A Melodious Warbler, the first ever in the West Midlands metropolitan county and only the third to be recorded in the West Midland Bird Club area, was found on 11th June at Mercote Mill, close to Marsh Lane Nature Reserve, by Alan Dean.
We see lots of Melodious Warblers in Portugal and have in any case long ago given up fretting about any rarities we might miss seeing back home, but we do like to try and keep up with what’s happening in the UK and especially in our local area. Although we were in the Algarve, we had read about this bird on the internet and indeed seen several photographs of it.
When we arrived back at Birmingham Airport on 17th June the Melodious Warbler was still being seen just four miles away but we had no thoughts about going to see it. After all, it was just another Melodious Warbler!
We didn’t really give the bird another thought until yesterday when we needed to visit Focus Optics at Corley to get some minor repairs carried out to our binoculars. To get there we had to pass within just a couple of miles of Mercote Mill. It would surely have been rude not to stop by and have a look for the Melodious Warbler!
In fact we didn’t have to look for it - we could hear it singing from almost 50 yards away and it continued to sing during the whole time we were there. If it was defending its territory from other Melodious Warblers or trying to attract a mate, it seems very likely that it was wasting both time and effort but the loud song, full of variety and mimicry was itself well worth the short diversion.