Western Orphean Warbler: a vagrant on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands

The morning sun keeps coming out. In the vicinity of Poppendamme I manage to photograph quite a dark Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) and even a single Dunnock (Prunella modularis). Then I drive in the direction of Middelburg, to the Arnestein industrial area. The area cannot be missed with the Kuipersweg. The whole street at the described conifers at the company “von Gend en Loos” is already full of observers and even photographers. One of the bystanders said he saw this rare warbler in one of the conifers at 8:30 am. But now it’s almost 11:30 and she won’t come out again; at least not until now. I decide to join the crowd. I haven’t stood still for 15 minutes, I’ve just set up my 600 lens on the tripod, and I can see that my birder colleagues are clearly uneasy about their binoculars. Yes, that’s something in one of the conifers. Finally, I can see them too. It’s the Western Orphean Warbler (Sylvia hortensis)! The big bird with the yellow eye and the black cap is very nice to see. But now a few photos to shoot. First the bird gymnastics around quite restlessly and hastily in the top of the conifer. I can take a picture of the Western Orphean Warbler from behind. Then the Western Orphean Warbler flies across the road into a bush. The moves suggest the Warbler is deep inside tumbling all the time. Then the Orphean Warbler flies back to the beautiful, now sunlit side. After all, the Western Orphean Warbler can always be seen directly above/next to us.

I had actually planned to photograph a few Snow Buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) near Westkapelle on the Dutch coast. The coast near Middelburg is in the province of Zeeland. But the Western Orpheus Warbler is of course a completely different house number.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find; and this not only in the Western Palearctic.  Beside the image of the blog you can find a nice selection of birds in the gallery or in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if Bird-Lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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