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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 22:01   #1
myoudale
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Eastern Chiffchaff

Its always about this time of year the reports of eastern chiffchaff comes flooding in.
Today we had an interetsing bird spending a lot of time in the bottom of willows. The bird in question was first picked up by the simple monosymbolic 'peep' call it gave off.
When the bird was found it was I.D'd as a eastern chiffchaff and discussions were had about scandinavian or siberian.

The only pictures that were got of the bird can be found below but it didnt show long enough to get a good photo.

One this that did strike me other than the call was the black alula with slight yellow/green colouration on the wing. Also a very prominant white eyering, which sadly neither photo shows. Maybe this was enhanced by the darker colour on the cheak... The super also had no yellow colouration and was very pale.

Also of note was the buff colouration on its underside. Sadly the out of focus pictures makes it look like it was a yellow bird, but as you may see in the other it is very clean undeneath.
The back seems to be a more brown colour than what i would expect with collybita.
As mentioned before tristis was mentioned as was abietinus.

Any ideas from the poor picture quality and just as bad description would be very welcome.

Thanks in advance

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/4185/z3c7231.jpg
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/7676/z3c7232.jpg
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 22:09   #2
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its hard to tell a lot from your photo's but it does seem very buffy underneath. Sibe's tend to be very brown above and very white below, with very restricted buff flanks. Some of the far northern population of abietinus have a call very similar to tristis.
sorry i can't be more help
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 22:14   #3
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Every reply is helpful. Thanks for your comments.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 08:17   #4
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If it gives monosyllabic "peeep" call it's definetly not from Scandinavia :)

I haven't heard about a Chiffchaff with tristis-call or -song that wasn't a tristis. So it's pretty safe to say your bird is one.

BTW, sound recordings are much more usefull than photos when it comes to Chiffchaffs.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 08:32   #5
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I'm coming up to Caerlaverock from Brum tomorrow so I hope it still there.
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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 09:54   #6
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myoudale

How experienced are you with tristis vs abietinus calls? I only ask, as yesterday I had two abietinus and one collybita at Southwold churchyard, and the two called quite differently. At times the abietinus calls may have been likened to a single 'peep', but in fact were subtly different to that which I associate with tristis. The call was slightly shrill and with care at times subtly disyllabic, as opposed to tristis which is very plaintive.

Your images don't help I am afraid.

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Old Thursday 11th November 2010, 16:44   #7
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Im more familer with tristis call to be fair mainly due to the amount of things i have read about the birds and their identification through call.
I did slightly lean to abietinus however, i thought the hi pitched peep call which didnt trail off would be more like tristis.
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Old Friday 12th November 2010, 07:16   #8
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I thought it was a bit of a misnomer to say that true tristis are much paler / whiter. especially underneath?
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