Sunday, 1 November 2009

Greenish Warbler status in Cornwall

Greenish Warbler is a rare vagrant in Cornwall with just four records. It breeds in north and eastern Europe and has expanded its breeding range westwards during the last century. Migrates south east to winter in S. Asia.

1984: Nanquidno, 30th Sep to 1st Oct. Found by Dave Flumm. Paul Semmens, Lawrie Williams, Stuart Hutchings and Graham Hearl were also named as co-finders. It was present for two days and preferred the high canopy of the sycamore tree by the farmhouse with blue windows. It was also seen in the copse by the ford. This individual was by no means an easy ID and several observers of the day considered this to be a Two-barred Greenish.

2000: Kenidjack, 24th Sep. Found by John Swann and T. Whiley. This bird again spent much of the time in the high canopy in the copse part way down the valley.

2008: Pendeen, 16th to 17th Sep. Found by John Foster. This individual was found in the copse around Calartha Farm on the road down to Pendeen Watch. It was highly active and elusive at times. It was occasionally seen in the gardens adjacent to the copse.

2009: Church Cove, Lizard. 28th Oct to 1st Nov. Found by visiting birder Duncan Poyser from Cambs. Initially found at the bottom of the valley near Mariner's Cottage. The bird was highly mobile and could be found in the sycamores and elms in the churchyard as well as the copse at the bottom of the valley. This individual will be long-remembered for its see-saw identification between Green and Greenish. Eventually confirmed by sonogram on the call by Magnus Robb, Ilya Maclean and Hugh Harrop.

(Of interest, up to 2007, 17 Greenish Warblers have been recorded on Scilly).

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