We arrived at the parking field and walked the mile to the quarry. Around 100 birders present and we quickly found out the behaviour of the bird. After around 10 minutes, I quickly spotted it when it flew along a row of bushes in front of us and landed on the edge of the bush about 15 metres from us. Very striking and a real stunner. Very white underparts, with a greyish back, darkish green wings and one long narrow white wing-bar and no whitish edges to the tertials. A good white supercilium but I did not see the small second upper whitish wing-bar, but this was clarified by RJF that it only had two wing-bars on one wing and just one on the other wing. Unfortunately, just after a few seconds it flicked away and during the 2.5 hours we were there, this was its typical behaviour. It showed well to us on five occasions, and on five other occasions it was seen moving through the bushes. On the third occasion we saw it very well and we were looking down onto the bird at close range but again for just a few seconds. It was on this occasion I could clearly see the wing with the two wing-bars. Doreen picked out the next good view when it was high up in one of the sycamores and showed for around 10 seconds.
I love Phylloscopus warblers, having found a superb collection over the years including the first Mainland UK record of Dusky Warbler in 1964 with Doreen in Lincolnshire, when this was a true mega rarity with only three previous records all on islands, but today's warbler was so striking it must rate as one of my favourites. I was unable to photograph it, as it was so active but the birder standing behind me got an excellent back of the camera shot which he kindly showed me.
Good to meet up with several other Sussex birders including Chris Ball, Richard Fairbank, John King, and Richard and Ann Kelly.
taken by Mike Morse
Two-barred Greenish Warbler at St. Aldhelms Head, Dorset.