Monday, 28 May 2012

Uncommon Waterside Warblers

Two of the least common birds around the university, both of which often have an affinity for water, are the sedge warbler and the grasshopper warbler. The grasshopper warbler is named after its insect-like song. Click on play in the link below to hear this unusual song:

It has been allocated a red-list conservation status in the UK, indicating a species of high conservation concern due to a long-term population decline. Listen for the reeling song of the grasshopper warbler in thick vegetation along the Durham riverbanks and in dense hedgerows.

Sedge Warbler (Photo: Steve Willis)

The sedge warbler is a very rare breeder on the university estate, with the small reedbed near the Mountjoy buildings being the only site to regularly hold a breeding pair. Although rarely seen, its grating and scratchy warble usually gives away its presence: