On Oct 24 we set out for a fairly unplanned twitching tour. There were quite a few possibilities for us in the UK/Ireland but also on mainland Europe. First destination was a Wilson’s Phalarope that had been present in Kent/UK for over two weeks. This was our second attempt at Wilson’s Phalarope, the first one was eaten by a Pergrine in France a couple of weeks ago. This one seemed certain though, however when we arrive at the site the Phalarope is gone. Dip. This was our second visit to the awesome site of Oare Marshes, the first one, months ago we ticked Long-billed Dowitcher. That same bird was still there this time too.
The disappointment of dipping is hard, it affects the mood in the group and it’s easy to cater dark thoughts only. Furthermore, twitching on Europe scale is both costly and time consuming. It’s probably the case that if we had just thrown ourselves on a plane at first opportunity for every reported bird this fall, we would have had a few more ticks, but we would definitely have had more dips too.
At this point time we had a few options, an Upland Sandpiper in France and two Grey-cheeked Thrushes in Cork/Ireland – we opted for Ireland. Once again, when we arrive at the site – the bird is gone. The Thrush at Rosscarberry had been seen in the afternoon the day before we arrived. Dip again. Some nice birding at the site though.
The other Thush in Cork, at Galley Head was also gone. We had to settle for a few Firecrests.
At this point we either wanted to go to London or Stockholm, tickets there were unreasonably expensive though, so we settled for Copenhagen where a Dusky Warbler had been residing just an hours drive from Copenhagen. WE arrived in Copenhagen late afternoon and since the Dusky had been searched for all day, but not seen, we never even tried for the Dusky Warbler. Instead, we drove from Copenhagen to Öland, and finally, at first light in the morning we’re able to connect with this beauty. A Two-barred Warbler.
At last!!!! a tick.
Quite a few Swedish birders are there at the site, all doing proactive ticking. According to Swedish taxonomy committee this bird is still considered to be conspecific to Greenish Warbler. They were all counting on that to change in the not too distant future.