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Reed? Warblers, Spain

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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 15:05   #1
opisska
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Reed? Warblers, Spain

So I set off to the reedbeds of Andalusia to try to get some picture of the Reed Warblers, in hope some of those may be good enough to be discussed within the African/Eurasian questions ...

... and the best ones I got were those and they left me utterly confused. There were two birds, who looked like they were interacting. I am not exactly sure which one is which, but some shots seem to show a much less rusty bird than others and where rump is visible, the lack of rufous is surprising to me. A lot of Reed Warbler song has been heard in the area (Humedal de Padul), but also other warblers, including a likely Western Olivaceous; those two obviously did not sing (otherwise I wouldn't be having stupid questions like this).

So before are start counting the emarginations, are those even Reed warblers or what?
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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 15:40   #2
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According to my ruler....images 1,2,3 and 5 appear to conform to Eurasian Reed Warbler on wing points, ie pp being c 2/3 of overlying tertials.

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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 15:57   #3
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According to my ruler....images 1,2,3 and 5 appear to conform to Eurasian Reed Warbler on wing points, ie pp being c 2/3 of overlying tertials.

Cheers
Pardon me being a little slow person here :) So these are Reed Warblers, despite the general lack of rufous in some shors, even on the rump, but the primary length makes them rather Eurasian than African in the IOC sense of considering ambiguus being African?
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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 18:31   #4
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Pardon me being a little slow person here :) So these are Reed Warblers, despite the general lack of rufous in some shors, even on the rump, but the primary length makes them rather Eurasian than African in the IOC sense of considering ambiguus being African?
Cosmetics can be variable in unstreaked Acros, being very much dependant on lighting, age wear and tear etc. The “governor” (wing biometrics imo is the only real constant as I understand it).

Phylloscs. are another example where similar rules apply, relying on wing biometrics and emarginations to help facilitate an ID.

The subspecies (one of eight taxa) “ambiguous” has a very short pp up to 50% I believe, the same as one of the other un-streaked Acro.subspecies of the region A.baeticatus, although not currently recognised, there is talk of these two taxa becoming possible splits in the future?

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Old Wednesday 12th June 2019, 19:19   #5
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Cosmetics can be variable in unstreaked Acros, being very much dependant on lighting, age wear and tear etc. The “governor” (wing biometrics imo is the only real constant as I understand it).

Phylloscs. are another example where similar rules apply, relying on wing biometrics and emarginations to help facilitate an ID.

The subspecies (one of eight taxa) “ambiguous” has a very short pp up to 50% I believe, the same as one of the other un-streaked Acro.subspecies of the region A.baeticatus, although not currently recognised, there is talk of these two taxa becoming possible splits in the future?

Cheers
Well, I have been in the other thread, so I am aware of the subspecies, that's what I am looking for. But from there, I couldn't find a conclusion about the primary projection of ambiguus, because the linked materials often reffer to "african reed warbler" which at the time of writing probably did not even include ambiguus. And I generally suck in applying those things in real world ...

If colouring is unreliable, how do you gather that those aren't Western Olivaceous Warblers though? I can't google any "shape" differences (Collins doesn't have this stuff, sadly).
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 07:30   #6
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If colouring is unreliable, how do you gather that those aren't Western Olivaceous Warblers though? I can't google any "shape" differences (Collins doesn't have this stuff, sadly).
The Hippolais/Iduna group are different in that they have “short” UTC’s, generally more square ended tails, with the Iduna’s having a distinctly greyish cast to the upper-parts, whereas your images are very much warmer (brown), also their posture/jizz is invariably more upright and less “horizontal” in their movement.

Regarding the Acro.group of the region, I was blissfully unaware of this phenomena until quite recently and was very surprised to find these races of short-winged “non tran-Saharan’s” over-Wintering. Perhaps a visit at this time (Winter) to the region might be more rewarding?

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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 09:31   #7
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The Hippolais/Iduna group are different in that they have “short” UTC’s, generally more square ended tails, with the Iduna’s having a distinctly greyish cast to the upper-parts, whereas your images are very much warmer (brown), also their posture/jizz is invariably more upright and less “horizontal” in their movement.

Regarding the Acro.group of the region, I was blissfully unaware of this phenomena until quite recently and was very surprised to find these races of short-winged “non tran-Saharan’s” over-Wintering. Perhaps a visit at this time (Winter) to the region might be more rewarding?

Cheers
Would you mind expanding what "UTC" is? Due to this Greenwich thing, it is desperately un-googleable :)

I think I would really need some book on the question of Warbler ID by structure, because these things keep popping up here and there, but I still don't really understand much of it. To me, this bird does look like a Reed Warbler (minus the colouration) but I can't really say why, it's more of a feeling thing and I should improve upon that.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 09:33   #8
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Under tail coverts
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 10:24   #9
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Under tail coverts
But could also be Upper tail coverts . . . an ambiguous acronym best avoided, like 'B T Godwit'
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 13:57   #10
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Found another one from Guadalhorce, but when the bird is not from above, how do you measure PP? Looks short-winged to me though ...
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 15:57   #11
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Found another one from Guadalhorce, but when the bird is not from above, how do you measure PP? Looks short-winged to me though ...
It does indeed look shorter-winged....

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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 16:03   #12
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It does indeed look shorter-winged....

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Is it short-winged enough though?
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 17:27   #13
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Is it short-winged enough though?
In all honesty....I don’t know!...however, If it was shot in Dec/Jan it might be in with a chance.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 17:58   #14
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In all honesty....I don’t know!...however, If it was shot in Dec/Jan it might be in with a chance.
Are you sure about them wintering? I thought they Moroccan ones are wintering, but the Spanish ones migrate to Morocco at least? I have been to Andalusia in winter and never noticed any Reed Warblers at all, but it was quite a long time ago when I was not so much into birds yet.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 21:30   #15
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Are you sure about them wintering? I thought they Moroccan ones are wintering, but the Spanish ones migrate to Morocco at least? I have been to Andalusia in winter and never noticed any Reed Warblers at all, but it was quite a long time ago when I was not so much into birds yet.
FWIW in Dec.2014 and 2018/19 un-streaked Acros.were present in London, both during freezing conditions, they were both long-winged, the 2014 bird having gingery upper-parts and white under-parts with yellow bare parts, the later bird was pale upper-parts and again white unders. The first bird was imaged primarily because it was ''isolated'' within a small contained area, although was not found on every visit.

However the more recent bird although imaged once, was not subsequently, despite people occasionally looking for it, both birds being silent at this time certainly didn't help.

The point being that if RW can over-winter this far North, it shouldn't be surprising that a shorter-winged race (non-tran-Saharan) might do the same further South in North Africa/Iberian peninsula?

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 01:22   #16
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But could also be Upper tail coverts . . . an ambiguous acronym best avoided, like 'B T Godwit'
Agreed, and easy source of misunderstanding.
'Y-b bunting' is another that annoys me in Hong Kong (where yellow-breasted and yellow-browed are possible)


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The point being that if RW can over-winter this far North, it shouldn't be surprising that a shorter-winged race (non-tran-Saharan) might do the same further South in North Africa/Iberian peninsula?
Ken, aren't you arguing against yourself here? If scirpaceus can winter in freezing London, then it could also winter in Iberia - so a reed warbler in Spain in winter could still be either taxon, not a guaranteed ambiguus.
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 07:32   #17
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Agreed, and easy source of misunderstanding.
'Y-b bunting' is another that annoys me in Hong Kong (where yellow-breasted and yellow-browed are possible)

Ken, aren't you arguing against yourself here? If scirpaceus can winter in freezing London, then it could also winter in Iberia - so a reed warbler in Spain in winter could still be either taxon, not a guaranteed ambiguus.
John, I’m commenting on some material that was sent to me last week regarding the existence of a number of taxons which I’d never heard of, one of which was A.ambiguous showing very short rounded wings, quite unlike A.scirpaceous. Needless to say I found this somewhat intriguing, with Spanish/Moroccan and African Reed Warbler being mentioned (with the first two as putative short distance migrants) in the article, with possibilities of being split in the future.....?
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 08:13   #18
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Whoever named a species ‘ambiguous’ was certainly playing it safe

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 08:28   #19
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Whoever named a species ‘ambiguous’ was certainly playing it safe

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 09:50   #20
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Fascinating stuff zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Actually, if we wait long enough I’m sure someone will be proposing Balearic Reed Warbler as another possible species
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 09:57   #21
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Stop talking Balearics.....
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 10:00   #22
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Fascinating stuff zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Actually, if we wait long enough I’m sure someone will be proposing Balearic Reed Warbler as another possible species
But it actually is fascinating. Maybe not everyone stumbling onto this thread has read this one where the topic is discussed, in particular the two linked papers

http://www.magornitho.org/files/2016...ed-warbler.pdf
https://www.dutchbirding.nl/journal/..._1.pdf#page=33

are quite interesting - there apparently has been a rather differing population of Reed Warbler in Morocco, under everyone's nose, in an easily accessed country, until a few years ago? How is that not fascinating!
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 10:14   #23
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It is

I watched Reed Warblers in Maroc at Oulidia, aware that there are supposed to be different ones, i could not fathom any audible or discernible difference so maybe it is biometrics?

On a different note i am very much looking forward to visiting Poland for 10 days birding on Saturday My first new fact is that i did not know Chopin was Polish.....despite naming the airport we land at after him

Good Birding -

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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 10:33   #24
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It is

I watched Reed Warblers in Maroc at Oulidia, aware that there are supposed to be different ones, i could not fathom any audible or discernible difference so maybe it is biometrics?

On a different note i am very much looking forward to visiting Poland for 10 days birding on Saturday My first new fact is that i did not know Chopin was Polish.....despite naming the airport we land at after him

Good Birding -

Laurie
Enjoy Poland! If you need something in particular, you can drop me a message here. The only drawback is that it is quite late in the season for a lot of things (don't even dream about Greater Snipe in June imo) and that after the heatwave we had in the last week, the mosquitoes are out of bounds. Be glad you land at Chopin, because Modlin is infested including all indoors areas - but looking at people dancing madly around the baggage claim trying to get bitten as little as possible was quite fun :)
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 10:33   #25
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No more humour from me then (sighs of relief echoing around the Birdforum world no doubt).
I’m still having an internal debate over whether to add Balearic Flycatcher to my life list after visiting Majorca in late May 1980......
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