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Gtr Manchester June 2021 - possible Cetti's Warbler (1 Viewer)

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Please may I request advice.
I have never seen a Cetti's Warbler, but it's on my bucket list.
Last week I visited a site known to hold a pair :
I briefly saw the rear of one bird as it dived in to cover, but was not able to ascertain if indeed that one was a Cetti's Warbler or not. I did get a photo of the incident though.
I was just wondering if the view presented here enables anyone more knowledgeable than myself to provide indication as to whether it is/might be, or, isn't Cetti's Warbler. Thank you
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Your bird appears to have a long-ish rufous tail, and short-ish rufous wings...going arse-up into cover...looks like you’re in with a chance Earnest Lad.👍
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
do you have more pictures? I assume not, but I give it a try:
I agree with Butty, its no Cettis Warbler, this species has a full, rounded tail and I think, the undertail-coverts should be even uniform darker (at least in a Cettis Warbler, that can be identified with confidence with this picture? Experts, please help), but what it is?
I think its either a Chiffchaff or a Willow Warbler, by overall colours and notched tail-shape
Its no Marsh/Willow Tit, just a gut-feeling by shape of tail and warm-brown wings
tail seems to short for a Common Whitethroat, the Sylvia with the most similar wing-colour
Yes, thats quiz-modus at its best!
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Hello,
do you have more pictures? I assume not, but I give it a try:
I agree with Butty, its no Cettis Warbler, this species has a full, rounded tail and I think, the undertail-coverts should be even uniform darker (at least in a Cettis Warbler, that can be identified with confidence with this picture? Experts, please help), but what it is?
I think its either a Chiffchaff or a Willow Warbler, by overall colours and notched tail-shape
Its no Marsh/Willow Tit, just a gut-feeling by shape of tail and warm-brown wings
tail seems to short for a Common Whitethroat, the Sylvia with the most similar wing-colour
Yes, thats quiz-modus at its best!
Thank you : I agree I will try for the song as best I can as Butty kindly advised. I did think the undertail coverts ought to be different colour but am not sure. I shall leave this one as "not" on this occasion. Sorry for "grasping at straws"

By the way - could that be faint barring on the underside of the tail, and , if so does that affect the diagnosis. Also I just thought about Wren as a possibility, although I have not much knowledge of this.
 
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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Earnest,
just read your question regarding stripes in tail. No its not the real deal, at least a Wren would say this (including uniform undertil-coverts and rear flanks, wrong for a Wren). Its either hunger-stripes/bars (likely so) or an artefact of your picture (less likely so).
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Rotherbirder! While many Dunnocks have distinct dark markings on the undertail-coverts, that this bird seemed to lack, some (few?)are unmarked there. And after reading your comment, I noticed that this bird seems to have a marking on at least one undertail-covert feather that looks good for a Dunnock (yes, dark marking is narrower and clearer in many Dunnocks, but well within variation) Is it possible to change from WW/Chiffchaff to Dunnock camp?
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Thank you Rotherbirder! While many Dunnocks have distinct dark markings on the undertail-coverts, that this bird seemed to lack, some (few?)are unmarked there. And after reading your comment, I noticed that this bird seems to have a marking on at least one undertail-covert feather that looks good for a Dunnock (yes, dark marking is narrower and clearer in many Dunnocks, but well within variation) Is it possible to change from WW/Chiffchaff to Dunnock camp?
Thank you too for your helpful observation and comment. I am definitely ruling Cetti out now and plumping for a mere Dunnock!
 

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