Cetti’s Warbler was first recorded in the county back in autumn 2007 and since then has expanded its range, albeit very slowly, but it remains a genuinely very rare bird away from its stronghold of the Wigan Flashes to Pennington Flash ‘corridor’ with more recent records away from here including Hope Carr NR and Worsley Filtration Lagoons. Given this, it has always rightly been a county rarity and required a submission to be provided to the county rarities committee.
Given that obtaining a description of any Cetti’s is difficult enough due to their generally very elusive nature, this has hampered submissions to the committee of ‘new’ individuals and yet their distinctive and usually often given song generally immediately identifies them. With county birders becoming increasingly familiar with the song of this species and in order to fully appreciate and record their status and distribution in the county, the county rarities committee unanimously voted to remove the requirement for a submission to be provided to the committee for singing birds only.
Non-singing birds will still require a submission to be provided to the committee though and with proven mis-identifications occurring even recently in the county, the committee felt this was entirely necessary and justified.
We strongly urge records of singing birds to be formally submitted to the Greater Manchester Bird Recording Group though, so a clear picture of their status and distribution can be maintained, along with any necessary conservation of areas they may occur in. Anyone fortunate enough to encounter a Cetti’s away from their core range in the county should therefore contact the county recorder or consult the record submission page.
All the best, Ian