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Blyth's Reed, Marsh or just Reed @ Whitley Bay?

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Old Tuesday 18th October 2005, 23:06   #1
steveevans
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Blyth's Reed, Marsh or just Reed @ Whitley Bay?

I managed to get a little video footage of the Acrocephalus Warbler @ Whitley Bay today. Most people who were there, including myself, considered the bird to be a Reed Warbler & a different bird from yesterday. I've added a few stills & I apologise for the poor quality as this bird wasn't very photogenic.
I'd welcome any feedback.
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 08:53   #2
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Steve !

So what was the criteria that the bird was RW ?
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 09:29   #3
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Looks remarkably Marsh like in the 3rd photo - white undertail coverts, stout bill, warm brown colour. Having said that the wings don't look particularly long. Amazing how birds manage to position themsleves for photos so as to obscure most the id features!
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 09:59   #4
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I agree with Mark, bird looks quite much Marsh,...
also the shape of head will refer to Marsh too,...
possibly pale lower mandible in pic 1 and the colour of supercilium may rule out BRW,

Did you heard any voice ?

Last edited by hannu : Wednesday 19th October 2005 at 10:05.
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 10:23   #5
Jane Turner
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More likely of course to be a fuscus reed warbler this late in the season. No hope of telling from these pics though
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2005, 10:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
More likely of course to be a fuscus reed warbler this late in the season. No hope of telling from these pics though
If I remember right, we have also some October observations from Marsh warbler here from Finland.
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Old Thursday 27th October 2005, 20:55   #7
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I considered a long time about this case and I looked for more details about this case.
But I make a new conclusion during this waiting, so I changed my mind.
I'd vote for Reed Warbler.

In my mind, the supercilium seems clearly to be too colourful (rufous) for Marsh,
if we compare it to the colour of throat.
Also in my mind, this kind of colour contrast has not typical to Marsh Warbler.

Even the bill seems to be so stout, but it maybe variate more in Reed Warblers than I know. Reed Warblers are quite rare here in East Finland, because we have not so much suitable breeding places like reed beds. Blyth's Reed Warbler is the most common bird, if we compare to the amount of breeding pairs with these 2 species mentioned above in my area.

The shape of head can variate because of standing.
Head seems to be quite dark, but it can also due to darkish.

But I must still do research,
how big difference are between Reed Warbler's supercilium and forehead !
Maybe irrelevance of light underline too much the contrast of colours ?!

I wonder still the colour of flanks, does it yellowish beige or pale yellowish brown ?

I can not say more about this bird.

Last edited by hannu : Thursday 27th October 2005 at 21:03.
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Old Friday 28th October 2005, 09:37   #8
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I've mentioned before in a thread similar to this, don't dismiss the real possibility of Blyth's Reed Warbler hybrid. Whereas in areas such as Hannu's, I believe there is little cross breeding (not being at the very fringe of their range), here Blyth are at the very western extreme of their breeding range and the birds do cross breed - some years ago, a small Blyth population seemed to be establishing on my local patch ...was about six or so singing males (has since dwindled). However, on catching for ringing, biometrics of a good proportion were not perfect and indicative of hybrids.


PS and as these hybrids seem to be a feature of the fringes of the population, i.e. western edge, these birds are geographically closer to the UK than many of the 'pure' birds, so the chances of them getting to the UK are reasonable at least.
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Old Friday 28th October 2005, 10:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
I've mentioned before in a thread similar to this, don't dismiss the real possibility of Blyth's Reed Warbler hybrid. Whereas in areas such as Hannu's, I believe there is little cross breeding (not being at the very fringe of their range), here Blyth are at the very western extreme of their breeding range and the birds do cross breed - some years ago, a small Blyth population seemed to be establishing on my local patch ...was about six or so singing males (has since dwindled). However, on catching for ringing, biometrics of a good proportion were not perfect and indicative of hybrids.
We have been here at least one possible apparent hybrid (Marsh x Blyth's) in the South coast of Finland, about which one of our specialist will intend to publish finnish/english notice soon. Also that article will handle the identification of Blyth's Reed Warbler. A lot of articles from the subject has already published, but there are a little more to make up !

Last edited by hannu : Friday 28th October 2005 at 10:36.
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 13:59   #10
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I know it has been ages since this thread was last posted but I am interested in this and I don't think a conclusion weas reached on this one.
Earlier today I had been studying my bird books to try and learn differences between Marsh, Reed and Blyth's.
I am not that experienced with warblers, but studying these pictures is giving me some practice picking the key points out.
From what I read you can distinguish Blyth's from reed by the dark tip to the lower mandilble, which, unless I am mistaken is apparent here.
However the supercillium is too coloured for Blyth's. The eye ring at is not prominent at the top of the eye (probably) singling out Marsh.
Blyth's are meant to have a shorter primary projection than Marsh or reed. THe wings do look short but it is hard to see in these images.
I am left with the conclusion that this is porbably just a reed warbler with a dark bill, but it could be Blyth's, I don't know. This is ther first time I have tried to distinguish these species in a photo. Don't take my opinion because it is probably wrong and I am already going through enough trying to learn female Harriers, Petrels and distant juvenile Skuas!
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 14:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Devil Bird View Post
I know it has been ages since this thread was last posted but I am interested in this and I don't think a conclusion weas reached on this one.
Earlier today I had been studying my bird books to try and learn differences between Marsh, Reed and Blyth's.
I am not that experienced with warblers, but studying these pictures is giving me some practice picking the key points out.
From what I read you can distinguish Blyth's from reed by the dark tip to the lower mandilble, which, unless I am mistaken is apparent here.
However the supercillium is too coloured for Blyth's. The eye ring at is not prominent at the top of the eye (probably) singling out Marsh.
Blyth's are meant to have a shorter primary projection than Marsh or reed. THe wings do look short but it is hard to see in these images.
I am left with the conclusion that this is porbably just a reed warbler with a dark bill, but it could be Blyth's, I don't know. This is ther first time I have tried to distinguish these species in a photo. Don't take my opinion because it is probably wrong and I am already going through enough trying to learn female Harriers, Petrels and distant juvenile Skuas!
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 23:20   #12
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got to be a marsh with pure white throat like that.
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Old Tuesday 14th August 2007, 23:53   #13
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2007, 18:06   #14
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Hi

The apparent dark tip to the lower mandible is just an effect caused by a leaf partially obscuring the bill. It would be a brave birder to put a conclusive name to this one, but gut feeling is strongly pointing to Reed Warbler. The white throat is certainly no barrier this. See http://www.stevenround-birdphotograp...-warbler-7.jpg for just one example.
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Old Wednesday 15th August 2007, 20:18   #15
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Hi

The apparent dark tip to the lower mandible is just an effect caused by a leaf partially obscuring the bill. .
Could even be a bit of dirt, can't imagine this feature being that reliable, also extent of darkness on bills varies on many same species birds I see. Non singing Blyths, Reed, Marsh are inseparable with any reliability in the field perhaps maybe with very good photos.
Although having said that, in pics where bill is square on it looks too long for Marsh.
Without strong evidense to the contrary I can't see anything that doesn't point to it being the most likeliest, Reed.
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