Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Grasshopper Warbler

This is, or may be, a grasshopper warbler.  We saw it in the next-door plot, in amongst the brambles, but identified it - tentatively - as a grasshopper warbler by its song.  This is an exciting find, partly because the only other time we've heard it was in the Raptor's garden, and partly because, according to the RSPB, the population of this little bird is in steep decline, so it's on their 'Red List', and Ardnamurchan is outside its normal range.

More details about it on the BBC site, here.


  1. Thumbs up from me for a cracking picture of a grasshopper warbler and I would not put where you are as outside there normal range I hear them every year further up the coast in Arisaig, regardless a big well done you in photographing a very shy wee bird.

  2. Many thanks, Paul. My photographic skills aren't great, and it's always a joy when something works! Jon

  3. Richard Laybourne24 April 2014 at 08:18

    Hi Jon. I agree with Paul on both counts - it's a great picture, as they're normally really difficult to spot even when their 'song' is quite obvious, and we certainly get them every year in Strontian (although I haven't heard them yet this year). The RSPB's site says we don't get yellowhammer either, but fortunately the yellowhammer don't have internet access!

  4. Hi Richard. Many thanks for the comment. The RSPB distribution maps do appear to be a bit inaccurate, the yellowhammers being a good example. They're always around, and we've had more of them with us this winter than ever before. Jon

  5. Barrie, The Saltings1 May 2014 at 13:40

    Hi Jon, Sorry for the late posting.
    Regarding bird distribution remember the the RSPB protect birds whereas the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and SOC (Scottish Ornithologists Club) arer the leading recorders of birds and it these two organisations, together with BirdWatch Ireland, who coordinated and published the latest UK 'Bird Atlas 2007-11'.

    According to the Atlas, the Grasshopper Warbler is a regular breeder in Ardnamurchan and is increasing in abundance. Likewise, the Lesser Repoll is also a regular breeder and is also increasing, despite population declines down in Eastern England.

  6. Much appreciate what you've written here, Barrie. I have just been on the BTO site, and will use that in future. Jon