Hope no-one minds me starting a thread that has probably been covered over many years in individual threads but I'm ashamed to say that I only really started to look closely at UK Warblers around five years ago. I'm very ashamed to say that until then I hadn't payed them a great deal of attention, viewing them all as "SBBs", criminal I know.
Considering that they're one of the broader ranging of UK species though, with around 17 (?) species usually present in the UK, I think that maybe they merit their own thread (or even their own section) to discuss the differences and clarify identification for some of us with the help of some of the more experienced birders.
I've come to know Reedies, Sedge, Willow and Grasshopper quite well now as well as Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, Firecrest and Goldcrest are obviously not too difficult either but that still leaves plenty of room for error on my part with all of those others.
These are the UK Warblers as I currently understand them:
.....and these are potential problem identifications as I see them:
.....and then of course we get species like Olivaceous and Melodious as well.
Surely there's plenty of opportunity for discussion and comparison there.
Examples of potential problem areas:
Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler (the old cherry)
Possibly less simple:
Wood Warbler & Garden Warbler
Marsh Warbler & Reed Warbler
Now I fully understand that for those that have been looking at Warblers in detail for many years; the differences are probably ridiculously obvious and I know that song can play a large part in identification but for some of us lesser mortals (me) the differences are not always so obvious or memorable.
So may I start a ball rolling with "the old cherry"....Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler?
When I was young there was an apparently mythical difference in the eye-stripe, true or false? These days I see little difference in the eye-stripe and tend to rely upon colouration, jizz and song.
Any Warbler experts out there? what are your main distinguishing features for these birds?
Anyone willing to stick their necks out on Wood and Garden or any of the others? Any experiences of your own identification problems or past mistakes?
So if anyone feels the urge to join me and my battles with Warblers, please feel free to stick your oar in here.
If anyone does pick this up and riun with it, I may of course sit back and watch the experts with just the occasional question thrown in.
Over to the Warbler Experts if you fancy it..........