A superb day! Before migrant-hunting close to home in the valley, I decided to start off by trying to get some more photographs of the 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers that had been around the Bigton area since Friday. As I sat looking at any empty foreshore, Alan Wheeler had come to find me to inform me of a grey Hippolais warbler that he had seen go to roost the previous evening in his garden. He'd seen the bird early on this morning once again, and his description was more than interesting - especially when he mentioned it to be tail-pumping. We discussed the finer points of Hippo ID and everything seemed to be adding up to one species, which I already felt Alan had pretty much got all the features for - Eastern Olivaceous Warbler.
On arriving at Alan's house and looking at the photographs on the back of his camera, it looked exactly as Alan had described it and after an anxious 15 minute wait in Alan's (and Jane's) kitchen, the bird in question appeared in the roses, offering the briefest of views. A few minutes later, the bird hopped out in full view, started tail pumping and looked an absolute dead-cert for an Eastern Olivaceous. I personally did not want a repeat performance of the 2006 Olive-tree Warbler scenario, so we waited for the bird to return to the garden and I took plenty of photographs and some video through Alan's (incredibly clean!) kitchen windows.
On arriving back home I had a good look through my images, reference papers and books before being 100% certain - and very happy - that we had indeed been watching an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - only around the 15th record for Britain - and could put the news out on the local grapevine. A fantastic bird - well done Alan!