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Manvulture7
Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 23:17
Hi,

I have a buddy coming over from the USA who needs Aquatic Warbler.
We'll probably stay in Cornwall sometime in August but are flexible.
Anyone out there got any suggestions for locations, timing etc.?
Tried a year or two ago in Dorset but came up empty.

MV7

Andrew Rowlands
Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 23:50
MV7,

Peak time is anytime in the next 3 weeks; locations - reedbeds and coastal ditches - but best of all with a ringer who is determined to trap one! Here in South Wales, Llangorse Lake, Uskmouth reserve or Kenfig Pool would be my favourites but they can and do turn up almost anywhere damp in the south western half of Britain.

Good luck and give me a call if you are nearby!

Andy.

PS. Ask your buddy to bring Steve (SNGH) Howells over with him - he'll treble your chance of finding one!

Reader
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 06:46
Hi,

I have a buddy coming over from the USA who needs Aquatic Warbler.
We'll probably stay in Cornwall sometime in August but are flexible.
Anyone out there got any suggestions for locations, timing etc.?
Tried a year or two ago in Dorset but came up empty.

MV7


As far as I am aware there are no real guaranteed sites for these beauties but if I was to give one possible site in Cornwall it would have to Marazion Marsh near Penzance. They have been known to crop up there. I think that the optimum time is mid August onwards (but I could be wrong)

I did a Pelagic trip on the Scillonian in 1998 on the 16th August and if my memory serves me right one was reported then but was very reclusive. Most birders dipped out on the bird (including me).

I have only ever seen one and that was at Boddington Reservoir in Northamptonshire on 16th Sept 1999.

Jos Stratford
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 07:02
Tell US buddy they dead drop beauties, but he needs to pop out to Eastern Europe ...of course offer to guide him! You get a free trip, he gets the bird 100% guaranteed (either here in Lithuania or next door in Poland).

Jos Stratford
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 07:05
PS I second Andrew's suggestion - get Steve Howell over from the US, he's got a canny nack of rooting out anything lurking in the bushes of South Wales!!!

Darrell Clegg
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 07:34
Marazion is certainly THE place to see Aquatic warblers in Cornwall, and mid August is the optimum time. They prefer the juncus rather than the reeds and can be frustratingly difficult to see.

They have been remarkably scarce over the past few years however, and many claims have turned out to be juvenile sedge warblers, so you will need to read up on Aquatic ID before you go. Very early morning is best!

Darrell

Manvulture7
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 07:52
Thanks for the feedback guys, Fortunately I've seen 3 or 4 Aquatics in GB already-found one myself . Calling in SGNH is a novel idea, but having known him since '77 I know what his feeding habits are like-prob. give that a miss.
I'll probably try on spec. around the 20th and hope for South Easterlies.

MV7

Bertram Bree
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 12:34
Hi,

I have a buddy coming over from the USA who needs Aquatic Warbler.
We'll probably stay in Cornwall sometime in August but are flexible.
Anyone out there got any suggestions for locations, timing etc.?
Tried a year or two ago in Dorset but came up empty.

MV7
Hi there,
Here in the Channel Isles near France we do well with Aquatics with over a hundred ringed but compare that with the number of Reed and Sedge we ring, now over twenty thousand of each. My ringer colleague had five Aquatics in the net at the same time a few years ago at the best site in the Channel Isles is at La Mare au Seigneur, or St Ouen's Pond in English.They turn up every August and even Jamie Hooper rings them in August in Guernsey every year.I have ringed them at Rue des Pres in Jersey where we have an Egret colony and ther is a small reedbed.They are a piece of cake to id wwith very yellow straw coloured streaks on back and big black stripes also the head stripes are easy to tell from juv Sedge as the crown stripe in massive!Legs bright pink which is a contrast from the yellowish colour of Sedge.We have been doing well with Zitting Cisticola recently otherwise known as Fan-tailed Warbler which are still singing over here.
In the Baie d'Audierne on the south-western tip of Brittany at Trunvel my pals ring lots of Aquatics every August at a site full of breeding European Bee-eaters, and also Loic Marion who colour rings the breeding Great White Egrets at Grand Lieu near Nantes on the Loire estuary also rings lots of Aquatic at this time.Regards.Bertram Bree in sunny Jersey hoping to try for Aquatics tomorrow morning at top site at 6am!

Bertram Bree
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 12:43
[QUOTE=Bertram Bree]Hi there,
Try this web site to keep a track of Aquatics this year in the Channel Isles.
http://www.geocities.com/mplawlorgue/Guernseybirdnews.html
Regards from sunny Jersey.
p.s.Orange billed Tern perhaps Elegant just seen again in France by Mattieu!

John Cantelo
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 20:58
This elusive species led me a merry dance until I caught up with one at Marazion Marsh. In the late 60s/early 70s camped out with ringers at Farlington Marsh (Hants) when they turned up at Weymouth (Dorset) and at Weymouth when they appeared at Farlington! (At both sites, incidentally, the Aquatics tended to be found towards the edge of reedbeds). I eventually saw one in the early 90s thanks to a family holiday to Penzance that netted me (metaphorically speaking) the species at Marazion (plus Wilson's Petrel & Cory's Shearwater on a subsequent pelagic). So I'd echo the suggestion that Marazion remains the best site in the UK and that an early morning look at the beds of juncus is the best bet. Subsequently I've seen a couple in Kent; one at Grove and one at Elmley. The latter was one of a run of birds found in the low juncus that borders the ditches there - is the species overlooked in this habitat in eastern UK?

One peculiar aspect of this species' autumnal migration is the increasing frequency of the species the further west you look. I don't have the statistics, but in the 1970s the number of Aquatics caught per thousand Sedge/Reed Warblers captured was significantly higher at Weymouth than at Farlington (c65 miles further west). Marazion right at the SW tip of the country seems a real hotspot for the species despite its relative isolation. Looking still further west the species is tolerably regular along the NW coast of Spain (particularly considering how much less watched this area is than UK sites). More remarkable is the concentration found at La Nava (c200 km NW of Madrid near Valladolid) where 187 Aquatics were ringed in 2000; perhaps this would be a better place to look for a transatlantic twitcher than the UK! The theory is that, unlike other migrants, Aquatics move south along the continental coast of the North Sea, turn west along France's channel coast, across the Bay of Biscay to Spain and beyond. The idea is that they get caught in storms in Biscay and pushed back to the UK, hence the predominance of records in the SW. Certainly as far as I'm aware they don't seem to migrate through central Europe in the numbers you might expect. I've even read somewhere that this path reflects a route along the ancient marshy river that is now the Channel. I'm not sure that this fully explains the distinct increase in numbers between Hampshire and Dorset, but it's the only theory I've read to explain the odd autumnal migration route.
John

Jane Turner
Wednesday 4th August 2004, 21:37
Marazion is the place... I have seen them there four out of four augusts.. admittedly a few years back now and remember that they seem have a big thing for juncus as opposed to phragmites.

It can be a long stake out though!

Bertram Bree
Thursday 5th August 2004, 10:59
This elusive species led me a merry dance until I caught up with one at Marazion Marsh. In the late 60s/early 70s camped out with ringers at Farlington Marsh (Hants) when they turned up at Weymouth (Dorset) and at Weymouth when they appeared at Farlington! (At both sites, incidentally, the Aquatics tended to be found towards the edge of reedbeds). I eventually saw one in the early 90s thanks to a family holiday to Penzance that netted me (metaphorically speaking) the species at Marazion (plus Wilson's Petrel & Cory's Shearwater on a subsequent pelagic). So I'd echo the suggestion that Marazion remains the best site in the UK and that an early morning look at the beds of juncus is the best bet. Subsequently I've seen a couple in Kent; one at Grove and one at Elmley. The latter was one of a run of birds found in the low juncus that borders the ditches there - is the species overlooked in this habitat in eastern UK?

One peculiar aspect of this species' autumnal migration is the increasing frequency of the species the further west you look. I don't have the statistics, but in the 1970s the number of Aquatics caught per thousand Sedge/Reed Warblers captured was significantly higher at Weymouth than at Farlington (c65 miles further west). Marazion right at the SW tip of the country seems a real hotspot for the species despite its relative isolation. Looking still further west the species is tolerably regular along the NW coast of Spain (particularly considering how much less watched this area is than UK sites). More remarkable is the concentration found at La Nava (c200 km NW of Madrid near Valladolid) where 187 Aquatics were ringed in 2000; perhaps this would be a better place to look for a transatlantic twitcher than the UK! The theory is that, unlike other migrants, Aquatics move south along the continental coast of the North Sea, turn west along France's channel coast, across the Bay of Biscay to Spain and beyond. The idea is that they get caught in storms in Biscay and pushed back to the UK, hence the predominance of records in the SW. Certainly as far as I'm aware they don't seem to migrate through central Europe in the numbers you might expect. I've even read somewhere that this path reflects a route along the ancient marshy river that is now the Channel. I'm not sure that this fully explains the distinct increase in numbers between Hampshire and Dorset, but it's the only theory I've read to explain the odd autumnal migration route.
John
Hi there in Jersey.We just had a fall of Sedge this morning in Jersey
and in Guernsey there are two Fan-tailed one of which was netted plus a Melodious ODIOUS Warbler! Regarding Aquatic there is an Aquatic Group studying Aquatic and radio transmitters were fitted to adults in the nesting areas proving that the male fertilises the female then promptly departs leaving nest building, incubation, and young rearing entirely to the female!
Nice work boys! Aquatic have a Dog-leg migration which is strange and long acknowledged as such. they migrate due west every year then due south!
In the Jersey Bird Report for 2003 just out cost 6.25 we ringed 4 Aquatic last year making our total ringed 121!However we ringed 204 Sedge and 463 Reed with total of Reed with Jersey rings now a staggering 21,727 up till the end of 2003!
Regards.Bertram Bree.P.s. My friends at Trunvel in the Baie d'Audierne in south-western Brittany ring masses of Aquatics every autumn and with the Grand Lieu (near Nantes) ringers, even control colour ringed birds!
Regards from sunny Jersey.The Elegant Tern hybridised with a Sandwich Tern and is with the hybrid young at Fort Larron on Noirmoutier at present after breeding in the Baie d'Arquin near Bordeaux.Feathers were collected and DNA studied and all the birds were ringed so the birds are showing rings nicely at Noirmoutier at present!Nice birding from the most southerly British Isle of Jersey.

James Lowther
Thursday 5th August 2004, 11:49
I don't know if this is relevant or helpful but there were huge numbers of sedge warblers in the reedbeds at Lodmoor (Weymouth) earlier this week. I don't know whether that increases the likelihood of Aquatic turning up? As for visiting the UK from the US in the hope of seeing Aquatic warbler- that seems pretty hardcore!! Like me going to the US with Narcissus Flycatcher or something similar on my target list. ;)