A Northamptonshire first
Confirmation came today that the ‘eastern’ Lesser Whitethroat trapped and ringed at Stanford Reservoir on 12th October was indeed of the race blythi – more commonly known as ‘Siberian’ Lesser Whitethroat. This is, therefore, the first confirmed record of this subspecies in Northamptonshire. Great news, broken this afternoon by Martin Collinson of the University of Aberdeen.
A big thank you is due to ‘Doc Martin’ who undertook the DNA analysis on a couple of feathers which became dislodged during processing. Martin, Chairman of both the BOU Records Committee and the British Birds Editorial Board, was also instrumental in confirming the ID of Britain’s first Acadian Flycatcher in Kent, earlier this autumn after, analysing its poo collected on site at Dungeness!
But where does this leave the 2014 ‘eastern’ Lesser Whitethroat which frequented Dave Jackson’s Northampton garden on and off throughout the winter? It will go down as ‘showing characteristics of’, of course, but the Stanford bird clearly demonstrates they can occur locally and it surely was one …