An opportunity arose to visit South Wales and see the territorial Marmora's Warbler that has taken up residence at Blorenge near Abergavenny. The day started at 3am at Joyden's Wood where I met up with Guy and 'as expected' Phil turned up a liitle later with yes you've guessed it ...an England flag on the car!! Fortunately we we're travelling in Guys' car, a flag free zone as we headed to pick up Josh near the M25. And so the quartet headed West through the wee hours chatting about nighttime dog walking, previous twitches, birders with fingers missing etc etc. Josh must have thought he was on a SAGA trip with tales of the 70s and early 80s.
On arrival at the site the bird was already singing it's heart out and we got fantastic views of the European Warbler in a great setting with Tree Pipits, Whinchats and a few other birders escaping Kent including Brendan on route to Liverpool !
I looked up in my notebook when I saw my last Marmora's which was May 25th 1993 at St Abbs, Scotland in a May that saw me doing stacks of birding and seeing a Cattle Egret, Serin, Marbled Teal and Black throated Thrush at Dunge, a cracking male Citrine Wag at Fleet Pond, Ring necked Duck at Stockers' Lake, Great Reed at Elmley, Oriental Prat, Pacific Swift and Desert Warbler in Norfolk, plus Sard, Short toed Lark, Red-backed Shrike, and Melody at Dunge later in the month................................I've had worse months !!
Nearby at Wentwood Forest, this Iberian Chiffchaff sang away and was good comparison having just seen the Walderslade bird.
The Marmora's crowd, note the camouflaged hat!
Neil Bostock finds a high point to view the bird