Dartford Warbler
Sylvia undata
Stanground Wash, Hunts - 10 December 2003

Brian Stone does it again. Not only a PBC first, but a Hunts first! Well done matey!

Although originally found on the southern riverside edge of the River Nene at Padholme Pumping Station, by the time I and the masses (well 10 people!) had amassed, the bird had flown across the river and had been lost.

A brief glimpse of the bird in flight by myself (UTVs) was followed by another wait when Brian thought he saw it distantly near a couple of Stonechats. We all watched the Stonechats. I followed a movement to the left and eventually it materialised. Bingo!  I was watching a Watford Dabbler!

The bird was very active and mobile, moving around Stanground Wash with Stonechats and was always distant. I chanced my arm with the camera when it sat up and was visible against the pale grass background. Amazingly, given the tiny size of the bird and the distance involved, I got this record shot!

Brian stayed on until dark and managed a couple of much better shots and these can be seen at 1 and 2.

But the day had a sting in the tail for our intrepid finder - click here for pic! He escaped unharmed.

Amazingly, as I was leaving Padholme Pumping Station, I found the second warbler of the day here - a Sedge Warbler, feeding along the counter drain on the Flag Fen side of the river bank. This was just a bit easier to snap!

Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica APO Televid 77 with 20xWA

© Steve Dudley | 10 December 2003

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