Tricky phylloscopus

As there have been some enquiries about whether or not a phyllo from Bøur, Vágar, on the 18th of august is a chiffchaff, a willow warbler or a bonelli’s warbler I promised to post some more pics of the bird on the blog.

As there were several phyllos in the village I really cannot be totally sure that the birds I’ve photographed are identical. Thus I’m only uploading three pics where I am absolutely sure it in deed is the same bird.

Comments on the id can be read under the post “M&M – Mykines and more”.




8 comments on “Tricky phylloscopus

  1. says:

    this is a chiffchaff or an eastern bonelli’s warbler – surely you heard it’s call?

    cheers, rolf

  2. Mads Bunch says:

    To me it is a very warn willow warbler. Tips of primaries almost gone, which is why it look so short-winged. But aside from the short wings, everything is perfect for willow warbler…Best, Mads

  3. Mads Bunch says:

    “worn”, me meant;-)

  4. Rare birds have this peculiarity about them that when it is one, you see it. When you are unsure, it is the common. Which is what this is, a Common Chiffchaff. For one thing it lacks the Bonelli´s warblers´ complete eye-ring.

  5. Bjergløvsangerinvasionen i efteråret 2011 says:

    Hi again,

    Like in Denmark, it seems that people have a hard time identifiing a juvenile ‘southern chiffchaff’? These bird only hold their juvenile plumage for a few weeks before turning into a more normal dressed 1st cal immature chiffchaff.

    cheers, rolf

  6. Per Kjær says:

    Well, I cannot tell which species this phyl belongs to on the basis of these photos, but I disagree with Mads. Willow warbler, both young and old, moult complete during the summer – meaning, it would be very very (VERY) rare to se a “very warn [worn] willow warbler” at this time of year. And to me, the tips of the primaries are still there; they all have the nice bright edges characteristically of fresh feathers.

  7. Mads Bunch says:

    Hmmm, yeah, must be a Chiffchaff. Was puzzled by the yellowish bill and legs and general appearance said Willow too. And Per is course right regarding moulting pattern for Willow and the primaries….

  8. Johan Buckens says:

    Yellow-green edges on secondaries and primaries, grey mantle, white underparts, pale lores: for me this is clearly a Bonelli’s Warbler.
    Other friends of me in Belgium have the same opinion.

    Johan Buckens

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