White-spotted Bluethroat

Making a reedy ditch look amazing!

Early morning (20th March 2011) saw me check the saltmarsh off the Warren at Spurn in the hope of Rock Pipits. 2 had flown past me the previous day and I wondered about a nice Scandinavian ‘littoralis’. Yesterdays 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull (rare bird in March) was still ‘blogging’ about and as I watched it, the radio crackled. Ian Whitehouse had  just had brief views of a “big super and red in the tail dive into a nearby ditch; looks like a Bluethroat!” Soon there with awareness dawning, this will be a White-spot, a bird I have never seen in Britain (lots of Red-spots especially back in the mid 1980’s). After a few brief views- bingo! A first summer bird bejeweled the ditch. Aged by moult contrast (half the greater coverts with pale buff tips), the dark rectangles intruding into the sides of the cobalt blue seemed too large and unbecoming for an adult. The white spot was not always visible but with perseverance it ‘appeared’. Cracker!

My early morning ‘jewel in the ditch’ shots:

Spurn regulars up early watching the first summer Bluethroat. 20th march 2011. What an easy bird to walk past! Previous Spurn records:

6th April 1958

10th -13th April 1966

Ian Smith came back later in better light and nailed some great shots:


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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