News of the discovery of a Melodious Warbler singing in back gardens not far from the River Lee in Leyton was quickly passed on to local birdwatchers, and I was able to spend a little over an hour and a half watching this exotic visitor, usually found only on the continent, late in the afternoon.
While I was present it returned several times to a Holly tree, and other trees/bushes close to the road, and was also heard singing from bushes further from the road. It was quite a bright individual with pale yellow underparts, and the typical shape and largish size that is associated with most Hippolais warblers. The separation from the similar Icterine Warbler can sometimes be tricky, but in this case the song made it relatively straight forward – and, although elusive at times, the bird showed well enough for the short primary projection to be seen clearly on a number of occasions.
Although I saw the bird extremely well, and it was well within range of my camera, on this occasion I managed to miss the best opportunity for a photo and was not able to spend time waiting for another chance.
As a result the best shot that I managed is completely unidentifiable- but I'll post it anyway! (Better photos taken by other people here).
This is a Melodious Warbler - but you'll have to take my word for it (sometimes you miss the shot!).
A short visit to a site on the edge of Epping Forest later in the evening to see if any Grasshopper Warblers were in, failed to find "Groppers", but hopefully there will be some at the site this summer. At least some of the other warblers weren't camera shy as the Melodious was when I tried for photos of that!
A Common Whitethroat wasn't keen on posing for the camera, but I managed a couple of shots, and a Willow Warbler (bottom photo) was happy to show himself off - you can tell it's a Willow Warbler because it's in a Willow!: