Sunday, 28 September 2014

Skulker - The one that hides !

I am often interested in how birds names are derived, some are obvious, others have interesting backgrounds. this particular bird was named after Francesco Cetti, but why, my first thought was that he must have discovered the species, not quite.

Francesco Cetti was born in Germany, his parents were of Italian descent. Educated at Lombardy and a Jesuit college at Monza, Italy.
He was sent to Sardinia to help educate the people there, he became a Mathematician, a priest and a zoologist.

He recorded his discoveries in the book 'Storia Naturale di Sardinia'
(Natural History of Sardinia)
about quadrupeds, birds, fish, insects and fossils, the latter two volumes were never finished because he died in 1778 in Sardinia.

Another renowned naturalist 'Alberto della Marmora'
who wrote Viaggio in Sardegna (Travels in Sardinia) in 1860,  extended the study of the island previously made by Francesco Cetti. 

To honour him and the work he had done, 'Alberto della Marmora' named a bird that he had collected on Sardinia after him, hence,

The Cetti's Warbler  (Cettia cetti)

This elusive old world warbler is one of those birds that most people visiting a wetland habitat in southern England would have heard, its explosive song erupting from deep inside dense vegetation is instantly recognisable, it usually takes you by surprise, although frustratingly, never actually seen, as it skulks low down in the reed beds or wet scrub habitat.
This warbler belongs to the Bush Warbler family, and I believe is the only member of that family that occurs outside Asia.
It colonised England as recently as 1961, first breeding at Stodmarsh, it has suffered a few setbacks due to harsh winter conditions, due to its reliance on small soft bodied insects and larvae,  it appears to be doing very well now, being one of the only warblers that chooses not to migrate, it has become one of our resident species.
 The males can be heard calling throughout the winter and summer months as they establish territories and attempt to attract the females.
Described as a medium sized warbler, their upper parts are a rich chestnut colour and the under parts grey, it has a pale grey  stripe over the eye, which also has a white eye ring. Both male and female are similar.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have actually had a good view of this Warbler, but it doesn't stop me searching for it whenever I hear that call.
I just managed to catch a glimpse of this one as it was moving through the scrub at Rainham RSBP.

Still a few Dragonflies on show, mainly Migrant Hawkers, Ruddy Darters and Common Darters, no sign of the Willow Emerald Damselfly on this occasion.

A single Hobby caught my attention flying very high over the reserve.

Butterflies were represented mainly by Speckled woods, and a few Red Admirals.

Always on the look out for interesting Bee's , these caught  my eye, Ivy Mining bee's in huge numbers feeding on Ivy flowers.

And as I left the reserve this Buff tailed bumblebee made an appearance.

Winter seems to have been put on hold.

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