Warbler Heaven!

by A warbler a day

I stopped at lunchtime at the Garnier Rd car park south of Winchester. From there i had a short stroll along the Itchen Navigation. Only a few meters down the cycle track my attention was caught by 2 birds moving along the low branches of a tree. Treecreepers and obviously a pair as one bird kindly fed a morsel to the other. Not long after I heard from the opposite bank of the river, the song of both a Blackcap and a Whitethroat. After a couple of minutes patient waiting I caught sight of the Blackcap and shortly after the Whitethroat took off for a song-flight. I then walked along the river as far as the entrance to St Catherine’s Hill. As i started back along the cycle path, a bird flew ahead of me into a tree. It was about Great Tit size but couldn’t be sure. It flitted through the leaves but every time I thought I’d got it in my sights it moved again. It definitely wasn’t a Great Tit. Maybe a female Blackcap? No still not right, the head was too plain. But it was too big to be Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler. Finally I got a clear view and it was another Garden Warbler. Two days running I’ve seen one. As I walked away I spotted a couple of small birds chasing each other through the undergrowth on the other side of the path. The boards flew in front of me in to the next door tree. Again I struggled to get a good view, but eventually they were revealed as Lesser Whitethroat, another species of warbler that are notoriously difficult to see. In the end I had 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler in the same tree. That is warbler heaven!

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