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Reed or Marsh Warbler? Tuscany, Italy, late May (1 Viewer)

3Italianbirders

well-known member
Supporter
Italy
Hello all, I first posted this photo in another thread, labelling it as a Reed Warbler, as they were singing everywhere. But now we are having second thoughts and a bizarre idea: what if it was a Marsh Warbler? It's rare and very localised in central Italy, but not impossible. We didn't see it sing, nor did we hear any suspicious song...
It's not the best photo as it was some distance away, but if anyone can help we'll be very grateful.
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
interesting bird. Thanks for sharing! Yes, its quite a short billed bird, and together with the rounded head (single-picture effect?) and the quite pale, brown plumage this bird has indeed a resemblance to a Marsh Warbler imo. But it has a clearly warmer brown rump, good for a faded Reed Warbler.so it has to be one.
Knowing this, it lacks the slightly contrasting white throat of many Marsh Warblers, with underparts uniform white and some wash to the flanks (therefore better for a faded, pale Reed Warbler). And upperparts are slightly to dark and warm brown for an ID-book Marsh Warbler (yes, thas whishfull thinking).
But I must admit, I would leave it unidentified, when the flight shot wasnt there. And I looked at the two species more closely again in the last few days with this thread in my mind. Thanks again for sharing!
 
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