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ID small grey/brown one (1 Viewer)

anttoni

New member
Hey, I saw this little fella maybe ten days ago on a southern island in Baltic Sea in Finland and have troubles to ID it. When I saw it i thought it could be phylloscopus - probably a chiffchaff but then somebody told be it could be an acros species. Also all the pictures of chiffchaffs I've watched I dont really get a match to this one. It was a short moment and these are the only photos I got. And one thing with the beahaviour, I saw it dipping the tail downwards a few times, makes me also think of chiffchaff but Pallida does it also. What do you think?
 

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Hi anttoni and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 
Hard to pin point specifically but overall colour, bill shape, head pattern and general feel. It's a Phylloscopus warbler, and can't see any reason why it isn't a Chiffchaff

For the same reasons you’ve suggested CC, I’ve attributed to BW, also, as best as one can make out (where shown) I’m only seeing emarginations on 3,4 and 5, Chiffy should have one more?
That to one side, It’s always better to see anything contentious in the field for an absolute unequivocal ID if possible.
 
Worn, washed out chiff for me, with a Booted impression being created by displaced, missing or worn feathers on the lores creating a more open, Iduna-like face pattern. I'd disagree with Ken, in that I think it is emarginated to P6. In pic 004, the bill also appears to have a narrow base, more like a Phyllosc than the broader bill base of an Iduna. For what it's worth, it also does not appear to be particularly 'booted' - i.e., feet are concolorous with the legs.
 

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Worn, washed out chiff for me, with a Booted impression being created by displaced, missing or worn feathers on the lores creating a more open, Iduna-like face pattern. I'd disagree with Ken, in that I think it is emarginated to P6. In pic 004, the bill also appears to have a narrow base, more like a Phyllosc than the broader bill base of an Iduna. For what it's worth, it also does not appear to be particularly 'booted' - i.e., feet are concolorous with the legs.

Indeed, I’ve just discovered!…that emarginations can occur P2-P5 on BW, also they can occur “Bootless” which the subject bird appears to be.
Based on my experience of passage Chiffies (through the grdn. in the fall c90 per annum), I’ve not seen one quite like this.
That said, Spring birds are generally paler albeit not as pale as is the subject bird.
I’m still open minded, ideally better viewed in the field imo.
 
As you say, Ken, unlike the chiffs in your garden, this isn't an autumn bird, fresh from post-juvenile or post-breeding moult, it's a late spring bird, heavily worn and bleached with some feathers, particularly if it's a 2cy bird, that may be almost 12 months old. See attached (bird trapped in July) for the difference a year makes to a chiffchaff in terms of bleaching and feather wear.
 

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Another feature which can be used in separation of Phylloscopus v Iduna concerns a clear difference in shape of the visible nasal groove, long and slim in the former ML541160051 - Common Chiffchaff - Macaulay Library compared with small and semi-circular in the latter ML583424271 - Booted Warbler - Macaulay Library



The OP is quite clearly a Phylloscopus warbler.

Grahame

Length of the nasal groove, that’s certainly a new one on me as a “feature!” and if so, would require much better images than the OP’s?

Presumably, this near perfect image of a Chiffchaff shot in the grdn. last year wasn’t nasal groove aware?
 

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The OP is quite clearly a . . .
I should, personally, prefer it if this poster didn't so commonly use such expressions - especially coming from one of such authority. Not only does it a) seem designed to make others feel stupid, it also b) (as here) doesn't provide any actual help. (I assume it's not linked to the interesting info on nasal grooves: as Mr M points out, the OP's photos don't seem up to such analysis - no offence to the OP. Additionally, as Mr M also demonstrates, the criterion may be flawed when applied in field photos even if it works well in the hand, and I, personally, can't even tell the difference in the linked Macaulay photos provided as examples.)
Personally, I suspect that the only reason this bird has been considered for booted warbler is its odd head-shape caused by a mussed-up hair-do 🤔
 
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As a “further” to Mr B’s comments, we’re all conditioned from school to treat the printed word as gospel particularly that which relates to the sciences.
Twenty odd years ago I found a bird that was supposedly (according to lit) to have a dark tip to the bill and a concolourous grey back/rump…it had neither…indeed the rump was contrastingly warm when seen in good light.
My ID was based on wing structure/formula and UTC’s which imo far outweighed any “supposed” cosmetic attributes.
Another oddity that caught my eye, was that the bird had a light olive wash to the chest, contrasting sharply against the white of the throat, which on further research of images showed that this feature could be seen on other web based (light dependant) images of presumed 1st year BRW’s.
Point being….that Field “Guides” are just that, not necessarily set in stone…and can be lacking in what might be considered “relevant” information.

Cheers
 
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