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Unusual bird and song, please help with ID - Scaling Dam, North Yorkshire, England (1 Viewer)

Yesterday morning I had a good look through binoculars at a bird in a tree near Scaling Dam, North Yorkshire. It had its back to me and I could see clearly its upper back/neck was bright ginger. When it turned its head I could also see the ginger was on the side of its neck and cheeks. On its lower back it had a very bright turquoise/green patch. The bird was thrush/starling sized.

In the afternoon from the same tree I noticed a song I had never heard before. The sighting and the sound may or may not be connected. At this time I did not see the bird making the sound. The sound was exactly like a referees whistle. Just a single tone for about 4 or 5 seconds then 10 seconds silence.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Mike
 

Butty

Well-known member
contact call - the Pink, pink one
That call isn't like a referee's whistle. I'd guess that, if it was a chaffinch, it would be the call often known as the 'rain call'; it's never occurred to me to compare that to a referee's whistle, but I guess at a (big) push one might do.
 
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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
I agree with all about the whistle, but the description of the birds look with a contrasting greenish rump and ginger back and sides of the head fits a Chaffinch.
I am no expert in referees whistle, but please have a look at you local toy store if lockdown admits this. You may be surprised.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Chaffinch have a longish drawn out "alert / alarm " call, particularly when nesting and an intruder is nearby. Used to alert an incubating female and or nestlings. There aren't that many other passerines that have a noticeable greenish rump - perhaps Greenfinch.
 
Lads and ladies some of you aren't paying full attention.

The poster Black Heron wrote "In the afternoon from the same tree I noticed a song I had never heard before. The sighting and the sound may or may not be connected. At this time I did not see the bird making the sound. The sound was exactly like a referees whistle. Just a single tone for about 4 or 5 seconds then 10 seconds silence."

Black Heron is NOT associating the whistle sound with the bird as he DID NOT see this bird.

So hence my guess at Grasshopper Warbler.

It could be a completely different bird.
 

Simon G

Well-known member
Lads and ladies some of you aren't paying full attention.

The poster Black Heron wrote "In the afternoon from the same tree I noticed a song I had never heard before. The sighting and the sound may or may not be connected. At this time I did not see the bird making the sound. The sound was exactly like a referees whistle. Just a single tone for about 4 or 5 seconds then 10 seconds silence."

Black Heron is NOT associating the whistle sound with the bird as he DID NOT see this bird.

So hence my guess at Grasshopper Warbler.

It could be a completely different bird.

Doesn't sound like a grasshopper warbler to me, Richie. Perhaps a greenfinch giving the 'tswee' call? Though 4-5 seconds is a bit long for individual calls.
 
Thanks for all your replies.

I am somewhat embarrassed to realise the bird sighting was in fact a male Chaffinch albeit a rather flamboyant one!

The whistle I heard is another matter. Obviously you are all at a disadvantage having not heard it and can only go on my description. I understand several birds are very good mimics and my guess is a Song Thrush is in the habit of going to watch the local football matches. It is difficult to imagine the sound I heard could have come from the lungs of a small bird. I regret not having a better look at the tree at the time but the only bird I noticed was a Nuthatch.

Mike
 

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