Fog came in at about 7pm yesterday evening and was present all morning; the winds were still light but had turned NE. A more eventful morning’s ringing saw 17 new birds ringed (see ringing page for full list) with 2 new species for the year taking us to 50 species ringed since 4th March. The highlight today was the Melodious Warbler pictured below. The previous earliest record for this species recorded here is 25th July. The wing length of this bird immediately ruled out Icterine Warbler. Although, it had bluish/grey legs and not brownish/grey, apparently the former can occur in Melodious. The leg variation colour is not reciprocated by the Icterine Warbler that is always blue/grey.  Svensson describes the species as having ‘No clean white on the outer tail feather but edges light brown especially on tips and inner webs’. On this individual the 6th tail feather was certainly a slightly paler brown and you can see the pale edges prominent on the 5th and 6th tail feathers (see photos below) though this feature must be quite hard to see in the field. By contrast, the second new species for the year was Starling!


Melodious Warbler – Hippolais polyglotta