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Unstreaked Acro in London.....

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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 07:10   #1
KenM
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Unstreaked Acro in London.....

Shot several days ago, essentially concolourously pale upperparts, whitish unders, creamy yellow toes with a ''seemingly'' longish bill?

Comments welcome
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 09:55   #2
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I'm not experienced with the species but would genuinely think Marsh Warbler over Reed looking at those pics.
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 14:20   #3
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Here's another (not very good shot) but...possibly because of the angle, might just suggest a deeper bill?
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 17:50   #4
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Is this the bird at Leyton, if so, it looked a lot more pallid in life?

Doesn't look short-primaried or pointy-faced enough for a Blyth's Reed, are you thinking Marsh?
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 20:13   #5
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I struggle to see Marsh Warbler in this. At these angles the pale fringes would be very obvious. For me a Reed Warbler where long bills are not that unusual although this seems to be at the extreme.
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 20:17   #6
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Marsh was my immediate thought.

I'm sure someone will come along and say they can see the emarginations.
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 20:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bismarck Honeyeater View Post
Is this the bird at Leyton, if so, it looked a lot more pallid in life?

Doesn't look short-primaried or pointy-faced enough for a Blyth's Reed, are you thinking Marsh?
I agree, in the flesh it appeared somewhat paler to my eye compared to the shots.

I believe there are at best three options on the table:

A worn faded adult A.scirpaceous (Reed Warbler) but, I found this somewhat difficult to reconcile with the taxa, in as much as IMO always showing warm tints to upper and lower parts, to a greater or lesser extent, this bird appeared devoid of such warmth.

Although Marsh Warbler on the face of it appears to be a better fit, and accepting the pale ''uppers'' as being a possible indicator of that species, the ''unders'' did look ''exceptionally'' white to my eye.

However, as fanciful as it may seem, how do we exclude ssp.fuscus from the equation, as I understand it, this ssp is on the German list..to quote Halftwo, emarginations might help, If only to reign in the....''imaginations'' Dunno ?
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Old Friday 21st November 2014, 21:14   #8
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FWIW I think it's not Blyth's Reed or Marsh but given the poor views wouldn't like to say which spp of Reed it might be. Eurasian must be the most likely though to miming might lend credence to s more Easterly origin. It's going to need some better shots to confirm it.
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Old Saturday 22nd November 2014, 17:33   #9
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Still there today and observer mentions paleness and long-billedness. I might be encouraged that Marsh Warbler is not so fanciful after all! Definitely has pale feet. If any one is an Acro expert or has a decent lens it could be worth a bash.
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Old Sunday 23rd November 2014, 11:53   #10
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I saw the bird yesterday and I think it is certainly a good candidate for Caspian Reed Warbler, but I agree with the need for more photos but also feedback with those who are familiar with the finer points on how to separate Eurasian from Caspian.
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Old Sunday 23rd November 2014, 14:08   #11
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I think its a Eurasian Reed Warbler tho primary projection is fairly short, so probably juvenile. Think I can count 8 primary tips, BRW usually shows 6 visible - though that is hard to gauge.

Marsh IMO, show a less pointed, less needle-shaped bill, and a slightly shorter one. But of course mindful of overlap between species.

Caspian Reed would IMO more likely show a paler and broader fore super, a bit like BRW.

Be interested to see what others think. The concolorous upperparts could indeed indicate Marsh or BRW.

That bill is a whoppa though on that last (4th) photo, looks vast - is it the same bird? Large Billed Reed Warbler anyone??
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Old Sunday 23rd November 2014, 16:56   #12
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Ken, are you sure the last image is of the same bird as the first 3?
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Old Sunday 23rd November 2014, 22:15   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbirder View Post
Ken, are you sure the last image is of the same bird as the first 3?
Affirmative to the above, just the one Acro.present Nick.

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Old Monday 24th November 2014, 21:20   #14
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More Images of Stuart Fisher's, Leyton, London, adult Reed Warbler with worn plumage.

The first two images were taken on Saturday 22nd November, an overcast day with intermittent showers (Image no.2. showing the emargination on p3 in alignment with end of tertials), an A.scirpaceous requisite.

IMO the lighting was more neutral, and gave a more accurate interpretation of the bird's paleness, the other images were taken under brighter conditions, giving the uppers an ''A.palustris'' look, with strikingly white underparts.

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Old Tuesday 25th November 2014, 13:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
More Images of Stuart Fisher's, Leyton, London, adult Reed Warbler with worn plumage.

The first two images were taken on Saturday 22nd November, an overcast day with intermittent showers (Image no.2. showing the emargination on p3 in alignment with end of tertials), an A.scirpaceous requisite.

IMO the lighting was more neutral, and gave a more accurate interpretation of the bird's paleness, the other images were taken under brighter conditions, giving the uppers an ''A.palustris'' look, with strikingly white underparts.

Cheers
Actually I found it (albeit mistaking it in very poor views whilst twitching Stuart's Whitethroats, so probably best to gloss over that)

Why has it got pale legs and bright feet? Marsh Warbler feature? Seems to change shape in each photo, yes I know they move but it looks quite Blyth's like in the last of your shots!

Where's Jane when you need her?
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Old Tuesday 25th November 2014, 13:52   #16
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I doubt this is a Marsh, it just does not look/feel like one to me.

However, and despite the relatively long PP and P3 emargination seemingly situated quite high on the feather edge , some of the photos in the last batch do give a Blyth's impression, at least to my eyes.

But I guess such a showy bird at such a late date for the UK has been quite extensively scrutinized and Blyth's conclusively ruled out? Or?
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Old Tuesday 25th November 2014, 15:16   #17
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I doubt this is a Marsh, it just does not look/feel like one to me.

However, and despite the relatively long PP and P3 emargination seemingly situated quite high on the feather edge , some of the photos in the last batch do give a Blyth's impression, at least to my eyes.

But I guess such a showy bird at such a late date for the UK has been quite extensively scrutinized and Blyth's conclusively ruled out? Or?
I'm relatively confident that it isn't Blyth's Tib, I think pp (as long as tertials), and the apparent position of the emargination on p3 (not being within the tertial range) discount that possibility.

However because of the birds pallor, I'm wondering if Caspian Reed Warbler might be a consideration, I've certainly never seen RW looking like this?
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 07:04   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tib78 View Post
I doubt this is a Marsh, it just does not look/feel like one to me.

However, and despite the relatively long PP and P3 emargination seemingly situated quite high on the feather edge , some of the photos in the last batch do give a Blyth's impression, at least to my eyes.

But I guess such a showy bird at such a late date for the UK has been quite extensively scrutinized and Blyth's conclusively ruled out? Or?
My problem is that it has been anything but showy
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 07:39   #19
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My problem is that it has been anything but showy
Yes I agree, took me several hours on Monday to connect, and that was on a sunny day!
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 15:21   #20
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What is the general opinion of people who have seen it?
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 15:58   #21
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This is a very interesting looking bird, and initially reminded me of an EOW but clearly not this, but like others I considered Marsh and Blyth's and of course the possibility of it just being a odd coloured Reed warbler, but none of these are an easy fit. I already posted my conclusion that it is a good candidate for Caspian Reed Warbler. Hopefully the images posted by Ken will generate enough interest for some more London birders to go and see it!
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 18:48   #22
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The shape of the nostrils may help eliminate Marsh.

See attached..............Caspian Reed Warbler top (oval shaped nostril), Marsh lower (round shaped nostril).

http://search.aol.co.uk/aol/imageDet....wordpress.com
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Old Wednesday 26th November 2014, 19:06   #23
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See attached

As per prev post, first picture shows Reed upper with oval nostril, marsh lower with round nostril

Second picture is best image I can blow up of subject bird, it looks (to me) to have an oval nostril but better photos may help here................

BRW also have oval shaped nostril BTW.
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Old Thursday 27th November 2014, 18:40   #24
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See attached

As per prev post, first picture shows Reed upper with oval nostril, marsh lower with round nostril

Second picture is best image I can blow up of subject bird, it looks (to me) to have an oval nostril but better photos may help here................

BRW also have oval shaped nostril BTW.
The nostril feature (of which I was blissfully unaware of) is IMO also supportive of RW, as are the toes/soles and leg colour.

I went for it again today, found it in the sunshine for a few minutes, where I got this single shot before losing it, n'er to be refound! The raised primary tip appears to be almost contrastingly pale?...clearly need better shots.

Having trawled various papers on East/West scirpaceous, and acknowledged the biometric and tonal overlaps, as you would with any other similar unstreaked migrant, I'm still of the opinion that this bird doesn't tick the Western RW box?

I'm surprised that so far, no ''expert'' has deigned to comment?

I'd have thought that 2000+ views, plus opinions posted, would have warranted a response from any ''agent/s'' representing any publication, that may have carried an article on the subject matter. If only to express the current thinking on the taxa...just a courtesy imo for the BF readership, not to mention the possible mileage for those parties concerned?

PS I believe I read somewhere that the Dutch regard fuscus as a separate species...happy to be corrected if not?
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Old Thursday 27th November 2014, 18:45   #25
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Like you, I hoped Jane (Turner) would have given an opinion by now.
Its certainly a fascinating bird Ken.
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