Monday, 31 October 2016
Middletown, Gower yesterday. PP, PT.
Paul and I did the western tip of the Gower yesterday, starting at Middleton, where a possible
Hume's leaf warbler was reported calling the day before and plenty of Yellow browed warblers,
amongst other things, had been seen the past week. Two other birders were there at first
light and it was initially quiet, although a Yellow browed warbler showed after an hour. After
another hour, and with only YBW and Chiffchaff seen well, we decided to walk the Vine lane to
the coast and loop back through the fields. There was good vismig, with thrushes aplenty and
around 4000 Wood pigeon going over west. A pair of Chough were on the cliffs and flocks of
Starlings, Skylarks and a few Reed buntings were in the weedy fields. On walking back up the
lane, we stopped to photograph some insects and I heard a warbler call in the hedge behind us.
On searching for the bird, it flew right past me from behind and low to the ground. A green bird
and square yellow rump could only be one thing, it faced me as it landed and I called to Paul,
"Pallas warbler!" The bird was quite showy for a few seconds, then became quite mobile,
moving up the hedge towards Middleton. I managed a short burst of record shots but within
around two minutes, it flew into a dense patch and that was the last we saw of it, despite a
search. Back at Middleton, we spent another couple of hours in the garden, hearing and
seeing another YBW, then, just as we were about to leave, the distinctive call of a Hume's
leaf warbler. It popped up in an Apple tree and was visible for 30 seconds or so, long enough
for a few more record shots. Not an easy bird to catch up with, but we got lucky eventually.