Champions of the Flyway!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Double Greenish - Filey, 22nd & 23rd August '21

A quick smile for the camera seconds after dropping in from a North Sea crossing - classy 

More from the last couple of weeks to follow, but first a post dedicated to memorable double lightning strike last week. I've been fortunate to have had a fair amount of time to go birding of late, and I've made the most of it - plenty here on the doorstep in Filey, as well as the usual wanders a little further afield, and it was after (quiet) morning sessions at both Flamborough and Buckton that I returned to Carr Naze for an afternoon seawatch on 22nd.
Wandering along the central path under ashen skies, I bumped into Paul (Scanlan), and we mused on a tantalising whiff of east in the northerly wind; enough to drop something decent in, perhaps? I'd been hoping for an Icterine or a Barred Warbler, maybe a Wryneck or an early Red-backed Shrike, or better still, even a Greenish Warbler... Any would be a class early autumn find here, but the latter are real rarities in Filey, with just two in the last twenty years, both of which I'd been lucky enough to find - the last, six years ago, on an umbellifer right on the edge of the cliff....
I said goodbye to Paul, walked maybe ten paces, and a small, green warbler literally dropped in, right in front of me, onto an umbellifer by the cliff path. Clearly, truly fresh-in, I knew from plenty of (sometimes painful) experience I had perhaps just seconds on it before it bolted over the cliff edge and spirited away, so I went for the camera and rattled off a burst of record shots, but I knew before I'd pulled my finger off the trigger that it was indeed a Greenish Warbler. Bingo!
Predictably, it took a good look around and thought better of a bushless, windswept clifftop, and ducked over the edge; I called Paul back and, after a nervous minute or so, it very generously rematerialised in the Magic Bush, halfway down the slope. Instead of pulling a fast one, however, it was more than happy to feed up after its above-ocean voyage, buzzing between weedy patches and stunted bushes as processions of holidaymakers bundled noisily by.
The following morning and, after a couple of hours of pretty meagre returns, I checked the southern side of Arndale, a wooded ravine on the Country Park. I expected little, especially as it was typically well disturbed by dogwalkers and tourists, but I've had good returns here over the last few years - Dusky Warbler, Red-flanked Bluetail and Marsh Warbler all springing to mind - and it paid off again when I heard the distinctive shweut! of a Greenish. I found the bird in a small stand of trees nearby, and before I had time to wonder if it was yesterday's bird, a second began calling emphatically, just a few metres away....
... ridiculous, but there they were, not just calling to each other, but one even responding with regular bursts of song (see below); more concerned with each other than me, I had a very special ten minutes or so with them before they filtered into the densely-wooded ravine.

Beforehand, then, two Greenish Warblers in ten years seemed like a pretty decent return here; 24 hours later and I'd doubled my tally. Autumn really is the greatest time of year.