Warbler ID, West Mids, UK (1 Viewer)

pandachris

Well-known member
Photos taken through double-glazing so fairly horrible.

This appeared whilst I was on a WFH conference call. It's in my partner's garden in central Wolverhampton. I think that there are some suggestions of a 'cap' but we've just managed to look at it through binoculars in the open for a few seconds (still through glass) and the head appeared uniform.

FWIW we've had singing Lesser Whitethroats during spring passage in at least 3 of the last 6 years, but not this year, when we've spent far more time in the house than ever before.

Ideas? Most of the likely species will be garden ticks for this unpromising location for birds. Might have a few more photos later.
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Photos taken through double-glazing so fairly horrible.

This appeared whilst I was on a WFH conference call. It's in my partner's garden in central Wolverhampton. I think that there are some suggestions of a 'cap' but we've just managed to look at it through binoculars in the open for a few seconds (still through glass) and the head appeared uniform.

FWIW we've had singing Lesser Whitethroats during spring passage in at least 3 of the last 6 years, but not this year, when we've spent far more time in the house than ever before.

Ideas? Most of the likely species will be garden ticks for this unpromising location for birds. Might have a few more photos later.

Looks like a Garden Warbler to me Chris...and there’s no such place as an unpromising location...keep the faith. :t:
 

pandachris

Well-known member
LOL. Thanks Ken. It would be the 3rd warbler species for the garden, I think, since 1999. We've had a few LWs, a few Chiffchaffs and I can't think of any others. GW was my second thought, after I'd ruled out Chiffchaff, muted my phone and shouted for my partner to bring her camera and have a look. Difficult to concentrate on your conference call when there's a potential garden tick 5 metres away :)

It reappeared whilst I was writing the original post. We might have got a couple of better photos, albeit still through the double glazing. I'll post more if I think they add anything useful.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Difficult picture, it seems probable that the compact, round body and plumb bill is a result of the distortion caused by the double glass window (and therefore producing a jizz that says Garden Warbler at first sight), but:
colours are good for a Common Whitethroat:
pale, flesh-pinkish legs
warm rusty brown wing panel,
extensive pale lower mandible (difficult to judge the real extent, because image is blurred here).
There seems to be a white moustache , but its not good in extent and shape for Subalpine Warbler (but here I would like to get input from others, as I dont have enough experience to be sure of variation). So I think this moustache seems to be an artefact.
Conclusion: Common Whitethroat for me, colours fit this species
 

pandachris

Well-known member
Thanks for all the additional contributions. Common Whitethroat was, of course, one of the species that we discussed (my partner is also a birdwatcher and took the photographs) but wasn't less appealing in the field than Garden Warbler. Either bird would be a new species for the garden. We've seen quite a lot of Subalpine Warblers during autumn passage. Indeed had things worked out differently we might have been looking for passage birds in Parc del Poblenou, Barcelona, this morning. So it goes. I feel the bird was too robust for Subalpine. And it would be quite a find here :)

As an interesting addendum, the bird is still here this morning, a stone's throw from The Royal Metro station. I glanced out of the bedroom window and it flew from the little thicket in the corner of the garden (we think Blackbirds are still breeding there, so have not touched it for months) to the top of the privet hedge. I didn't have my glasses on so it might have been a different bird but was certainly ok for a Sylvia warbler was in the exact same spot that yesterday's bird had occupied. Then, to my surprise, a second Sylvia-type flew from the thicket into the hedge! I had no idea we were sitting in a warbler migration hotspot. I've open the front room blinds, put my specs, the camera and a pair of binoculars on the desks and will keep an eye on them for a while and see if I can get any better views/pics.
 

pandachris

Well-known member
More photos

Here's a few more from yesterday evening, still through double-glazing. We've just got a few more shots of one of the birds this morning. The sun was brighter but I don't know yet if they any more help.
 

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