On a recent visit to Spurn i was informed of a confiding Yellow-browed Warbler in the Crown and Anchor car park.
All images taken with a panasonic GH3 on a Swarovski 80. Good digiscoping!!
It was already late in the day this afternoon with light beginning to fade. A few of us were hoping for some more views of the Radde’s Warbler. Walking back up the last hedge at Flamborough I heard a call. My mind flitted momentarily with a wader overhead (like Golden Plover) and tristis Chiffchaff. No not the wader. The cogs were whirring in the brain. It’s surely that familiar sound of a note perfect Siberian Chiffchaff.
Can’t remember declaring one on call before even seeing any kind of a bird. Eventually the pale warbler appeared- loverly!
More of these please.
(photos on high ISO in rapidly fading light)
An adult male ‘subalpine warbler’ was found 2 days ago (Friday) by Trev Charlton. It’s been in the news as an Eastern Subalpine Warbler. I chatted to him today as he finally nailed some flight shots. It’s bothering him. Now I have seen his photos its bothering me too.
How much weight do you put in your words. We could skirt around with… It might be one, it’s other Eastern or Moltoni’s or… what I really want to say (from the photos) it surely looks a good Moltoni’s candidate! (P.S. I bet it is one !)
The call is really needed to clinch the ID so here’s hoping for tomorrow. Trevor has done all the leg work- he’s just bouncing ideas off me. I agree with where he’s going.
The photos appear to show
1) an adult male type tail with no white intrusion up T5
2) soft pastel plumage tones kinda spot on ‘salmon-pink’ for Moltoni’s and perhaps a little too extensive for Eastern. Colour described as like cheap pink tinned salmon.
3) a rather thin white ‘sub-mustachio stripe’ (caveats about that feature but noted nevertheless)
4) there appears to be some moult limits- old and new feathers in flight feathers which should be all new in Eastern and Western but variable in the wacky moult of Moltoni’s
All this is explained in the book which has helped Trevor and of course this is what it’s for!
Here is an adult male Moltoni’s Warbler which is featured in the Challenge Series: AUTUMN. These excellent photos were taken by Ole Krome on Helgoland in October 2009
Then here are Trevor’s photos of the bird presently at Porthgwarra, Cornwall.
Look at the list of characters above. Compare them with the photos below.
Could be an interesting next few days…
Certainly we will learn something!
Great find by the young gun Lee J. Delighted that hard work of Flamborough Bird Observatory team made for conditions by which a couple of us could go and locate the bird enabling it to be seen by lots of visitors.
Was heard to call giving typical Radde’s calls – so that chance of Yellow-streaked Warbler was eliminated. More on ID of Radde’s and Yellow streaked of course in the Challenge Series.
Having some breakfast
Paul’s been writing of rather gripping exploits once again on his favourite autumn patch on Gambell. And if you fancy an ID challenge there’s one of those giant Bean Geese thrown in to the mix. Of course it’s ‘carrier’ species isn’t the same as ours read on…
“We have all sorts of good photos of stuff this fall both Asian and North American…
There has also been a slug of good birds farther to the south at the Pribilofs, also with excellent photos, (things like Siberian Chiffchaff, Red-flanked Bluetail, Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Taiga Flycatcher, Dusky Warbler, Jack Snipe, Garganey, Common Rosefinch, etc.–though not any great North American strays like we have had).
BTW, we’ve had some very good Asian species this year (e.g., 2 Tree Pipits, Yellow-browed and 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Brown Shrikes, Common Rosefinch, Eurasian Hobby, the goose, juvenile Red-necked Stints) and even some better North American waifs–which would obviously make big Eastern Palearctic news if someone ever saw them in Russia: NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, Red-eyed Vireo, Mourning Warbler, Least and Alder Flycatchers, Rusty Blackbird, Townsend’s Warbler, etc.
Then on 30th September on the ABA blog:
“News from western Alaska, Paul Lehman and company found a number of noteworthy birds highlighted by an ABA Code 4 Red-flanked Bluetail and also including Rustic Bunting (3) and two Little Buntings (4), at Gambell, on St. Lawrence Island. Read more
We found a Bean-Goose this afternoon (16th September), below Troutman Lake, flying by
with an Emperor Goose. See one of my photos, attached. The bird was
HUGE–seemingly 1-1/2 times the size of the Emperor in both body bulk
and wingspan when observed in the field. And the bill shape looks
With a fair bit of talk about blythi- Siberian Lesser Whitethroat- on the blog recently I felt the need to bring some basics; helped by this little fella on my patio a few days ago. I can’ be 100% sure but this fits my search image for European Lesser Whitethroat just fine. I think that’s what it is (as opposed to Siberian).
Compare with THIS BIRD and info
Here’ s a little showcase of what the common expected taxon looks like- to help me be prepared for the rare stuff. For more on separating European, Siberian and Desert Lesser Whitethroats see The Challenge Series: AUTUMN.
Sticking one’s neck out can be a bit risky. Claiming Siberian Lesser Whitethroats in the first week of September might sound a bit rash. Yet the characters seemed to be there. One bird at Spurn over the Migration Festival and one at Flamborough 7th-8th Sept.
It’s got SIBERIAN in the name and molecular data suggests blythi should be treated as different species from European nominate birds. And they are a great ID challenge.
Here’s the Flamborough bird again:
More on the Flamborough bird is here
Lots more on identifying Siberian and Desert Lesser Whitethroat in THIS BOOK!
Peter de Knijff sent a most encouraging email with this remarkable news:
A second bird also reported as DNA confirmed blythi in Europe in August. So we were on the money. As autumn progress more blythi will occur and less nominate curruca. Are you ready?
There have been a scattering of records of apparent candidates in the last week inc. in east Scotland (Darren Woodhead), Filey (Mark Pearson) and Norfolk (Richard Milllington. Where will yours be?
Some shots of the Spurn bird on 7th Sept by Sam Viles:
One at Portland Bird Observatory on 13th September this year proved interesting. Thanks to Joe Stockwell and Martin Cade for their input. This bird had less striking plumage than the Spurn and Flamborough birds (though think prob. OK for blythi) and short p2. Martin does a superb job at photographing birds in the hand.
He does a very useful thing with white balance settings in the last 3 shots. This illustrates that photos can be quite misleading. Appearance in the field is what counts- more tips on watching and fieldcraft with Lesser Whitethroats in the Challenge Series: AUTUMN