Ten years. A little over in fact. That’s how long I’ve waited for another go at Yellow-browed Warbler in Berkshire. Didn’t come in October, when news of a bird at Ascot Heath was delayed. But it did come this morning, following a sighting late yesterday of a probable YBW at Moor Green Lakes, a handy local nature reserve. So I stopped off this morning for a quick look, and after 45 minutes the little thing showed up. A very busy warbler came up through some sallows and into a small tree where it was perpetually on the far side. It then moved into the top of some oaks where it was clearly smaller and shorter-tailed than a Chiffchaff, with a bold arched supercilium. After putting some wing-bars on it, I was still totally unable to get any colour tones against the light which might help to separate Yellow-browed from Hume’s. Eventually it moved into a birch further off, and I got views through my scope which showed strong bright green upperparts, cleanish yellow-white underparts and a hint of yellow to the wing-bars. Surely this was a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER**! Not disappointed at all that it wasn’t the rarer species, I got a few more scrappy views where the legs appeared to have a reddish-brown tone, but the views were not crippling. Fortunately, Jerry O’Brien got some pictures* so perhaps they will help with the identification. The call certainly didn’t, because there weren’t any, totally silent. And then there’s always tomorrow … good start to 2013.
* They do … looks like YBW to me.
** No, not surely … see later news.