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Warbler, Geneva area, CH (1 Viewer)

rafnuss

Well-known member
Hi all,
Looking for some help on this recording. I recorded it on the 7th of April at Marais de Sionnet in Switzerland.
I'm a bit puzzle, I got it down as Blackcap in the field, but listening to it again, it has quite Melodious like phrase. I guess it's way too early for that specie, but would be happy to get your opinion.
Thanks,
 

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MJB

Well-known member
It repeats things: blackcap and melodious warbler don't do that.
It's not (thrush-)nightingale-like.
It's an icterine warbler.
Until the 'squeaky toy' phrase, it sounded more like an aberrant Song Thrush, but as the recording got louder, the song sounded far less mellow, and so I agree with Icterine, though obviously a well-bred one!
MJB
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
I agree with Butty and MJB,
its an Icterine Warbler.
Good for this species is the follwing description: it is a mimic song, that falls into the "Marsh Warbler, Melodious Warbler, extremly variant Blackcap, Sedge Warbler"-gruop.
Please note, "computer-like"-cutting like tones, like a Marsh or Melodious Warbler played to loud with low-quality speakers
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
A few Icterine Warbler arrive in late April in SW-Germany, and according to this site, the 07.04. might be just ok in Switzerland? Gelbspötter | Schweizerische Vogelwarte

But listening to this song again, its not as easy as I thought first. Icterine song can be variable and some can give a strange feeling, but the harsh, "computer-like"-cutting like tones, like a Marsh or Melodious Warbler played to loud with low-quality speakers are a very good feature of this species, and I have yet to hear a Marsh or Melodious Warbler with such phrases.
This bird here seems to have these too, but after hearing the song again, it seems that this seems enhanced by the equippment I am currently using.
Another option is indeed a Blackcap. And this is the better fit, after hearing the recording again, but I still want to rule out an Icterine (mimetic singers with Melodious/Marsh Warbler quality are regular in SW-Germany), when hearing the recording with better speakers here.
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
The "rattle" that you hear at 47 seconds sounds like Icterine (or indeed Melodious) Warbler, and there are a few bits at the start that you'd also hear in their song.
However, I miss the "tone ladders" which are very typical. They also commonly make a two-note Greenfinch-like call which is completely lacking as well.
(I heard my first two Icterine Warblers of the year singing yesterday).
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Sionnet is an extremely heavily birded spot, a small oasis of a wetland surrounded by vineyards and crop fields, with hedgerow and copses of trees as well. Looking on Ornitho.ch through the many sightings there that day I see Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler but no other warbler species as one would expect for the date, no Song Thrush observations either. It was a good day for the site, with uncommon/rares such as Short-eared Owl, Spotted and Little Crake and Black-winged Stilt for example, they’ve had Aquatic Warbler, Red throated Pipits and Calandra Lark more recently, a little jewel of a place particularly in spring.
The first Icterine recorded in Switzerland this year was on 27 April, it and all subsequent ones all in central and eastern cantons, it would be a mega in Geneva canton. I lean towards Blackcap too, up here in the Alps we have one Blackcap with a very strange song this year too, though it could be suffering from a sore throat due to the cold April we had!
 

Butty

Well-known member
Have you ever (ever) heard a blackcap repeating phrases? - at all - let alone consistently as this bird does through the whole of this long recording?
 

kuzeycem

Medicinal Birding
Turkey
I also don't get why a bird that sounds perfectly typical for an Icterine Warbler has to be something else just because time/location is a little unusual. Birds are known to surprise in much bigger ways, aren't they?
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
After hearing the recording again, I think a Blackcap is indeed the best fit. I hear many Icterine a year, and I have heard birds lacking the "tone ladders" and the typical call (often intermixed in the song) completly. And the harsh quality of some notes in this song, so good for an Icterine sounds not so good on another device (but still about 90% Icterine), so what it is?
Its easy to say its a Blackcap imitating an Icterine, after some very experienced people have voted for this (post 7), and I am in that camp now, too.
A Marsh or Melodious Warbler can be ruled here, I think, even without date and location.

edit: added the wort device
 
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KenM

Well-known member
I have hunted down Blackcap and listened extensively over many, many, years and have never heard one sing anything remotely like the recording.

To my ear you may as well attribute it to Nightjar or Cuckoo, even allowing for regional dialect “differences” I can’t attribute this to a Blackap, the notes are far too rich and repeating in part, with no final fluted flourish within earshot.

In timbre, tempo and quality it certainly has more of a Hippo/Acro feel, am certainly not disagreeing with any consensus here for the sake of it...I just feel that the difference from Blackcap is that stark, I can’t even buy into aberrance as even “cross singers” eventually show their “fluted hand”.

Cheers
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
A few ones that I would not have recognised:

I found a better one but I helpfully lost it while editing this post (somewhere among these: Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) :: xeno-canto)

No imitations of Icterine Warbler unfortunately, but imitations of Song Thrush, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Nightingale and Thrush Nightingale are all represented on xeno-canto.

It could still be something else of course, but none of the other species suggested thusfar.
 
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Hannu Varkki

Well-known member
I would call this as Blackcap. The elements of Blackcap song can be heard clearly: diverse subsong that ends with flute sounds. I admit this is a talented individual and the subsong is not the most typical. The subsong of Blackcap varies a lot however, and it can also imitate phrase structures, rhythms and tempos of other birds.

Today I recorded a Blackcap that was clearly imiting Icterine Warbler (e.g. 30''-35''), more than the bird in this thread. It struck me like a straight answer to this thread :cool:

 
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rafnuss

Well-known member
Thanks all for this very informative discussion. My vague souvenir of the recording is that I was hoping for Melodious/Icterine and started to record it and then saw a blackcap getting out of the bush. I can't be sure that there were not two birds, but considering the date, it is very unlikely for Icterine. The blackcap imitation theory is also my vote !
 

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