• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Lesser Whitethroat 26.9.18 London E14. (1 Viewer)

KenM

Well-known member
Still reviewing and editing film clips from my old SD card, almost missed this very poor grab from September last, although poor, I believe the tonal value is relatively accurate.

What's the feeling on this Lesser Whitethroat...am thinking it's a bit pale for Sylvia curruca, possibly halimodendri.?

Cheers
 

Attachments

  • P1790597.jpeg   LW4.JP.jpeg
    P1790597.jpeg LW4.JP.jpeg
    263.5 KB · Views: 213

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
While Nutcracker is right at looking for tonal value accuracy (and he is right in mentioning the seemengly bluish cast on some leaves), I will say the following:

Hoping to learn something from birders with experience with the Lesser WT-complex, I hope its possible to seperate three points:

1. Colour accuracy of the picture: if the pictures colour accuracy cant be believed, I assume its impossible to ID this bird to subspecies level.

2. Abnormal plumage, especially a pigmentation deficit has always to be considered. Please see a nice example for this (I was fooled by this too): https://www.club300.de/gallery/idforum_topic.php?id=55765

3. If one assume that the colours of this bird are accurate, are there ssp in Asia that look like this bird?
I have only experience with ssp curruca and havent seen a bird with such a pale and grey-sandy back (this is the tone I see on my screen).

In search for my first Asian Lesser WT in Europe, especially after a post by the late Martin Garner suspecting them to be much more numerous in Europe (https://birdingfrontiers.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/siberian-and-desert-lesser-whitethroats-2/) and interesting discussions in other forums, Im still very interested in learning more about the ID of asian Lesser WT.

So; I hope I learn something from this interesting picture and that this is not clouded by the (as said right) cautious approach regarding colour accuracy) and believe that impression in the field was that of an unusual coloured Lesser WT (is that right, KenM?)
 

KenM

Well-known member
Whole pic doesn't look tonally accurate to me - the leaves are too blue

Regarding the tonal value Nutty, remiss of me, perhaps the operative word I should have used was “relativity”, ie the contrast between the prims/secs.and tertials, this is often quite stark with LW irrespective of race.

Cheers
 

KenM

Well-known member
While Nutcracker is right at looking for tonal value accuracy (and he is right in mentioning the seemengly bluish cast on some leaves), I will say the following:

Hoping to learn something from birders with experience with the Lesser WT-complex, I hope its possible to seperate three points:

1. Colour accuracy of the picture: if the pictures colour accuracy cant be believed, I assume its impossible to ID this bird to subspecies level.

2. Abnormal plumage, especially a pigmentation deficit has always to be considered. Please see a nice example for this (I was fooled by this too): https://www.club300.de/gallery/idforum_topic.php?id=55765

3. If one assume that the colours of this bird are accurate, are there ssp in Asia that look like this bird?
I have only experience with ssp curruca and havent seen a bird with such a pale and grey-sandy back (this is the tone I see on my screen).

In search for my first Asian Lesser WT in Europe, especially after a post by the late Martin Garner suspecting them to be much more numerous in Europe (https://birdingfrontiers.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/siberian-and-desert-lesser-whitethroats-2/) and interesting discussions in other forums, Im still very interested in learning more about the ID of asian Lesser WT.

So; I hope I learn something from this interesting picture and that this is not clouded by the (as said right) cautious approach regarding colour accuracy) and believe that impression in the field was that of an unusual coloured Lesser WT (is that right, KenM?)

Alexander, I thank you for your interest with this taxa, I too have a great interest, and a modicum of experience with the said, having previously imaged an example of halimodendri (proven with shots of the tail and outer rectrices), and “Desert Lesser Whitethroat”. I will provide images of both tomorrow, as I’m now retiring for the evening...will catch up later. :t:

Cheers
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I've had a go at getting the colour balance better, based on what I'd expect the cherry foliage to be like in late summer / early autumn (hope that's OK!). Not perfect, but I think better.


Worth adding, the eastern Lesserthroats I've seen and heard about about have all been much later in autumn or winter, October onward. In September (particularly the first half), breeding birds are often still on their territories.
 

Attachments

  • 001.jpg
    001.jpg
    872.2 KB · Views: 110

phil baber

artist for birds
Europe
In both images I'd suggest, looks like a Lesser Throat that might be a UK/close breeder...? Nice looking bird though!
PS During Summer one hears the incessant dry-rattle and rarely see the singer. But when you do? Gorgeous and subtle bird with a hint of un--affodable after-shave! (And cheap mascara...)
 
Last edited:

KenM

Well-known member
While Nutcracker is right at looking for tonal value accuracy (and he is right in mentioning the seemengly bluish cast on some leaves), I will say the following:

Hoping to learn something from birders with experience with the Lesser WT-complex, I hope its possible to seperate three points:

1. Colour accuracy of the picture: if the pictures colour accuracy cant be believed, I assume its impossible to ID this bird to subspecies level.

2. Abnormal plumage, especially a pigmentation deficit has always to be considered. Please see a nice example for this (I was fooled by this too): https://www.club300.de/gallery/idforum_topic.php?id=55765

3. If one assume that the colours of this bird are accurate, are there ssp in Asia that look like this bird?
I have only experience with ssp curruca and havent seen a bird with such a pale and grey-sandy back (this is the tone I see on my screen).

In search for my first Asian Lesser WT in Europe, especially after a post by the late Martin Garner suspecting them to be much more numerous in Europe (https://birdingfrontiers.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/siberian-and-desert-lesser-whitethroats-2/) and interesting discussions in other forums, Im still very interested in learning more about the ID of asian Lesser WT.

So; I hope I learn something from this interesting picture and that this is not clouded by the (as said right) cautious approach regarding colour accuracy) and believe that impression in the field was that of an unusual coloured Lesser WT (is that right, KenM?)

Alexander Hi,

Regarding your last question- the bird was found in a small park in almost Central London a ''non breeding area''. Clearly a passage bird and was extremely difficult to see, very fast, sudden movements, before disappearing into cover. From what I'd seen on the bird, only enough to determine Lesser Whitethroat, in all honesty, at best I was only seeing splintered sections of the bird through the bins, such was it's speed of movement. All I knew at this point, was that it was a LW, and I reasoned that my ''only chance'' of imaging it, was to ''shutter burst'' any small movement in the tree hoping that I'd get a frame or two, that might be of any use. Thus the supplied frame from the clip was a surprise to me at the time, in appearing to show such a pale specimen!

The taxa is one of my favourites, and as such, I've been fortunate in being able to image passage birds over the last 5 years during late September and early October at home, Images supplied are from this period 2014-17.

The 1st (bad) image, was shot on the 4.10.14, taken on a very grey day, when first seen (head obscured) I thought it was a Desert Warbler, such was it's Pallidity.

The 2nd image was taken on 30.9.16 and the 3rd image 22.9.17, I believe that the amount of white on the outer rectrices shown in the 2nd image are compatible with halimodendri, and that the last image also appears to be relatively ''pale'' for nominate S.curruca?

In short, I believe that Lesser Whitethroat is more often encountered in Spring when the distinctive ''rattle'' gives away it's position, however in the ''silent'' Autumn It's not often seen due to it's stealth movement, and this may account for ''Eastern'' birds slipping through unnoticed!

I notice that BB...now appear to have finally accepted ''Eastern Birds'' as a legitimately occuring race...at long last!

Cheers
 

Attachments

  • An Eastern LW. 4.10.14 back grdn..jpg
    An Eastern LW. 4.10.14 back grdn..jpg
    79.6 KB · Views: 48
  • P1410232.jpeg  LW tail 2..jpeg
    P1410232.jpeg LW tail 2..jpeg
    306.8 KB · Views: 52
  • P1570490.jpeg  Grdn.LW.2..jpeg
    P1570490.jpeg Grdn.LW.2..jpeg
    169.7 KB · Views: 56
Last edited:

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello KenM,

thank you very much for the detailed answer. As said, I have no experience with Asian Lesser WT. So Im always looking for information from birders with the relevant experience,

Alexander Stöhr
 
Warning! This thread is more than 3 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top