Sylvia or Acrocephalus .. Spain (1 Viewer)

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
I think its a Sylvia warbler: you can see the slender, notched tail and I think the undertail-coverts are to short for an Accrocephalus , although I am not sure, this can be judged with confidence.
Bill shape and lenght and slender legs are also better for a Sylvia warbler.
I must admit, that seeing the thumbnail, I thought, this is a clear Accro, but then I realized the pitfall picture because of the following points: errected head and throat feathers together with pale lores and a pale looking bill produces an "Accro-head". Also, upright stand on legs (hope, thats understandable) seems to play a part in this.

But which? For me, its either a Common or a Spectacled. I hope, that someone can reduce the warm colour-cast of this picture (no offense!) and I hope for more pictures and others to jump in.

If I had to put a name on this bird, it gives the impression of a Spectacled with a large bill (but within variation for this species), but I like to be corrected and learn from others.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
But which? For me, its either a Common or a Spectacled ...

If I had to put a name on this bird, it gives the impression of a Spectacled with a large bill (but within variation for this species) ...

This was my thinking too Alex - also having the large headed and short-winged impression I would expect for a conspicillata

(... but note to self - must remember to say ‘Curruca or a Sylviid or Nutcracker will quite rightly tell me off ;))
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
I not so sure having lightened the image - should Spectacled have such dark legs (even females) and a face pattern like a reed warbler?!



Some of these African Reed Warblers can look quite short winged and short billed

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=afrwar1&regionCode=&mediaType=p

I'm surprised at the support for this being a Sylvia for these very reasons though I claim zero expertise in this or any other area.

I certainly could not claim to be able to see either the shape of the tail or length of undertail coverts on this shot.
 
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Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
The dark alula and rich rufous wing contrasting with duller colours on what can be seen on the rest of the upperparts strongly suggests Sylvia
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
The dark alula and rich rufous wing contrasting with duller colours on what can be seen on the rest of the upperparts strongly suggests Sylvia

I’m always wary of making ID decisions of photos based on colour alone as this more than anything can be effected by artefact. In this case I’m still, even having lightened the image, not sure how well this ‘rufous’ colour is representative of the actual bird - the original image was very red all over - when I lightened it, I also had to take the red tones right down to even get a green foliage and I’m still seeing the same tones in the wing as the head especially the darker tones of the forehead.

ps. I can’t see a ‘dark’ alula, only brown shadow concolorous with the shadow under the coverts just above it.

Structurally it still looks good for Spectacled but having difficulty reconciling leg colour and face pattern (split eyering, super widening in front of eye and darker ‘patch’ just under the eye and on lower forehead above the nostril). The bill (with its very tip possibly concealed behind the green shoot) looks all pale with no hint of darker smudging on lower mandible)

Sometimes I think it possible though to hone in on one or two features out of context which may turn out to be red herrings.

Some good autumn Specs here
http://madeira.seawatching.net/species/Syl_con_bel/index.html
 
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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Rotherbirder, do you think its a Common Whitethroat? I wolud like to learn, if this is an IDable Common Whitethroat, and not a Spectacled Warbler.

I am still in the Sylvia-warbler camp, and still struggling to see an Accro in this bird. After reading the comment by Andy, I still see a notched tail, although I am still not sure, this can be judged with confidence. I have attached a picture with markings that outline what I mean, I hope the OP dont mind.
But even without, and taken the better picture by Deb (thanks for that!) into account, I think the longer undertail-coverts of an Accro should be seen and the bird looks slender like a Phylloscopus Warbler, so better for a Sylvia.
 

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