Eastern Sprite

Ian's garden is an important component of the Obs recording area, as it is directly on the coast, and the habitat in his and neighbouring gardens are very attractive to migrants. The garden is one of the sites where we trap migrants for ringing and good numbers of Lesser Redpoll, for example, are ringed every Spring in the garden.

I didn't set my alarm this morning as the forecast was poor and I'm ashamed to say that a phone call from Ian got me out of bed. He phoned me to say that even though it was wet, even very wet at times, there were migrants around as he had just had six Blackbirds and a Song Thrush 'drop in' to his garden!

I got up and dressed, and decided I would go out if and when the rain eased. I then received another phone call from Ian saying that he had just caught a Yellow-browed Warbler in his garden, and did I want to come up. Luckily Ian only lives about a six minute drive from me, and as I was up and ready with my birding gear at hand, I was in his house getting the gorgeous little 'eastern sprite' out of the bird bag to ring in less than ten minutes.

 Yellow-browed Warbler

It was an immature bird and it was in very fresh plumage, even though it had flown all the way from the Siberian taiga! These little birds weighing only c.7g should be wintering in southeast Asia, but every year more and more reach western European shores, including the UK. This was actually the second we have ringed at the Obs, and the third ringed by the group. When I got up this morning I didn't think I would be doing any ringing, let alone ringing a Yellow-browed Warbler!

Yellow-browed Warbler

The forecast is for rain again tomorrow morning, but lighter than today, and there might be a few clear spells during the night, so I will try and get out in the morning to see if any more eastern sprites have arrived.