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Common Nightingale? (1 Viewer)

Akshada

Member
Hello. I have clicked this little one (almost of the size of a Great tit) in Dortmund, Germany in my garden on 15 September. I am not sure if it is a common nightingale or another bird altogether? I am new to birding so still learning to identify birds. Many thanks in advance!
 

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pianoman

duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
Hello. I have clicked this little one (almost of the size of a Great tit) in Dortmund, Germany in my garden on 15 September. I am not sure if it is a common nightingale or another bird altogether? I am new to birding so still learning to identify birds. Many thanks in advance!

Welcome Akshada

Your bird will be either a Willow Warbler or a Chiffchaff (the 2 commonest "leaf warblers"). At this time of year both have a lot of variation of plumage colour and leg colour.

The primary projection (the pointed part at the end of the closed wing) is longer in Willow Warbler and to me, the PP length looks better for Willow Warbler in this picture, though others may correct me on this.
 

Jonno52

John (a bad birdwatcher)
Supporter
United Kingdom
I'd say Chiffchaff. The primary projection looks within the range for that species, and the legs are dark (Willow Warblers can occasionally have dark legs, but I don't think this is one). The pale lower eye ring is also a useful character for Chiffchaff.

And of course welcome to the forum!
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Akshada and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

As there's no definite identification offered so far, I've moved your post to the ID forum and subscribed you to the thread so that you can find it easily. You will receive an email with a link to click on which will bring you straight here.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 

Akshada

Member
Oh wow that was a lot of information! Thank you so much!! I am glad I joined this bird forum.. It's helping me learn a lot!! Based on all the thingsreplies and having studied both the birds, it can indeed be confusing as to which one it is exactly, but I think it's a Chiffchaff..
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Oh wow that was a lot of information! ...it can indeed be confusing as to which one it is exactly, but I think it's a Chiffchaff..

- sometimes it’s easy to forget that terms like ‘primary projection’, ‘pp’ etc could be confusing to people not used to describing birds by their structure and the way we answer ID queries at times are not always the simplest way!

The primaries are the pointed wing tips you can see on the folded wing on your bird, the tertials are the rounded ‘flat’ feathers lying on top of the shorter wing feathers (the secondaries) on top of its lower back - the primary projection (pp) is how much the primaries extend beyond the longest tertial. On Willow Warbler the primaries extend about equal distance from the tip of longest tertial compared to the total length of the tertials, on Chiffchaff it’s a shorter projection past the longest tertial which is usually about half the length of the total length of the tertials.

From this ‘formula’ we can usually safely separate Chiffchaff from Willow Warbler, certainly from photos. This is not always seen so easily in the field though, so leg colour (generally dark for Chiffchaff), movement in the tree (frequently flicking tail for chiffchaff), and ‘chiff chaff’ calls of course as well as generally browner and buffy colours of Chiffchaff with more limited yellow (juveniles have more yellow than adults) cf to more yellower and brighter, ‘cleaner’ impression of colours for Willow Warbler, all helping to separate these species if you can’t get good views.

This visual explanation of differences is probably clearer than a lot of muddled words ;)!

Compare Willow Warbler to Chiffchaff in the link here;
http://www.planetofbirds.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/20130503-215908.jpg
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Not sure exactly what you were looking for John, but would this Opus page help at all

Topography

Just click on the images to enlarge them.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Not sure exactly what you were looking for John, but would this Opus page help at all

.

Not sure who you were directing this to Delia (‘John’?) but that’s a really great link! (The link I posted just focus’s on comparing Willow Warbler to Chiffchaff but diagrams of the different feather tracks is very helpful both for explaining features and understanding them!)
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Not sure who you were directing this to Delia (‘John’?) but that’s a really great link!

Sorry, Deb... John seems to have deleted his post!

Yes, it is a good page that one, thanks for saying so lass.

There's an excellent Dictionary in The Opus too.
 

tconzemi

Tom
Supporter
Europe

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Sorry, Deb... John seems to have deleted his post!

Yes, it is a good page that one, thanks for saying so lass.

There's an excellent Dictionary in The Opus too.

I wonder if it might be an idea to post both those Opus links as two stickies at the top of the ID forum under ‘Glossary of Terms/dictionary’ and ‘Topography/description of the features of birds’ - (or words to that effect!). It would make it much easier to be able to reference these if needed to explain IDs and also for new birders/members to find when trying to understand the responses to their ID inquiries or draft the questions?
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thanks Deb... a good thought.

I've now done two Stickies. If you think I can improve on the titles or whatever, please say.
 

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