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Willow warbler? Other birds with a "hoo-eet" call? (1 Viewer)

curlewsandpiper1980

Well-known member
Location: coastal NE Scotland, 10 July. Habitat: pine woodland and dunes

Where I live, there are a few birds with a "hoo-eet" call.

I haven't paid much attention until this week, and I found two distinct birds with similar calls.

Bird 1 is an abundant bird from a coastal conifer woodland, where several birds repeatedly call each other with repeated "hoo-eet" calls. When I see them, they fly nervously from branch to branch. It seemed rather uniformly light brown, even a bit of yellowish or olive hue. These birds are seed-eaters and are seen flying around eating the seeds inside pine cones. My best guess is that they are willow warblers, as the call resembles more them rather than chiffchaffs. There are chiffchaffs singing in the area, but as I walk there every day, I heard them always by the same trees, so I have a sense that these are another species, hence by guess for a willow warbler.

Bird 2 is a sparrow-size bird, further away from this woodland, near the dunes by the coast, where there are small shrubs (dwarf pines and birch). Bird was alone and flew away to a small distance once I approach it. Bird was featureless brown on back and pale belly, a pointy bill, and remarkably, a pale/ white supercilium and blackish eye-stripe. It should be easy to ID with these features, and being a bird of potencial open spaces, such as coastal dunes. But I have no clue about bird 2 ID, my guess is some other type of warbler.

Which other birds sing or call with "hoo-eet" sounds?

Below is the list of birds which I am familiar with, and not familiar with:
Familiar with: sparrow, robin, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, yellowhammer, swift, sand martin, starling, blackbird, magpie, crows, jackdaw, pied wagtail, oystercatcher, most gull species, meadow pipit, wood pigeon, dove.
More or less familiar with: wren and dunnoch, siskin and greenfinch, all tits, song and mistle thrush, skylark (only if singing), jay (only if singing), buzzard, osprey and eagles (only if flying near).
Not familiar with: all buntings, all flycatchers, all woodpeckers, all warblers, whinchat and stonechat, blackcap, chiffchaff (except if singing), treecreeper, linnet and twite, tree sparrow, other larks, wheatwear, redpoll, redwing, restart, fieldfare, other wagtails, hawfinch, brambling, crossbill, whitethroat, bluethroat, all crests, long tail tit, merlin, kestrel, harrier, hawks, nuthatch, shrikes, chough, nightingale, dipper, waxwing, wryneck
 

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
From your description of the calls, plumage and behaviour, either Chiffchaff or Willow warbler sound like a fair bet - both species are insectivorous, so they will likely be gleaning small invertebrates from inside the cones rather than extracting seeds. A good visual clue for separating the two species, is that Chiffchaff habitually dips its tail, whereas Willow warbler does this very infrequently. With a bit of practice, the calls are quite different also, with Chiffchaff being a bit more monosyllabic.
The only other regularly occurring bird with a similar call is Redstart, but note the robin-like tic after each call. Obviously this species would be a very different bird in all plumages, with a red tail evident throughout, but they can be quite skulking and often the call is the only indication of their whereabouts.
Hope this helps!
 

ApusApus

Well-known member
Location: coastal NE Scotland, 10 July. Habitat: pine woodland and dunes

Where I live, there are a few birds with a "hoo-eet" call.

I haven't paid much attention until this week, and I found two distinct birds with similar calls.

Bird 1 is an abundant bird from a coastal conifer woodland, where several birds repeatedly call each other with repeated "hoo-eet" calls. When I see them, they fly nervously from branch to branch. It seemed rather uniformly light brown, even a bit of yellowish or olive hue. These birds are seed-eaters and are seen flying around eating the seeds inside pine cones. My best guess is that they are willow warblers, as the call resembles more them rather than chiffchaffs. There are chiffchaffs singing in the area, but as I walk there every day, I heard them always by the same trees, so I have a sense that these are another species, hence by guess for a willow warbler.

Bird 2 is a sparrow-size bird, further away from this woodland, near the dunes by the coast, where there are small shrubs (dwarf pines and birch). Bird was alone and flew away to a small distance once I approach it. Bird was featureless brown on back and pale belly, a pointy bill, and remarkably, a pale/ white supercilium and blackish eye-stripe. It should be easy to ID with these features, and being a bird of potencial open spaces, such as coastal dunes. But I have no clue about bird 2 ID, my guess is some other type of warbler.

Which other birds sing or call with "hoo-eet" sounds?

Below is the list of birds which I am familiar with, and not familiar with:
Familiar with: sparrow, robin, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, yellowhammer, swift, sand martin, starling, blackbird, magpie, crows, jackdaw, pied wagtail, oystercatcher, most gull species, meadow pipit, wood pigeon, dove.
More or less familiar with: wren and dunnoch, siskin and greenfinch, all tits, song and mistle thrush, skylark (only if singing), jay (only if singing), buzzard, osprey and eagles (only if flying near).
Not familiar with: all buntings, all flycatchers, all woodpeckers, all warblers, whinchat and stonechat, blackcap, chiffchaff (except if singing), treecreeper, linnet and twite, tree sparrow, other larks, wheatwear, redpoll, redwing, restart, fieldfare, other wagtails, hawfinch, brambling, crossbill, whitethroat, bluethroat, all crests, long tail tit, merlin, kestrel, harrier, hawks, nuthatch, shrikes, chough, nightingale, dipper, waxwing, wryneck



If you haven't already done so, then I suggest you go on xeno-canto to check out their calls? You can access the site through this link https://www.xeno-canto.org/


Shane
 

curlewsandpiper1980

Well-known member
Great! Many thanks! That's very helpful.

From your description of the calls, plumage and behaviour, either Chiffchaff or Willow warbler sound like a fair bet - both species are insectivorous, so they will likely be gleaning small invertebrates from inside the cones rather than extracting seeds. A good visual clue for separating the two species, is that Chiffchaff habitually dips its tail, whereas Willow warbler does this very infrequently. With a bit of practice, the calls are quite different also, with Chiffchaff being a bit more monosyllabic.
The only other regularly occurring bird with a similar call is Redstart, but note the robin-like tic after each call. Obviously this species would be a very different bird in all plumages, with a red tail evident throughout, but they can be quite skulking and often the call is the only indication of their whereabouts.
Hope this helps!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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