|Marsh Warbler (really), Arndale, 6th June|
As may well have been evident over recent posts, it's been a hard-going, pretty barren few weeks in the field (except for Cranes, of course, which for some reason can't get enough of me, and long may it continue); plenty to enjoy, but very little in the way of self-finds, which - while hardly the end of the world - nevertheless provide the slow-burning fuel that keeps one going, day in day out.
Which was further compounded a week or so ago when, in the early morning drizzle and with a gentle easterly blowing, an Acro broke into song in the the Top Scrub: end of May, perfect conditions, a song containing plenty of mimickry, fresh-in and faithful to a stand of low scrub, nettle and cow parsley? It had to be, surely; but a conspiracy of ideal circumstances do not maketh the bird, and that particularly misleading scirpaceus was one to forget sooner rather than later.
Fast forward to this morning, and having begun this year's contract (for Wold Ecology and the Environment Agency) monitoring the bay and the avian-related activities within it through the summer season, a late morning tea-break necessitated a short walk to Jack's cafe, not a minute from my clifftop vantage point. Tea in hand and heading back past the kids' playground, a distinctive song cut through the background noise, from an area of thick scrub, nettle and cow parsley....
... but after the preceding trials, there were no false dawns this time round, and it was all about the happy ending. The very welcome new arrival spent much of the day belting out an unequivocal and endlessly fascinating song - unlike the fat lady, who kindly kept it zipped against all odds, leaving just enough time for the spring to go out with a bang.
Have a listen here (with apologies for noisy tourists, bless 'em):