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Wood Warbler? (1 Viewer)

KenM

Well-known member
Looking back through last weekend's ''digital shooting spree'' I came across a single image that I'd seen before, plus one that I hadn't! The shots were taken two minutes apart at the same location, but in different trees perhaps 2-3m apart. FWIW I'm seasoned regarding Wood Warbler and have imaged the species numerous times here and abroad, however I'm finding this situation a tad sticky! First image taken looked not unlike the former, however with the pp being seemingly fore-shortened by the angle and perhaps the eye-stripe marginally under par I defaulted to Willow Warbler.

The second image although less than perfect (and presumed to be the same bird?) does appear to show an extremely long pp, long UTC's and short tail, can't imagine the coincidence of two Wood Warbler ''looka-likes'' turning up at the same time?

Cheers
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Both juv/1cy Willow Warbler for me

(neither showing the ‘clean’ green/yellow/white of Wood Warbler, nor the striking face pattern, nor the bare part colour on legs)
 
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KenM

Well-known member
Looking back through last weekend's ''digital shooting spree'' I came across a single image that I'd seen before, plus one that I hadn't! The shots were taken two minutes apart at the same location, but in different trees perhaps 2-3m apart. FWIW I'm seasoned regarding Wood Warbler and have imaged the species numerous times here and abroad, however I'm finding this situation a tad sticky! First image taken looked not unlike the former, however with the pp being seemingly fore-shortened by the angle and perhaps the eye-stripe marginally under par I defaulted to Willow Warbler.

The second image although less than perfect (and presumed to be the same bird?) does appear to show an extremely long pp, long UTC's and short tail, can't imagine the coincidence of two Wood Warbler ''looka-likes'' turning up at the same time?

Cheers

You mean quite unlike a perfectly lit and sharp individual shot at 2m such as this, without pixcellation, heavy shadow and shot at c10m.
It's the primary projection that irks, as it appears to be well in excess of the overlying tertials (2nd image), effectively far too long for Willow Warbler?
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Ken,

I cant add something to the answers of Roland and Deb, I just wanted to say, that the yellow on the underparts of your second bird is reaching to far down towards the flanks for the majority of Woods. Allthough difficult to judge exactly, due to blurred image, it seems that the yellow is reaching at least to the tip of the alula in your bird. I know, there is much variation in Wood concerning the extent of yellow colouration there, but:
in many Wood, only the throat and the adjacent upper breast is yellowish (quite rare, but still regular enough in Willow to avoid ID by this point ALONE). I know, such an extensive yellowish colouration can be rarely present in Wood Warblers, but they are really unusual in my experience.
 

KenM

Well-known member
Hello Ken,

I cant add something to the answers of Roland and Deb, I just wanted to say, that the yellow on the underparts of your second bird is reaching to far down towards the flanks for the majority of Woods. Allthough difficult to judge exactly, due to blurred image, it seems that the yellow is reaching at least to the tip of the alula in your bird. I know, there is much variation in Wood concerning the extent of yellow colouration there, but:
in many Wood, only the throat and the adjacent upper breast is yellowish (quite rare, but still regular enough in Willow to avoid ID by this point ALONE). I know, such an extensive yellowish colouration can be rarely present in Wood Warblers, but they are really unusual in my experience.

High Alexander,

Under normal circumstances, no brownie points for Wood Warbler ID, however imo on passage they become very secretive, often high in the canopy with perhaps a more measured slower movement than Willow/Chaff?

Comparing the tertial to pp ratio on the “grounded” image reveals 20% longer pp to tertials, a not inconsiderable length! got me wondering if the longer wing (perhaps a faster flight?) reduces the need for them to stop as often as their congeners, because they are not often recorded on Autumn migration albeit the London parks sometimes attract them into the crowns of their highest trees.

Yes they can be variable regarding the amount of yellow tint to the flanks and breast sides also the strength of the eye-stripe they appear to share this not unsurprisingly with the more highly variable Willow Warbler.

Cheers
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
High Alexander,

Under normal circumstances, no brownie points for Wood Warbler ID however imo on passage they become very secretive, often high in the canopy with perhaps a more measured slower movement than Willow/Chaff?

Comparing the tertial to pp ratio on the “grounded” image reveals 20% longer pp to tertials, a not inconsiderable length! got me wondering if the longer wing (perhaps a faster flight?) reduces the need for them to stop as often as their congeners, because they are not often recorded on Autumn migration albeit the London parks sometimes attract them into the crowns of their highest trees.

Yes they can be variable regarding the amount of yellow tint to the flanks and breast sides also the strength of the eye-stripe they appear to share this not unsurprisingly with the more highly variable Willow Warbler

Cheers

So are you still suggesting the OP image could be a Wood Warbler? - I’m a little confused with your reaction here because you responded to my IDing the OP as Willow Warbler with an image of a Wood Warbler and implied I wasn’t taking the ‘poor’ quality of the image into account in arriving at my judgment. You then reaffirmed that implication apparently by following it up with a statement demonstrating your knowledge and experience of Wood Warblers v Willow Warblers (So shouldn’t separating these be easy then? especially from still images, Wood Warblers and Willow Warblers really aren’t confusion species imo!)
 
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KenM

Well-known member
So are you still suggesting the OP image could be a Wood Warbler? - I’m a little confused with your reaction here because you responded to my IDing the OP as Willow Warbler with an image of a Wood Warbler and implied I wasn’t taking the ‘poor’ quality of the image into account in arriving at my judgment. You then reaffirmed that implication apparently by following it up with a statement demonstrating your knowledge and experience of Wood Warblers v Willow Warblers (So shouldn’t separating these be easy then? especially from still images, Wood Warblers and Willow Warblers really aren’t confusion species imo!)

In good light and reasonable time/proximity with the subject absolutely no problem! But with scant views and low light they can become more challenging particularly when on passage. I was assuming that they were one and the same bird...cos two cosmetically similar Willows would have been somewhat coincidental within two minutes of one another. That said I’m still of the opinion that the pp on image two looks a tad on the long side for Willow hence the thread?
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Fair enough Ken, if your view wasn’t good enough in the field - I often get that fluster of movement but can get onto what’s flitting around in the canopies before it disappears - but what about the photos we are now faced with? I can’t see anything that makes me think Wood Warbler. The pp should be about equal to the length of the tertials for Willow -
I hope you don’t mind but I downloaded your image to indicate what to me looks fine and within range for Willow Warbler. (I might add this is just part of a range of other features pointing to Willow)
 

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Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
When I was a new ‘birdwatcher’ in the late ‘60’s I remember visiting a Central London park and seeing Wood Warbler. It was of course a yellowy young Willow Warbler, and fortunately, a mistake I’ve never made since. These two photographs are pretty obvious Willow Warblers.
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Deb and Ken and all. When I understand this thread correct, all (including Ken) agree, its a Willow Warbler.
When you google for a specific ID problem, you often find references to birdforum, so this thread might sure be helpfull for future reference.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
When I understand this thread correct, all (including Ken) agree, its a Willow Warbler.

I think maybe there’s a language misunderstanding then - I can not see written a consensus here. Rather that the argument is the primary projection and wing length of the bird is thought to be too long (among other things) for a Willow Warbler. (I would not have made further comment after my first post if there was consensus as to the ID.). But almost a consensus is usually quite good enough for BF ;)
 

lou salomon

the birdonist
no need for a total consensus if the hard facts all are pointing towards WW and reliable members of this forum have agreed on them.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
no need for a total consensus if the hard facts all are pointing towards WW and reliable members of this forum have agreed on them.


I agree with the first part of this sentence but question how the second part (in bold) works in practice. In general imo, the settlement of ID Q&As should not be based on forum members’ judgements (often misplaced) about the ‘reliability’ of the forum member posting answers but rather an objective view of the identifying criteria to establish an ID.
All of us make mistakes regardless of experience so while experience of course greatly matters for accuracy, a ‘voting for the poster’ settlement of difficult ID images risks creating perceptions of an ‘elite’ group from only whom some OPs will accept ID answers. The answers provided by posters considered to be ‘outside’ the group of ‘reliable’ members are then not accepted or even ignored altogether despite the accuracy of their answers.
 

Rotherbirder

Well-known member
[/B]

I agree with the first part of this sentence but question how the second part (in bold) works in practice. In general imo, the settlement of ID Q&As should not be based on forum members’ judgements (often misplaced) about the ‘reliability’ of the forum member posting answers but rather an objective view of the identifying criteria to establish an ID.
All of us make mistakes regardless of experience so while experience of course greatly matters for accuracy, a ‘voting for the poster’ settlement of difficult ID images risks creating perceptions of an ‘elite’ group from only whom some OPs will accept ID answers. The answers provided by posters considered to be ‘outside’ the group of ‘reliable’ members are then not accepted or even ignored altogether despite the accuracy of their answers.

Agree, this definitely happens on the BF ID forum. FWIW, these are both WW and - IMHO - show no resemblance whatsoever to WO. Just another of Ken's 'playful' ID conundrums!
 
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lou salomon

the birdonist
surely there is truth in everything you said, deb. still, in this case you settled some arguments for WW from the beginning - yes, objective arguments are best of course - then alexander added a few more, with roland and adam agreeing on the already said (and after that nutcracker and myself). i just wanted to emphasize there is enough evidence for the ID, considering the discussed features but ALSO the agreement of some knowledgable birders - without wanting to make a segregation issue the way you suggested. but i wouldn't dismiss the opinion of experienced birders in this context just because of the danger there could be established a two class society on BF.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
All of us make mistakes regardless of experience so while experience of course greatly matters for accuracy, a ‘voting for the poster’ settlement of difficult ID images risks creating perceptions of an ‘elite’ group from only whom some OPs will accept ID answers. The answers provided by posters considered to be ‘outside’ the group of ‘reliable’ members are then not accepted or even ignored altogether despite the accuracy of their answers.

Agree, this definitely happens on the BF ID forum.

Except that seeing these threads for a while you get to know who the 'experts' are whose opinion you can reasonably well trust to get it right. I'm pretty sure that this follows for 90 - 99% of the time, and also that these 'experienced posters', if/when do make a mistake (does happen) acknowledge such. (Of course there are the unidentifiable/open to various opinion poor shots too of course).

So I disagree with the elitist idea myself. Anyone's voice does get heard.
 

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