He might have arrived in time for Sir Peter Scott’s centenary celebrations on Monday, but he was so unexpected a sighting that official verification that he is a first-winter marsh warbler has only just been confirmed.
Marsh warblers are generally seen in the UK in spring when their identification is relatively easy, but the species has not been seen in the autumn in the UK for some 40 years. Small breeding colonies did once existed in the area, but delving deep into Slimbridge’s wild bird archives this species has never been recorded here before now.
“When the bird was first spotted the general consensus was that it was indeed a first-winter marsh warbler but some were sceptical, so we decided to get verification from experts in Holland.
“When the news finally came through it was fantastic for us to be able to add a first-winter marsh warbler to our ever increasing wild bird list here at Slimbridge – particularly in our centenary year”