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  1. Mark Lew1s

    Where to go in July and when to go to Ouessant?

    I think I might have got lucky with all the great shearwaters, but the Manx and the sooty will be all but guaranteed..
  2. Mark Lew1s

    Where to go in July and when to go to Ouessant?

    Sorry, I missed this earlier. Ouessant at the end of August has huge potential for seawatching and waders. I did an early September trip a couple of years ago and the seawatching was terrific by my northern Scottish standards... Trip report here: Ouessant, 2 - 8th September 2017
  3. Mark Lew1s

    Tree pipit? Dovrefjell, Kongsvoll, Norway

    Not really - not sharp enough in picture 1, and certainly not in picture 2.
  4. Mark Lew1s

    Tree pipit? Dovrefjell, Kongsvoll, Norway

    A 'sharp division' sums it up nicely. Although I'd avoid saying this feature is nailed on for tree pipit, it's certainly a useful pointer, and far from useless - especially when used alongside other features.
  5. Mark Lew1s

    Tree pipit? Dovrefjell, Kongsvoll, Norway

    I disagree. Yes, there is difference between the breast streaks and the flank streaks, but there is no obvious contrast between the two, where they meet. I totally agree that this feature is not always useful, but I disagree that it’s completely useless.
  6. Mark Lew1s

    Tree pipit? Dovrefjell, Kongsvoll, Norway

    I think the flank streaking feature has been a little over simplified. It’s not whether the flanks are broad, or narrow, it’s about whether there is an obvious contrast in the breadth of the streaks on the flanks compared to the breast. As both species are quite variable, this feature can be...
  7. Mark Lew1s

    Newton Stewart, Scotland. South American species?

    Yes, it’s a whitethroat.
  8. Mark Lew1s

    Strange-looking Red-backed Shrike? Southern France, 14 june

    More context here: Eastern Red-backed Shrike ssp. kobylini
  9. Mark Lew1s

    Cambridgeshire warbler maybe?

    It’s not too early for a young willow warbler, I’d be pretty cautious about IDing this.
  10. Mark Lew1s

    Birds fae Torry

    Sorry to hear that your feeders are going missing! I should take this opportunity to thank you for putting them up in the first place - they certainly helped the birds and helped me to enjoy them over the winter. So, Thanks!
  11. Mark Lew1s

    Is this Crossbill big-billed enough to be classed as Parrot Crossbill?

    I’d be cautious. The apparent bulk of the bill is enhanced by the way the light shines on the birds head, making the head look smaller (and the bill larger, as a result).
  12. Mark Lew1s

    Eastern France, just south of Strasbourg - Unknown call/song

    I think it could be a chaffinch. Each phrase starts with a rather chiffchaff like call (standard part of chaffinch repertoire) and is then followed by a double note similar to this chaffinch that I recorded the other evening - Common Chaffinch Macaulay Library ML343455631 - my bird went in for...
  13. Mark Lew1s

    some warbler Poland

    Can we really be sure what the PP is from these images? It looks fine for a willow warbler to me
  14. Mark Lew1s

    Warbler ID - Iraq - Basrah

    I don't think you can infer too much about differences between the two subspecies based on two photos. FWIW, I'm not aware of any solid plumage features that can be used to differentiate between willow warbler subspecies. Andy, your Russian bird looks just like many of the willow warblers we see...
  15. Mark Lew1s

    uk today

    Another for ringed plover. It’s hard to get your head round where it’s getting it’s head round, so to speak, but once you’ve worked it out it’s hard to see in any other way
  16. Mark Lew1s

    IDs please RSPB Ham Wall, UK.

    But on picture 4 we can clearly see that the bird has very long undertail coverts. I don’t think that foreshortening could make the undertail coverts long and the tail short at the same time
  17. Mark Lew1s

    IDs please RSPB Ham Wall, UK.

    I think both birds in number 4 are Reed warbler. The top bird has very long undertail coverts and a short tail for a whitethroat
  18. Mark Lew1s

    Common, Scottish, and Parrott Crossbills - separation by excitement call?

    If you can message me the recording (not sure I’ll be able to download it if you attach it here) I can do it. But don’t get your hopes up as separating crossbill sonograms needs a bit of detail which might not be present on a phone recording.
  19. Mark Lew1s

    Common, Scottish, and Parrott Crossbills - separation by excitement call?

    If I’ve understood you correctly, then no, it’s not as easy as this. The patterns of the delivery of the sequence of calls is not as important as the sound (and crucially, sonogram shape) of the individual notes.
  20. Mark Lew1s

    Is this a Chiffchaff?

    Iberian chiffchaff. The call is very different from common chiffchaff
  21. Mark Lew1s

    Meadow or Tree.

    This looks like a meadow pipit to me. Flank streaking is not fine enough (little contrast with the strength of the breast streaking), no pale/dark ear covert spot, quite a fine bill, no buffy wash to the breast contrasting with a white belly, and the leg colour is much better for meadow pipit.
  22. Mark Lew1s

    Are these Skua's? UK

    Not skuas - they look like black-headed gulls to me but it’s hard to be sure.
  23. Mark Lew1s

    Thrush - like ; Wales UK.

    Agree - looks like a skylark
  24. Mark Lew1s

    Cetti's Warbler? Belgium, today

    The first bird is a bluethroat too.