Blyth’s Reed Warbler – 2013 first for Pembrokeshire

Acrocephalus dumetorumTelor Cyrs Blyth – Vagrant

Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Skokholm, September 2013

Blyth’s Reed Warbler is a bird which breeds from  from Finland through to Siberia and winters in Asia.  It has only been recorded in Wales on two occasions, both birds were trapped.

The first Welsh record was of one trapped on Bardsey on 13th October 2001

MYP 28/09/2013

One trapped in the Cottage Heligoland on 27 September was the first for Skokholm and Pembrokeshire, and the second for Wales (TW, SW, RDB et al.). It was released in the Courtyard but was not seen again. A small body feather was sent for mitochondrial DNA analysis and was found to have a cytochrome b sequence between one and three base pairs different to Blyth’s Reed Warbler reference material but 57 base pairs different to any other species (M. Collinson pers. comm.). Although there were fewer records nationally in 2013 than in the preceding record year, there have now been low double figure counts for four consecutive years (although there were only seven accepted records in 2008 and 2009, four in 2006 and two in 2005). Skokholm Annual Report 2013

Note from Skokholm Blog – Edward Blyth was born in London in 1810 and at 31 years of age he travelled to India to become the curator of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal museum. Charles Darwin wrote of him “Mr. Blyth, whose opinion, from his large and varied stores of knowledge, I should value more than that of almost any one”.

More about the Blyth’s Reed Warbler in Pembrokeshire