Simon Walker's picture

Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff

Observed: 20th August 2011 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
unidentified Warbler, Hiz near Gerry's Hole, 2011-08-20 004
unidentified Warbler, Hiz near Gerry's Hole, 2011-08-20 004 1
unidentified Warbler, Hiz near Gerry's Hole, 2011-08-20 004 1 2
Description:

Small, very shy and flighty, which is my excuse for the quality of the photographs. I've included the third one for the detail it shows, though it's the worst of the lot...

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) interacts

Comments

Simon Walker's picture

Thank you.

...but what are the identifying features? I've been working from the RSPB handbook, and it's not clear to me. I HATE warblers...

ophrys's picture

Willowchiffs

They are difficult, so don't worry. Learn the calls...that is the easy way to be sure.

Simplifying things...Chiffchaff has dark legs, is overall less bright, has a pale eye ring, has a shorter primary projection (amount the primary feathers extend beyond the tertials at rest) and tends to be greyish on the nape and mantle. A couple of previous posts that might help...

http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/79906?nav=search

http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/202373?nav=search

At this time of year, Willows look fresh and quite bright yellow below, as both adults and juveniles have just undergone a moult. In contrast, Chiffchaff are mostly still in juvenile plumage or in post-breeding moult and so look quite dull and scruffy in comparison.

Ian
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My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Ray Turner's picture

This is ...

... a good example of the variability in the birds; these legs are bright pink, hardly dark. I do agree with chiffchaff though based mostly on the primary projection (even this fooled me at first glance; photo 3 appears to show a long primary projection until you look at it full size).

Ray

Ray

Simon Walker's picture

Thanks, chaps.

I'll try to bear that in mind. Regarding the calls, I only wish it HAD called! I'd've been ok then. The little swine was silent.