‘Caspian Reed Warbler’: new to Britain

Published on 08 June 2018 in Main articles

By Steve White, Paul Harvey, Roger Riddington, Rory Tallack and Martin Collinson

Abstract An unstreaked Acrocephalus warbler found freshly dead near Jenny Brown’s Point, Lancashire & North Merseyside, on 11th December 2011 proved to be an unseasonal Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus. The following year acold-looking, unstreaked Acrocephalus was discovered at Kergord, in central mainland Shetland, on 4th November 2012. The observers had suspicions that it might be a bird of the eastern form A. s. fuscus (‘Caspian Reed Warbler’), and it was trapped to help establish the identification. Subsequently, DNA analysis confirmed that both birds were of the eastern race A. s. fuscus; theseare the first records of Caspian Reed Warbler in Britain.

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Caspian Reed Warbler’Acrocephalus scirpaceus fuscus, Kergord, Shetland, November 2012. Roger Riddington