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Phylloscopus (Humes vs Yellow Browed), Bandarban, Bangladesh, March 2021 (1 Viewer)

Seth Miller

Well-known member
I saw this Phylloscopus warbler on a trip to Bandarban (South Eastern hills) in March.
Yellow browed warbler is the default species in Bangladesh and Humes is rare with only 2 or 3 confirmed records one of which was from Bandarban as well.

I found this bird interesting in the field but then forgot about it till I was going through photos yesterday. The overall dark bill, fairly dark legs, and one wing bar significantly broader than the other made me immediately think of Humes but unfortunately it did not call which has been used to confirm previous records in Bangladesh. The bird is a bit far on the warm side for Humes which gives me some doubt...

Any thoughts?


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Grahame Walbridge

Well-known member
Seth, the images are not sharp, precise plumage and bare part tones difficult to discern, potentially ambiguous. Looking closer at the bare parts, the bill does in fact have an extensive yellow base, clearly visible in images 1/5 and 4/5, likewise I am not convinced the legs are that dark. Separation in early spring can be very tricky, both species can be very worn with overlap in many features (before onset of pre-breeding moult) so, reliance on call (preferably supported by a sound file) especially in the context of a potential vagrant is key.

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Seth Miller

Well-known member
Thanks Grahame, that's quite helpful!
Unfortunately the bird did not call in the 2 or so minutes I was able to observe it so I definitely don't have any recordings.
Will remain as unidentified phyllo but most likely inornata.


Well-known member
Looking at 4/5, the bird seems to have broad dark bases to the secondaries on its right-hand side (not left-hand though), as well as fairly solid-looking greater covert centres in 1/5. Bare part coloration seems better for YBW, as are the rather bright green fringes to the flight feathers in 4/5 and 5/5. I agree a call would have been useful.

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