Reef Warbler? (South China)


A biology student
Hi! Please help with this little buddy, I think it's some kind of Acrocephalus, but maybe a Phylloscopus fuscatus?

Please help!


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Jane Turner

Well-known member
Bumping this up.

It doesn't look like an Acro to me. It also doesn't really look like a Dusky Warbler either. I'm wondering if its a Bush warbler (Cettia) of some type. Anyhow I'm out of my depth I suspect!

James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
I think they're all hiding, tricky bird id!

I've had a good look at it, and do not see why the bird isn't a Radde's/Dusky Warbler. Presumably a Dusky Warbler

Regarding the cettia warblers in Southeast China, none of them show a supercillium as distinct as this bird, none that I am aware of showing it surpassing the eye and way beyond, a feature only shown in Phylloscopus out in the east. The nearest cettia would be Brownish-flanked, but the again the super just isn't that distinct.

Cettia & Bradypterus warblers;

Dusky Warbler;

Radde's Warbler

Jane Turner

Well-known member
I thought Raddes a possibility - The legs look too sturdy for Dusky and I know this is non-scientific - but it doesn't really look spikey enough to me.

That said, despite seriously considering Raddes, it still didn't look right about the head to me.

James Eaton

Trent Valley Crew
Jane Turner said:

Unfortunately, that little beauty occurs further west off the top of my head. From Sichuan west and south through to Burma and Northeast India. These are real skulkers too, this species appears very dainty in the field, with a thin tail, thin legs and generally a lighter, browner colouration, very uniform. Supercillium seems to be well pronounced in the photos from Yunnan, surprising, I struggle to come with an id feature of this species as it very non-descript, though vocally very distinct.

My initial instinct was Radde's, due to the seemingly short, compact wings and huge super, but something couldn't convince me (maybe the longish bill, not stub-ended), I assume the pose it is in is making it difficult to tell if it is a Radde's or Dusky (my preferred option)
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
If Dusky/Raddes are the only big-supered birds in range - then I guess that is what it must be and its a photo effect making it not look Phylloscopine

Of the pair I'd lean towards Raddes on stucture.

I don't suppose it was calling was it?


Well-known member
Hi there,
It looks like one of the Radde's/ Dusky pairing to me also, but it is surprisingly difficult to narrow it down any further from what can be seen here. I don't suppose there are any other photos of this bird?


Well-known member
I'll go as far as to say that it looks like a phylloscopus to me :) Isn't that reddish/brownish undertail supposed to mean something?

Mark Bruce

Super Moderator
Klant said:
I'll go as far as to say that it looks like a phylloscopus to me :) Isn't that reddish/brownish undertail supposed to mean something?
As far as I know both have the reddish undertail.For what it's worth I'd go for Dusky ,but having said that I haven't any experience with Radde's.

Rob Hutchinson

Soft Lad
Difficult to tell in this photo, Can't really assess the bill structure and not sure if the thick looking legs might be a photographic effect.

There is another possibility - Yellow-streaked Warbler - difficult to seperate from Radde's without good views and probably not possible from this photo. The best way to tell them is the distictinctive call of Yellow-streaked....make sure that next Radde's you find a Spurn isn't calling like a bunting!