The Isle of May has done it again with a lanceolated warbler turning up yesterday on the island, a second island record, the first being 27 years ago. It was found yesterday mid afternoon but not really tracked down for good views until the evening and anyone who knows about these birds knows that good views are hard to get. It is a small warbler that would rather run through the undergrowth than fly so at times it looked more like a mouse than a bird and it certainly maintained this reputation yesterday evening giving no opportunites for pictures. With this behaviour it is amazing that it might have come from as far as Scandinavia or even further east.
In Scotland and the UK it is a very rare bird. There not many more than 100 records for the whole of the UK and in Scotland just about all of the records have been found on Fair Isle with a few on Shetland and Orkney. Up to 2004 there had only been 2 records of lanceolated warblers found elsewhere in Scotland and they were here on the Isle of May on 2 Oct 1987 and unusually a bird that was found in a toilet bowl in a ship in the Forties oilfield 145km east of Aberdeen on 14 October 1978.
This morning an extensive search was made for the bird on the island but there is no sign yet. Most previous records have been for a bird staying for only 1 day so this is not usual but very frustrating. As a sign of the increasingly desperate search all toilet bowls on the island were checked this morning but to no avail.