Posted by: lensweb | November 5, 2015

A Surprise Visitor

12 October 2015 13.00 60 Wensleydale Road, Long Eaton, Nottingham NG10 3HJ


I was picking blackberries in the garden when I heard the sound of a bird I had heard twice before recently (Fri 9 October and Sat 10 October). The weather was sunny and fairly warm on all three occasions.

I stopped and listened and looked carefully. The sound came from the ash tree nearby in the Dovedale School field. It then moved to the crack willow, which overhangs our section of the Harrington Drain. It sounded much like a goldcrest, only lower pitched and with an occasional ‘whirr’.

I first saw the bird when it flew into the alder tree on the far side of the brook which grows in part of our garden. It was constantly on the move but secretive. It darted over the hazel tree and I could see a yellow eye-stripe. It moved to our large hawthorn bush and from there it flew downstream. As it did so I was aware it had a greenish back and a whitish underside. I estimated that it was only slightly larger than a goldcrest and it definitely lacked the crest. I had no idea what it was, but I checked in all our bird books and it was quite definitely a yellow browed warbler. This was confirmed by checking it on our i-pad.

We were amazed to find there had been a sudden influx, we’d never heard  of yellow browed warbler before!  Several had arrived at Gibraltar Point near Skegness from which they had spread across the country as far as Cornwall, Bardney Island, Durham, Derbyshire and Long Eaton, ( I later found out that Stuart Gilder saw one the same day in at Toton Washlands by the River Erewash).  They breed in Siberia and travel 5000 miles south and a small group has overwintered in Great Britain for some 20 years.

Keith Breakwell 2 November 2015


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