Alan Dalton post's birding diaries and original artwork from Sweden. Established in 2006, this now long running blog is now a complete overview of my birding experiences. As an artist I greatly enjoy sketching birds in the field and you will find a wide selection of that work here, from fieldwork to finished paintings. I am very passionate about my artwork and try to depict birds in their natural habitat, as I see them in the wild. My artwork is for sale and can be viewed at http://www.alandalton.net/
As regards to my photography, since 2008 I have used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera coupled with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens for since March 2012 for bird photography, all previous images being digiscoped. Regarding sound recording, I have been usung a Telinga Stereo Dat Mic and parabol to record birds in the field, coupled to a Marrantz 661 digital recorder, a superb piece of kit. Interest in butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies has recently seen the accquisition of a Sigma 150mm macro lens. I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave comments or contact me at alandltn@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Marsh Warbler; Sandemar; 8th June 2011

A trip to Sandemar today with one objective, to get images of Marsh Warbler, a species I have wanted to photograph for  some time now. On arrival at the site I was directed to a bush where a Blyth's Reed Warbler had been reported, though after a few minutes viewing the bird I began to wonder if the identification was in fact correct. I spent a couple of hours with the bird in order to take in all the birds features carefully...........


 The first views of the bird were not great, nevertheless it looked wrong for Blyth's Reed Warbler to me....

After a while it became clear to me that the bird was in fact a Marsh Warbler and I proceeded to get some good photos which are helpful.My first views showed the bird had a wholly pale yellowish lower mandible and rather pale legs, two features that flagged Marsh Warbler.

   The bird in song amongst the blossom. Note the wholly yellowish lower mandible..

In the end the views became better and I got a clear view of the bird. The primary projection was long, 7-8 primaries showing pale fringes. The tertial were dark centred and well marked, whilst the under carriage was pale with a lemon yellowish wash on the flanks. The legs were strikingly pale, all in all a classic Marsh Warbler....

                                               
    Perhaps the best shot of the day. The song of this species is a quite remarkable array of mimickry, with other species songs being reassembled by the bird. I heard immitations of Redshank, Greenfich, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, House Martin, Swallow and Blue tit amongst others!



 Another shot of the bird showing the underparts...


 The bird sang incessantly whilst I was there....


 A very useful shot showing the long primary projection well. The primaries are dark centred with paler fringes. Blyths Reed Warbler shows a much shorter projection. Note also the clearly pale legs..


Having satisfied myself fully this was a Marsh Warbler I moved on a went on to see two other individuals displaying. This is a scarce species here and this was a memorable day. Common Rosefinch(6), Thrush Nightingale(6), Icterine Warbler(2), Willow Warbler(3), Whitethroat(4), Blackcap(8), Garden Warbler(3), Pied flycatcher(1) and Spotted Flycatcher(2) were noted, a nice haul of summer migrants. A small flock of Spotted Redshank in summer garb was very nice, as was a fly by Caspian Tern. A male Marsh Harrier gave me good views as it quartered a reedbed as I left. A very nice morning birding indeed...

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