Myrtle Warbler - Setophaga coronata

On Sunday morning October 13th 1996 everyone of Deception Tours was either asleep (like I was) or at breakfast. Some die-hards were outdoors already and a light fog was coming out of the sea. At the churchyard in the village two birders (Tom van der Have and a Belgium birder, Guido Bulteel) found a Dendroica warbler independent from each other at 9.30 hours. At first glance they thought it was a Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata).
In no time all birders present on the island gathered and at 10.30 hours Paul Schrijvershof found the bird in the garden of the hotel where almost everybody stayed! Rob Goldbach heard the bird calling and immediately remarked it was not a Blackpoll, but a Myrtle Warbler Dendroica coronata, the first for the Netherlands! Everybody had good looks of this beautiful bird, causing scenes only to be observed on soccer pitches after the winning goal is scored! At 16:00 hours the first boat from the mainland arrived, bringing another 95 birders at the scene and showing more happy birders.

13 October 1996, Oost-Vlieland, Vlieland Fr; © Arnoud van den Berg.
13 October 1996, Oost-Vlieland, Vlieland Fr; © Arnoud van den Berg.
15 October 1996, Oost-Vlieland, Vlieland Fr; © René van Rossum.

The bird stayed till Tuesday October 15th 1996 and it appeared to be an adult male in winter plumage and ruled out Audubon's Warbler (which nowadays is considered a separate species, D auduboni), because of the tail-pattern (see the second picture). This is the first record for the Netherlands and the first Dendroica-warbler for the Netherlands too (cf Dutch Birding 18: 271, 281 and 283, 1996). We were always lying in the shadow of Great Britain and we never expected to see one, but now we believe everything is possible! Vlieland has 5 North American passerines: 3 Red-Eyed Vireos, 1 Baltimore Oriole and 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler. In 2012 the genus name Dendroica was changed into Setophaga.

Now you can go to the main-index, or to the 1996-index or the next species, the Isabelline Wheatear.