Thursday 28 March 2019

Pallas's Leaf Warbler - 2nd for Slovenia!

Just a short post dedicated to a little rarity we found yesterday. While checking a site for Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria along the Karst edge, we stumbled across what is possibly one of the biggest rarities we've ever found in our lives: a stunning Pallas's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus! If accepted this would be only the 2nd record for Slovenia - it is indeed a mega for the country!! The tiny warbler was feeding in a thermophilous woodland, where it has probably overwintered in the company of many Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla, Robins Erithacus rubecula and Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita. Due to its restless behaviour and the dense vegetation, it was rather difficut to obtain good views of the bird. Hovewer the warbler was in full spring mood and was singing almost constantly, whereas it rarely delivered its calls. This helped in locating the bird and obtaining a few photos for documentation. In the above video you can hear its distinctive song, which is unlike any of the similar Phylloscopus warblers (Yellow-browed & Hume's). It sounds like a prolonged and enriched song of a Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus. The bird was visiting more or less the same patch of bushes and trees for most of the afternoon, so it's probable it will remain there. We guess it overwintered there, as the location is quite suitable and moreover March is a rather odd time for a migrant Pallas's Leaf Warbler.