We get the new month under way with a familiar, winter garden species, the Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala. Like all members of its family this secretive bird can be alert, mistrustful and quick to disappear…
…but noisy, family groups will come foraging through bushes and shrubs right outside your window during the colder months, and Kiersten has got some great new shots of this distinctive, southern European speciality.
This is a sedentary species, and a breeding resident across most of Iberia, southern France and around the Mediterranean region. It’s a bird of stoney, broken ground with scattered, thorny vegetation, and also favours thickets and stands of trees in gardens and orchards.
We hear it’s grating, churring and clicking calls all year round in the surrounding countryside but don’t always locate them when they’re skulking in deep cover. At this time of year they can be more confiding and Kiersten has captured some nice details in the shots we’ve put up today.
It’s great to have some images of a pair to compare their plumage – we often note the distinctive black cap and white throat of the male. I’ve chosen other nice shots of females to include here: probably the more elusive and secretive of the sexes when they’re breeding over the summer. Note how the duller, grey-brown cap still contrasts nicely in a clean, crisp line with their white throats.
There are other warblers in the Sylvia genus that can appear similar to the female, but when seen away from her male companion there is still one unique point to look for – she also retains the bright red eye-ring of her partner, nicely illustrated in the shots shown above!
A favourite local character to get us rolling again. We’ll be posting regular updates and reports over the coming weeks so please kep checking the blog, and for more information about our birdwatching trips and holidays, click here. We’ve got some of the best birding southern Spain can offer right on our doorstep!