Came across this weirdo this afternoon as I was reccying for a free walk we're doing at Marshside on Saturday morning - "The Figure of Eight", details at www.facebook.com/seftoncoast
As I was walking down Marshside Road I could hear the usual Sedge Warbler cacophony, but wasn't expecting this vision in white to be occupying the song posts in the brambles!
Almost entirely white apart from some tail feathers, a few primaries and secondaries and a streaks on the mantle, with a leucisty yellowy wash to the face and chest, but dark eye, legs and bills.
I can honestly say I've never come across albinoism/leucism (Desert Warblers don't count baby) or melanism in a warbler in Europe, Asia, Africa or the New World before.
Absolutely crackers, but making the usual unholy Sedge Warbler din, even having a go at display flights!
Every time it came up out of the vegetation to sing the more conventionally plumaged Sedgies attacked it (don't these cats watch Eurovision? Be cool), sending it back into cover, which may have been just as well, as it presented a heck of a target for the local Sprawks overhead.
Good afternoon to be on the marsh in the warm sun - Ruff on Marshside One, with two Wheatears on the Coast Road embankment, Swifts going through and a female Whinchat down in Wheatear Corner, where the summering Pink Foot lurked with the feral Barnacle Goose and the Canada flock.
Swifts and hirundines moving, Reed, Sedge, Whitethroat, Chiffies and Willow Warbler singing away.
Chiffies outnumbered the Willow Warblers 5 to 1, although a hot afternoon is probably not the best time to be assessing warbla population trends.
It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...
PS: Does anyone know if the BOU has split the arctic race of Sedge Warbler yet????? Gyr Warbler anybody???