Sunday, 12 January 2014

Cemetary Watch

There are few hobbies that see regular gatherings in such strange paces as rubbish dumps and sewage works.therefore the news of a rare warbler in a cemetery brought almost relief that at least it would be a quiet and calm place where the residents would be no trouble. Of course there is a real reason why on several occasions rare birds have frequented these oasis from the hectic urban world around them. There are often well wooded, seldom very disturbed and provide great habitat for a wind blown refugee to find food up in the branches of a variety of tree species.

Last year it was Margate Cemetery that drew large crowds to see a Dusky Thrush, misplaced from Asia, this time it is Ramsgate Cemetery that is hosting a Hume's Leaf Warbler. This  small warbler breeds in the mountains of inner Asia and and winters mainly in India.

This bird is named after Allan Octavian Hume who was a civil servant, political reformer and amateur ornithologist and horticulturalist in British India in the late 19th Century. Hume has been called "the Father of Indian Ornithology".

Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei) was recently split from the Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus), based on differences in morphology, bioacoustics, and molecular characters. The Western Hume's Leaf Warbler's range overlaps with that of the Yellow-browed Warbler in the western Sayan Mountains, but the species apparently do not hybridise.

The visual differences are small but fortunately the call is reasonably distinct and this bird was extremely cooperative, calling frequently and loudly.

It was extremely active and obviously had no difficulty finding food, probably because so far our winter has been mild.
I'm sure there are much better photos around, I was a bit disappointed with my endeavours. I'm not sure whether it is because of the decrepitude of the photographer, the camera body or the lens. The second and third are expensive but rectifiable, unfortunately there is no remedy for the first.

1 comment:

jelltex said...

I find I am happy enough if I have snapped the subject I set out to snap.

These are fine, let those with more money than sense get their shots, these are yours and I would be very pleased with indeed.