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May 132019

Around a dozen new and existing Club members joined a Warbler Walk, led by Simon Roddis, the aim being to see and hear several warbler species which can be found at Carsington in the spring. We started with a walk around Stones Island and soon located and, with a bit of perseverance, saw five species: Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Garden, Sedge and Willow Warblers. The songs of all of them are pretty distinctive, although there can be overlap between Garden Warbler and Blackcap; as it happened, all the birds that we found performed as per the text book! After being a bit secretive for a few minutes, a Sedge Warbler performed its song flight and settled in view – if a bit obscured – in a patch of bushes. Sedge Warblers seem to be having a good year at Carsington, with several singing birds on Stones and another near the Wildlife Centre. A little surprisingly, we failed to find a Common Whitethroat on Stones Island although they have been there this spring – perhaps they are just in a quiet spell.

After Stones Island we made our way towards the Wildlife Centre and to the top of the creek. We heard more Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Garden Warblers but not for the hoped-for Common and Lesser Whitethroats or Reed Warbler. Again, they have all been seen and heard in the area in the last two or three weeks, but not today. Lesser Whitethroats do go rather quiet once they are established on territory and their breeding cycle is underway, so they may well still be there. Reed Warblers are still arriving, and there are several in patches of reed in the northern half of the reservoir, so there is still time for one or two to take up residence in the reed-beds close to the Wildlife Centre. Our failure to find Common Whitethroat is less easy to explain – just one of those days.

We didn’t just look at warblers, and in total saw or heard 35 species, including a Willow Tit singing on Stones Island, Oystercatchers, Redshanks, our three breeding geese species – Canada, Barnacle and Greylag – and the Mute Swan still sitting on her nest on Horseshoe Island.

Simon Roddis

Blackcap – Gary Atkins
The Warbler Team – Pete Nightingale

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