Pallas’s warbler: Moor Green lakes, January 3rd – April 18th

A first for Berkshire – first ever photo of a Pallas’s in the county (below) … and the first record, too!


A Pallas’s warbler was found in the tit flock along the Blackwater on the 12th. It had been identified as a YBW (on the 3rd, see earlier post) and in spite of lots of birders seeing the bird it remained a YBW until Dave Rimes took a photo revealing the “diagnostic” yellow rump!
When I sent the photo above (taken Jan 4th)  to the informed and informative Ian Lewington (Oxford recorder) he confirmed it to be of a Pallas’s (so quashing any “two-bird-theory”)
Here’s a link to the Moor Green site page on BirdsofBerkshire if you want to see it

The bird has been seen regularly along the river, generally to the west of the gravel belt as far as the small sewage works just as the river goes under the B3016.

Since the snowfall it has been seen foraging along the river bank. The “grey box” site (about 250 yards west of the gravel belt) is a favourite spot to catch-up with the bird which generally passes close on its way up and down the river but if there are too many or noisy people there it may not show itself for very long

This one (below), even showing a hint of yellow rump, was taken practically in the dark using iso 3200 and 1/10s !


This too, late on in poor-ish light

The bird seems generally unaffected by the presence of a few observers but does react to the pressure of “crowds” by staying higher and moving more quickly

IMG_2663_jpeg_900On this occasion it’s calmly looking down on me and Bruce Archer, Moor Green guru, from a river-side tree giving him a deserved Berkshire “tick”

IMG_2850_jpeg_pallassThe bird left the site on the night of the 18th/19th April  … Счастливого пути, товарищ

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