What do sedge warblers look like?

Sedge warblers have an olive-brown mantle and scapulars with dark brown streaks, and a cinnamon rump. On the upperwing the flight feathers are brown with pale buff edges, and the wing coverts are black with paler edges. The rounded tail is dark brown.

The belly is white, the flanks are pale rust and the rest of the underparts are cream or pale buff. On the underwing the axillaries and coverts are white with dark centres.

On the head the chin and throat are white, and the crown is dark with fine streaks. There is a conspicuous pale buff supercilium that extends from the upper base of the bill to the end of the ear coverts where it becomes broader. The lores are dark, and the cheeks and ear coverts are yellowish-brown. The bill has a dark brown upper mandible and yellow lower mandible with a pink base, the eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are grey-brown. Male and female sedge warblers are similar.

Juveniles are yellower than adults but with a similar pattern on the body and slight speckles or streaks on the breast. On the head there is a buff stripe in the centre of the crown.

How do sedge warblers breed?

Sedge warblers are monogamous and breed between late April and mid-May and produce 1 or 2 broods a season. The nest in scrubby vegetation, marshes, bushes, and reedbeds near but not on water. It is usually supported on stems. The female builds the nest which is a deep cup-shaped structure made from loosely woven grass, stems, leaves, moss, and sedges, bound together with spider webs. It is lined with softer plant material, hair, and plant down.

Sedge warblers lay 5-6 smooth, glossy, pale green eggs even covered with fine olive specks and mottles, which are incubated by the female alone for 13-15 days. The male will help brood the chicks once they are hatched. Chicks leave the nest 11-12 days after hatching and fledge at 25-30 days.

What do sedge warblers eat?

Sedge warblers eat mainly insects including mayflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, moths, and beetles. They will also eat worms, slugs, snails, and spiders. In autumn and winter it will supplement its diet with plant matter such as berries, fruit, buds, and flowers.

They usually feed at dawn and dusk in low, dense vegetation.

Extract taken from ‘Bird Spot’

Images by CRUSH Photography© www.crush.photography

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022 CRUSH Photography©
Acknowledgements: Extract taken from 'Bird Spot'

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Ever wondered why meditation retreats and monasteries of all spiritual traditions are often found in the mountains or deep in the forest? There are many benefits of meditation in nature—it’s a place where wisdom and perception come alive. Meditating outdoors activates our senses, making our practice more alert and wakeful. At the same time, the usual distractions seem far away and somehow less important. Many meditators find it easier to let go of their worries and their electronic devices when they’ve got such a satisfying alternative: mindfully communing with nature.

Meditating with Nature

In Asia, the accomplished meditators of yore believed that isolation in the wilderness was conducive to advanced mindfulness training. They would retreat to hermitages carved into mountains or hidden among the flora of the jungle and spend time in deep contemplation. Many ancient poems and chants evoke the wonder of such retreats. A verse by Han-shan, a 7th century hermit who lived on Cold Mountain in China, describes this experience beautifully:

Today I sat before the cliff,
Sat a long time till mists had cleared.
A single thread, the clear stream runs cold;
A thousand yards the green peaks lift their heads.
White clouds—the morning light is still;
Moonrise—the lamp of night drifts upward;
Body free from dust and stain,
What cares could trouble my mind?

(From Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the Tang Poet Han-shan, translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press)

Photographs by CRUSH Photography©

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 CRUSH Photography©
Acknowledgements: Extract taken from Mindworks

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A tiny brown bird, the Wren is dumpy, almost rounded, with a fine bill, quite long legs and toes, very short round wings and a short, narrow tail which is sometimes cocked up vertically. For such a small bird it has a remarkably loud voice.

The Wren is one of our most widespread breeding birds, found in all but some of the most remote and high-altitude parts of the UK. Despite its abundance – an estimate of 7.7 million breeding territories was made for the population in 2009 – this is a bird that is more often heard than seen.

Images by CRUSH Photography©

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