Sunday, 10 July 2011

Arnfield Reservoir - Western Bonelli's

I arrived at Arnfield Reservoir at about 3.45 to a small group of birders, not exactly in good spirits as the Bonell’s hadn’t been seen since 1.20. I hadn’t wasted the afternoon then! Another 30 mins were to elapse before it showed again – visible from the sluice bridge in a large Willow next to the inlet stream Only problem for me was - I was on the other side of the willow!! Eventually however, it showed for the group I was and we were treated to fleeting glimpses.....

Realising it favoured the other side, e all moved around to the sluice bridge where it was impossible to use a tripod (you can guess what happened next!) Yes, it moved out to the edge of the Willow in full view posing perfectly and by the time I’d decided to get my camera – disappeared out of view again. Nevertheless, I had a good 20 secs of watching through the bins. The underparts were most striking , almost pure white imparting a ‘Wood Warbler’ like appearance, without the yellow throat! I thought it was quite smart and certainly instantly recognisable amongst the other Phylloscopus Warblers also present (Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap)

Setting the scene hopefully for an image or two, I carried my kit across the sluice bridge for a prolonged Bush watch!

Eventually it showed again, near the top and partly obscured by leave but at least a record shot was on the card!

I really hate not being able to come away with something! A check of the internet sites proves just how difficult this bird is to photograph. The only real disappointment was not hearing it sing. No-one else present had heard it that day either….. It was now 6.00 and the scream of jet engines on the descent into Manchester Airport reminded me I had to pick Gemma in 30 mins time