty towards the coast.  Always promising at this time of the year, so I started to think about where to search.  I’d been in a meeting with Ipin on Thursday afternoon, and neither of us had been convinced that the conditions forecast for Friday would bring anything particularly exciting to the Northumberland coast…

“Druridge bushes or Hadston links? Druridge bushes or Hadston links?”  I settled on Druridge and began slowly working around the edge of the bushes.  A flock of Reed Buntings and Goldfinches seemed to be spending most of their time tucked away in the back of a clump of Blackthorn so I made my way around the back of that clump.  The birds were feeding happily with me standing just a few metres away from them and then a Lesser Whitethroat put in a brief appearance.  I texted Ipin, knowing that had booked the day off work and would be somewhere close by, and waited for the bird to reappear.  Another bird flitted up to the top of the blackthorn with it’s back to me.  Looking quite grey, I thought it was the Lesser Whitethroat again, until it turned round…and I found myself looking at the white sub-moustachial stripes and orangy pink breast of a male Subalpine Warbler 🙂 I’d forgotten to charge my mobile, and the battery symbol had turned red, but getting the news out was a priority.  I ‘phoned Ipin, but his mobile went straight to voicemail (it turned out I’m not the only one who’d forgotten to charge their ‘phone…), Alan Tilmouth and Andy McLevy, before finally managing to get through to Ipin, who was only a couple of hundred metres away and covered the distance like Usain Bolt would cover it – if he was desperate for a patch tick too 😉

When Alan and Andy arrived just ahead of other local birders, the bird was proving elusive and I volunteered to check the back of the blackthorn (reasoning that if the bird was there and flicked across to the other side then everyone else would see it).  Sure enough it was back where I’d first found it, but continued feeding contentedly as I used the last drop of power left in my ‘phone to let Alan know exactly where the bird was in relation to the Reed Bunting that had helpfully perched at the top of the bush.

The damp misty conditions weren’t good for photography, so the promising forecast for Saturday morning had me planning for a couple of hours at Druridge before heading to Snab Point for a seawatching session as part of the Druridge Bay Big Wildlife Count.  In excellent light the bird showed well, although was very mobile, and I managed to get a few shots of this little gem 🙂

Subalpine Warbler,Sylvia cantillans,Druridge Pools,Northumberland,guided birdwatching,bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays

Subalpine Warbler,Sylvia cantillans,Druridge Pools,Northumberland,guided birdwatching,bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays

Subalpine Warbler,Sylvia cantillans,Druridge Pools,Northumberland,guided birdwatching,bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays

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