Cetti's Warbler, Extremadura

15th May 2013
I travelled down to a place called Vegas Atlas where there is an introduced colony of Common Waxbill and Red Avadavat, these can be very pretty when they come into their breeding plumage. They inhabit roadside ditches and wherever there are stands of reeds. I found them quite easily but they were not yet in breeding plumage, it seems everything is late this year!
Vegas Atlas is basically an area of farmland which is very quiet for a lot of the year allowing birds to breed in peace. I have seen Black Winged Kite here previously and I'll never forget the sight of two hundred Turtle Doves sat together on telegraph wires there.
A really depressing fact was that we only heard one Turtle Dove purring during our two weeks in Spain. The RSPB say that there is over an 80% decline in these lovely birds,
It's a shocking statistic!!
While watching the reeds I could hear a Cetti's Warbler calling and Singing, Cetti's are always difficult to catch out in the open, you can here the call and song but that's usually about all. I could see flashes of its tail in the reeds and I thought that was all I was going to get, however, what happened next really amazed me. The bird dropped down into about 2" of running water below the reed bed and started to have a bath right in front of me, splashing around for a couple of minutes, then drying off on a branch right out in the open. I couldn't believe such a secretive little bird would do that, what a spectacle. It dried itself completely then disappeared back into the reeds. I was amazed, but I took a load of shots of this very rare display.