Sunday, 2 November 2014

Eastern Crowned Warbler, Brotton, Cleveland - Friday 31st October 2014

This Eastern Crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus coronatus), the 3rd only for Britain, showed really well at times in the small plantation by the Hunley Hotel in Brotton, Cleveland on the morning I was there (my 5th wedding anniversary: 31st October 2014).

Eastern Crowned Warbler, Brotton, Cleveland - 31st October 2014

The bird was very active in the tree tops. When feeding it didn't spend more than a few seconds in each tree before moving on; but every 15 minutes or so it would stop for a minute or two high up to preen. This allowed me to get the photos above and the video below.

There was also a Yellow-browed Warbler in the small wood, which I didn't see but I heard several times. There wasn't a ID problem either; each time a bird showed it was easy to ID it as an Eastern Crowned Warbler (in all the cases while I was there) and rule the Yellow-browed. The bill was large, straight, spiky and a nice yellow-orange colour. The head shape was more angular and less rounded than for YBW, and of course had the pale yellowish medial stripe. The supercilium was strong and long, and bordered with darker stripes (a bit like the Arctic Warbler I saw on Shetland the previous month).

The mantle was mostly a plain olive green, and the wings had a subtle pale bar, nothing like the bold, contrasting pale and dark bars on a YBW. The tail appeared longer than for YBW. The underparts were whiter with subtle yellow edge, and had wispy feathering. A lovely bird.

A great twitch, and as always nice to meet up with @stevejamesPCC and @greeny1955. Shame I had to rush off to work in the afternoon.

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