Like many birders of my generation, Aquatic Warbler has been a tricky bird to catch up with in Britain. Over the past couple of decades, there have been precious few truly gettable examples of this endangered warbler turning up here. There was one in Kent in August 2006 that a lot of people ticked, but I was away on a family holiday. Since then, there have been a few semi-twitchable birds that others have seen, but for whatever reason I'd been unable (or unwilling) to go – including for the Suffolk bird only a few weeks ago.
I have been moving house this week, so naturally I was a little galled when a very accessible Aquatic Warbler turned up at Beeding Brooks in West Sussex. By the third day its continued presence had eaten away at me too much and it felt like an opportunity I couldn't turn down, so I planned a rare twitch for what was a world lifer. In the end, things worked out well and the bird gave much better views than I had imagined, often to within 5 metres but always at least partially obscured. Photo opportunities were limited because of that, but that didn't matter as it was a beautiful bird that was very entertaining to simply watch with binoculars as it crept unobtrusively and Locustella-like through the long grass.
The musings of a wildlife enthusiast, usually armed with his camera.