I couldn’t help myself! I had visited friends in the Gothenburg area and was on my way home. It was late. Close to midnight. I drove the E45 past Trollhättan and Vänersborg. As I saw the sign to the right towards Gestad, I remembered my experience with the reed warbler the other night. The car made the right turn almost completely on its own.
When I came to the little rock bridge where I heard the warbler last time, everything was quiet. So I was pleased with what was there. The smell of flowers from a nearby bushy cove. The water’s gurgling under the bridge. Something that moved in the water below. Otherwise silence.
I drove up to the church 500 meters away and parked. As I got out of the car, there was almost like a cacaphony of sound. Three young barn owls crying for food just like last time I was here. And on the other side of the road, in a bush 60 meters away, the Blythe’s reed warbler. Its harsh, almost wooden call echoed against a big barn a bit away, so it sounded like several birds were on the go. And in the midst of all this noise came its melodious phrases.
I walked closer over the meadow next to the small river. The stubborn warbler did not let itself be disturbed. Not even when I came as close as ten meters. There I stood for a long time listening to my acquaintance from the other night.
It was late before I could tear away from there. By four o’clock in the morning I was home. Then it was daylight. I had some audio files on my Iphone with the bird’s song. There my breathing was also heard. OK, I thought, I was there.
Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote about my first encounter with Blythe’s Reed Warbler the other night. There you can also listen to two different recordings of the species, recordings made by other ornithologists. One is of the same bird that I heard. Another is of a more versatile specimen of the species.