This blog is about my birding exploits, which mainly take place in the Weymouth/Portland area, in Dorset. Will also include stuff from elsewhere, plus some other critters too. Hope you enjoy. All photographs are © Brett Spencer, unless indicated otherwise. The above image is of a Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pale-legged Leaf Warbler On Portland

The bird was found around lunchtime. It was identified as an Eastern Crowned Warbler. There was a select audience, of which I was not invited. Anyway, news filtered out and I was told about it at just before 4pm. I was unaware when it had been found and whether it was even still there, so I thought, "Sod it, I'm going." So, what can only be described as gatecrashing, I knocked on the owners door. They answered and I asked, "Is it still here?" They said that it was and they asked me who it was that gave me the gen. Now, I know I wasn't invited, because I heard the owner on the phone to a very prominent local birder say, that if they found out who had told me, they would never get any news from them again. On entering the house, I was sworn to secrecy and so had to respect the owners wishes. It was after 4pm and was very gloomy. When I entered the garden, I was somewhat surprised to see that nobody else was there. Strange, I thought. The light wasn't it's best. On seeing the bird, I instantly ruled out that it was an Eastern Crowned and although I thought the call from the bird was odd, which I put down to my hearing or the acoustics, I felt the bird was an Arctic Warbler. It wasn't until yesterday that I found out the true identity of the bird. A Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, although Sakhalin Leaf Warbler, although a very unlikely vagrant, can't be ruled out. 

Now, for those of the people who are upset with me, maybe you should be looking at the people who were invited to view the bird, way before I gatecrashed the thing. If you still have a problem with me, then maybe you'd like to confront me face to face. The fact is, I was put in a very difficult situation and it's one I don't relish. So, if you do want to confront me, then I'd bring your body bag. Enough said, me thinks. Just remember all the good birds I have got you onto.

And here's my rubbish pics. 


DorsetDipper said...

When birds are on private property we just have to respect the rights of the owners and take the consequences. Missing birds is one of the hazards of birding and if people can't accept that and still behave reasonably then perhaps they should hang their binoculars up.

Congratulations on seeing it, and for the second time this autumn well done on rejecting the accepted opinion. Hope the moaning of others hasn't spoilt your enjoyment of the moment.

Anonymous said...

I remember the supression of the Spurn Tengmalm's and how the habitat was too sensitive to allow all those feet to trample on it. Nearly 30's on and the buckthorn is still dense as ever and the old lighthouse hasn't fallen into the sea. Folk will always formulate objective reasons for suppression, while the selection of those allowed to see it is rather more subjective.
You're clearly not part of their select the select few, Brett, and I admire the way you blagged your way in to see it. However, how would your post have differed if you were part of their inner sanctum?

Anonymous said...

As I said when I bumped into you this morning Brett, you don't have to justify yourself - good luck to you! No-one is under obligation to share news or access to a rare bird and frankly I've seen enough inconsiderate behaviour at twitches to understand why people don't. Keep on blogging mate!