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Western Olivaceous Warbler? Spain

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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 10:01   #1
opisska
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Western Olivaceous Warbler? Spain

This bird appeared in a place where a WOW song was clearly heard and reacted to the respective tape, but I am still not sure whether it actually is one. In some shots, it looks rather disturbingly rufous, but I am being repeatedly told that this is not a very reliable thing in photos, so maybe it is still good?
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:28   #2
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Western Olivaceous Warbler opisska.

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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:38   #3
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Western Olivaceous Warbler opisska.

Cheers
Thanks! You see, I may not be completely clueless .... sometimes.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:39   #4
Phil Andrews
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Looks OK to me - similar vegetation to where I saw my only sighting (Archena).
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:48   #5
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Looks OK to me - similar vegetation to where I saw my only sighting (Archena).
Tamarisks (Tamarix spp.)



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Originally Posted by opisska View Post
In some shots, it looks rather disturbingly rufous, but I am being repeatedly told that this is not a very reliable thing in photos, so maybe it is still good?
Correct - the tamarisk foliage in your first two pics also looks too rufous-toned, so it is a photographic colour balance error.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:05   #6
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Tamarisks (Tamarix spp.)





Correct - the tamarisk foliage in your first two pics also looks too rufous-toned, so it is a photographic colour balance error.
Yeah, I think I am gonna get myself a colored palette and put it into the same locations as the bird and take a shot of it later for birds where ID is critical - we do something like that with mammals and a ruler and it comes pretty handy.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 12:34   #7
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Yeah, I think I am gonna get myself a colored palette and put it into the same locations as the bird and take a shot of it later for birds where ID is critical - we do something like that with mammals and a ruler and it comes pretty handy.
Unfortunately, I suspect that wouldn't work - the colour imbalance seems pretty random when it hits. I'll often take a series of pics of a bird, and one or two of the pics (all taken with the same lighting conditions, etc.) will suddenly be much redder, or much bluer, etc., than the rest. But it is fairly easy to correct in photoshop afterwards.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 13:02   #8
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Unfortunately, I suspect that wouldn't work - the colour imbalance seems pretty random when it hits. I'll often take a series of pics of a bird, and one or two of the pics (all taken with the same lighting conditions, etc.) will suddenly be much redder, or much bluer, etc., than the rest. But it is fairly easy to correct in photoshop afterwards.
But what do you correct it to? How do you know what is the right balance? I know people do that, but I think for ID, this is a really slippery slope, because you can make the bird almost any tint this way. If you use the reference palette in the same spot, you at least know what color the surroundings of the bird are supposed to be and then you can correct the bird-containing photo to that.

Never forget that the human eye is subject to all sorts of biases while looking at pictures, so even though you thing you are making this bush the right color in your best consideration, you may do the complete opposite if the bush is wedged between other things of a specific color.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 14:30   #9
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But what do you correct it to?
I guess partly to the 'average' of what the photos look like, and partly (mainly) to my experience of the surrounding vegetation etc., i.e., using the vegetation as a surrogate colour card. But yes, it is subjective and I may well get it wrong at times.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 14:54   #10
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Can you say where it was Opisska? It's a bird I need to make a special trip for one summer, and Ito would be good to know as many sites as poss. It's my last remaining breeding bird I still need in Iberia.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 15:03   #11
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If it's any use Larry we saw a couple at La Rocina in South West Spain last year, on the western fringe of Donana, last week of May.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 15:10   #12
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Can you say where it was Opisska? It's a bird I need to make a special trip for one summer, and Ito would be good to know as many sites as poss. It's my last remaining breeding bird I still need in Iberia.
This is in Almeria, where "Rio" Andarax "flows" into the ocean. There was, expectedly no water in the "river" whatsoever and the bird was some 500 meters "upstream" - there is a small dam, the place is easily noticed. The valley is surrounded by concrete walls, the only way down we found was walking from the beach.

I am also pretty sure I heard one in Humedal de Padul near Granada, but couldn't see it. Ebird has plenty of locations, but for example in Guadalhorce estuary, we did not find any, despite plenty of reports on Ebird. They definitely do not seem very common in Andalusia at all, but I heard they are quite easy in Morocco.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 15:59   #13
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Can you say where it was Opisska? It's a bird I need to make a special trip for one summer, and Ito would be good to know as many sites as poss. It's my last remaining breeding bird I still need in Iberia.
I've found Western Olivaceous Warbler rather more widespread than some sources suggest in SW Spain and fairly easy to find if not always easy to see in their preferred habitat. The key thing is to find somewhere with plenty of tamarisk (not in short supply thankfully) and then you'll find the bird. I can think of a dozen or so sites in Seville/Cadiz/Malaga provinces where they can be seen without too much difficulty. It's said that the area with the largest population is the far end of the Embalse de Bornos (e & f on the attached map) which is just NE of Arcos de la Frontera. This is scarcely surprising since it has the largest area of tamarisk scrub that I know of in Andalucia. Other sites relatively nearby include Langunas de Espera, Lagunas de Lebrija, Lagunas de Santa Maria & Laguna de Medina. If you fly into Seville and head out east or south into the floodplain of the Guadalquivir and associated river systems then pretty much anywhere with tamarisks will have them. My only caveats are that they seem to stop singing fairly quickly after arrival if paired up and can be very quiet during the heat of the day. So my advice is to fly out to Jerez or Seville as soon as possible both by the calendar and the day. PM me with your email address for my birding guide to the areas mentioned which has more detail.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 19:50   #14
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Thanks for the tips
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 08:02   #15
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I have seen them in the Spring singing around El Rocio and in the Autumn around Malaga and Tarifa when birds are, for me, more problematical. They do seem to have a liking for Tamarisk which incidentally is probably named after the River Tamaris in Tarragonia which is where the herb originates

With regard to colour balance i saw some software that (don’t ask me how it does it) that harmonises the colours that are portrayed on your PC monitor, Phone, Tablet so that what you upload to the PC is rendered the same - it was a while ago so i cannot remember the details...

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 12:24   #16
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Larry:
I've been ringing with Richard Banham at a site on the Guadiaro, and we have regularly ringed OLIWA - he has even ringed a brood in the nest there. It's a site between Jimena de la Frontera and San Martin del Tesorillo.

There's plenty of Tamarisk!
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Old Friday 14th June 2019, 12:53   #17
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It's a site between Jimena de la Frontera and San Martin del Tesorillo.

There's plenty of Tamarisk!
Couldn't resist replying, sorry to barge in. Going back to the mid 80s I "had" a site a few kms from there, at the bridge on the Rio Guadiaro very close to San Enrique (between here and Guadiaro village); here there were/are Tamarisk but the birds liked the White Poplars around the bridge a lot, for singing and foraging. I've also recorded them along a waterway in Coto Doana on the Corridor Verde from a bridge where one can look through a large gallery of White Poplars with little or no Tamarisk.

There's no doubt that they favour Tamarix habitats and that they are pretty localised, just though I'd mention White Poplars. They are certainly not everywhere with suitable looking habitat. I find they seem to be "semi-colonial" - with a few pairs occupying hotspots.

A site/area in Coto Doana where I find they are quite easy (at least if you are there in the first half of the morning) to locate from singing is by the road (on the north side) as one approaches Dehesa de Abajo from the west - the Tamarisks grow along a small waterway by the road. There are other spots a little further east along this road where there is suitable habitat.
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