Speckled Warblers are thin on the ground around Newstead – finding them is always a special treat. This one, pictured below, is the male of a pair spotted on the weekend near Clydesdale.
The female has a chestnut eyebrow, but otherwise is pretty much identical to its mate. In this case the female was nearby but proved too shy and elusive for the photographer!
Speckled Warblers are a classic woodland bird – they especially like open habitat, with fallen timber, rocks and scattered tussock grasses. In this situation they blend nicely into their surroundings and are often overlooked as they forage quietly for insects.
The male ventured to a prominent perch on a couple of occasions, singing heartily with its courtship song. The nest is almost always located on the ground – breeding failure due to predation is an occupational hazard for this species, and pairs will lay replacement clutches in order to succeed.