Willow Warbler migration across the country is peaking just about now and this first year bird may have already moved on and reached the south coast or be even be further south in France. Not bad for a bird that may only be about ten weeks old, yes little more than ten weeks old and on its way to sub-Saharan Africa.
While on the subject of Willow Warblers the following image shows the tail of a young bird that must have had a severe fault bar that caused the tip of the tail to break off. The two complete tail feathers are replacement feathers and show how much of the other feathers has snapped off. Fault bars are caused by periods of poor nutrition when the feathers are growing and are testament to the grotty summer we have had.
|IY Willow Warbler tail. The juvenile tail feathers have sheared off along the line of a fault bar. The 2 complete feathers are newer replacements and are easily recognised by being darker and more glossy.|
|Willow Warblers: First year left and freshly moulted adult right.|