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Old Wednesday 28th June 2006, 20:02   #1
Sancho
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Woodland bird ID help needed, call only!

I´ve already asked about this on another thread, never used this section of the forum before. Last evening, about 9.30pm, in mixed level woodland with a soggy bottom, south of Bray, Ireland, I had very brief unsatisfactory views of a passerine moving through the very top of the tree canopy. It was making an unusual alarm call that I haven´t heard before. A harsh "tchack" or "tchup" (depending on how you pronounce it!), repeated five to seven times, then a aspirated "Hveeoo", descending slightly in tone on the last "oo", and sounding like an intake of breath through clenched teeth. So it went something like this: "Tchack, Tchack, Tchack, Tchack-Tchack, Hveeoo". All I saw was a light brown underbelly on a bird the size and shape of a blackcap, as it flitted from tree to tree. The "Tchack" call was much fuller and rounder than the ticking calls of robin or wren. Sorry there´s not much to go on, but the light was fading and the foliage was dense. I can´t find anything like the call on any of the CD´s I have. I´ve tried the usual suspects, plus redstart, to no avail. Any ideas, anyone? Thanks!
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2006, 21:31   #2
Jane Turner
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Blackcap is possible - I was thinking that before you mentioned it was the size and shape of a Blackcap

From BWP:
In recording of bird alarmed by squirrel Sciurus near fledglings, a wheezy 'wheeu' or 'huwihu' very like Wigeon Anas penelope (J Hall-Craggs, W T C Seale), also nasal, mainly rising sound very like Brambling Fringilla montifringilla, interspersed in longer series of call 4a (P J Sellar), e.g. 'tak tak wheeu'.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2006, 23:25   #3
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first thing that came to mind was Greenfinch for me on account of the 'chup' (can be quite emphatic) and 'hveeoo' (wheezy) but I can't say I know a GF vocalisation that resembles a 'tchak' ..
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Old Thursday 29th June 2006, 09:40   #4
Richard D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by London Birder
first thing that came to mind was Greenfinch for me on account of the 'chup' (can be quite emphatic) and 'hveeoo' (wheezy) but I can't say I know a GF vocalisation that resembles a 'tchak' ..
I'd have said Greenfinch too - some of the vocalisations are quite harsh and very varied. To my ears they also frequently make 'sneering' noises.
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Old Thursday 29th June 2006, 18:39   #5
Sancho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Blackcap is possible - I was thinking that before you mentioned it was the size and shape of a Blackcap

From BWP:
In recording of bird alarmed by squirrel Sciurus near fledglings, a wheezy 'wheeu' or 'huwihu' very like Wigeon Anas penelope (J Hall-Craggs, W T C Seale), also nasal, mainly rising sound very like Brambling Fringilla montifringilla, interspersed in longer series of call 4a (P J Sellar), e.g. 'tak tak wheeu'.
Sincerest thanks for that, Jane Turner, LondonBirder, and Richard D. Great to have the advice. I think I´ll go with Jane´s suggestion, it looked more Blackcap-shaped, and the wheeze wasn´t quite as nasal as Greenfinches, the "Tchack" also being a more robust affair than you´d expect from a finch. Interesting about the BWP info, the wood where I saw/heard the bird has a mixed population of red and grey squirrels, still co-existing. This bird was quite agitated, I wonder if the the wheezing call is something Blackcap´s use to signal specifically a squirrel threat? (There might be a PhD in that, someone! )
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Old Thursday 29th June 2006, 19:00   #6
lou salomon
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hi sancho,

no, they (blackcaps) use this wheezing sound quite often, not connected to squirrel presence.
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