April 29th   Leave a comment

The rain is getting closer but still not here, Consequently, there wasn’t much change today. I had my first sedge warbler this morning after a tip off about one singing at the far end of the Kilminning Coast nature reserve. Sure enough, one was churring away and chacking away at me when I got there. Sedge warblers are a sub-Saharan African bird that breed with us every summer. I hardly ever see them now in Africa because they are a Sahelian wintering species where it has been too dangerous to do fieldwork for the last 10 years or so in Nigeria. So nice to see back again. Sedge warblers have bags of character, with their loud angry songs from deep cover interspersed with sudden extrovert song flights where they seem so full of the joy of making it back to Scotland. The whitethroats were also singing a lot this morning; they do the same thing as sedge warblers, with joyful song flights on first arrival back to Scotland. Their song flights seem less of a surprise because whitethroats are much less skulking when initially singing (although whitethroats have their skulking moments too). I think both sedge warblers and whitethroats are conflicted at this time of year. They naturally want to creep surreptitiously through the bushes but they have to strut their stuff if they want a mate.

Sedge warbler (JA)
A common whitethroat at Balcomie this morning – just before launching itself up on a “hey look at me” song flight

Posted April 29, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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