Thursday 15 October 2020

Yellow-browed Warbler in the garden!

Sometimes we are lucky enough to stumble into vagrant birds, usually by chance, without really searching for them. One such example was the find of a Pallas's Leaf Warbler in 2019 on the Karst edge, while last week it was the turn of another rare Phylloscopus. On Friday the 9th, we were working in our garden in the Karst, when we heard a distinctive, but very unusual call. We knew from recordings it was a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus, so we went to investigate. After quite some time, scanning through the several migrant Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita present on site, we finally spotted the tiny Siberian rarity. It was very difficult to observe as it kept feeding nervously in the dense canopy of a non-native maple Acer sp. The late afternoon light was already fading, so we didn't manage to take any decent photos. In the next few days the bird lingered on site, actually always on the same maple tree, where it allowed some closer (although brief) views and therefore a basic documentation, including sound-recordings needed for the Slovenian Rarities Commitee. Yellow-browed Warbler is an increasingly regular October migrant, but still considered a rarity in Slovenia, however most of the 20 or so known records include birds caught in ringing nets. Apparently our individual is only the second "out-of-the-net" Yellow-browed for Slovenia and therefore a good reason for celebration! In the last couple of days we didn't have time to check for the bird on a regular basis, however yesterday we were unable to find it in its usual tree. Perhaps it has already moved on, although we will keep an eye for it in the coming days.