As soon as I heard that there was a first summer male Marmora's Warbler in south Wales I was very keen to add this species to both my life and UK lists, however due to work commitments at the end of the week and a date with some horses on Saturday I had a nervous wait, not helped by the negative news of Saturday afternoon/evening which delayed my start this morning from 2am till 8am. I had thought it was likely that the bird was still going to be present based on previous behavioural reports over the last few days. However I didn't want to waste the fuel if the bird had gone (eg predated during the afternoon).
I set off with my birding chum Dave from York at about 8.15 and after a rather wet journey south arrived at the site around noon. I'd literally just stepped out of the car when I heard and saw the bird briefly before it dropped out of view from a small Hawthorn bush. I'd read that the bird ranged around a sizable area so I was not too concerned that it had gone for good and about 10 minutes later the bird popped up in a distant Hawthorn bush, it was actively foraging within the bush but gradually worked its way to the top of the bush where it showed well, albeit distantly singing.
Chuffed with the views we'd just had we were amazed as the warbler flew to a bush a bit closer, then another, then it flew even closer, landing on a stone wall where it sat and sang for what seemed like an eternity, moving up the wall a few metres and singing some more - an incredible view of this super bird which left everyone awestruck.
Soon after this view the bird performed some more before flying across the road into a Holly bush where it then dropped out of view. With these incredible views we were totally happy to leave the site and head off on our journey home, very happy!
I'd like to thank Dave Perrett for letting me use his excellent photo of the Marmora's Warbler (above). You can visit Dave's blog/website at the following links http://www.dave123wildlifeblog.blogspot.com/ and http://www.david-perrett.fotopic.net/
Other birds noted in the vicinity included an almost constantly displaying Tree Pipit, several Meadow Pipit and Skylark, Whinchat, Stonechat and Cuckoo amongst others.