Tuesday, 25 April 2017

" Gropper "

 I seem to be having a good spell at the moment, seeing some scarcer birds than I usally get to see. The Grasshopper Warbler or "Gropper" as its affectionately called by the more experienced birders, is one of those birds that has eluded me over the many years I have been wildlife watching,  I have heard them on two previous occasions, an unmistakable sound once you know what you are listening to, but actually seeing one, that's been difficult.

 So as I walked through the reed-bed at Rainham RSPB on a short visit recently, I heard the unmistakable reeling call of the Gropper which appeared to be coming from a bush on the other side of a dyke from where I was standing.

I knew that a Grasshopper warbler had been previously reported here, but never expected to actually see it.

Its call had attracted a few other observers who were on the right side of the dyke and in a much better position than me. As I contemplated joining them, I saw the Warbler move out to the edge of the bush,  its reeling call quite loud now. so there it was, on show for about a minute or so before moving back, hidden in the depths of the bush.

It is said that the best time to see or hear these are at dawn and dusk when they reel from their song posts, this one was seen  about 14:30 in the afternoon.

Grasshopper Warbler  Locustella naevia

"Gropper " slinking back into the depths of the bush

 Its taken thirty one years to see this old world warbler, for a view of less than two minutes, but it was nice to put a face to the song.

  At least I have a photograph or two to remind me. Hopefully it will not be so long before another comes my way.

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