SomersetWanderer's picture

Mystery bird no 1

Observed: 3rd May 2010 By: SomersetWandererSomersetWanderer’s reputation in BirdsSomersetWanderer’s reputation in BirdsSomersetWanderer’s reputation in BirdsSomersetWanderer’s reputation in Birds
Mystery Bird 1.jpg

Help please in identifying this bird

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Goldfinch's picture

Possible identity

this COULD be a nightingale, maybe, just maybe.

Kluut's picture

Not a nightingale

It's easy to say what it isn't - it isn't a chaffinch either. Unfortunatley it isn't as easy to say what it is.

SomersetWanderer's picture

Possibly ...

Many thanks for your comment - Nightingale crossed my mind however a bit of research suggests a white eye ring which isn't really evident in the photo - I also considered Garden Warbler which I believe is a possibility for the location ... not at all sure though ...

sirhandle's picture

I would suggest Garden

I would suggest Garden Warbler. There's a hint of a pale eye ring, and the grey around the neck. Unfortunately there's no clues with beak or legs but my best guess is Garden Warbler. I think a Chiffchaff would have a more prominent eye stripe.

Just go out there and do it!!!

Vinny's picture

Female Whitethroat is another

Female Whitethroat is another possibility. They can bear a strong resemblance to Nightingales. However, the legs look too dark so I'd also go with Garden Warbler.

anonymous spotter's picture


Many years ago, a wise naturalist told me an infallible way to identify warblers:
If it's in a willow: it isn't a willow warbler
If it's in a garden, it's not a garden warbler
- and so on.
It may be a garden warbler in this case - but it's only a guess.

Kluut's picture


Too much is obscurred by vegetation.
If the edges to the wing coverts are actually pale, rather than the appearance of them in the photograph being due to lighting, it is unlikely to be a garden warbler.
It is probably too greyish about the head to be a female whitethroat, but a female lesser whitethroat would be a passable fit.
Apart from an eye-stripe, which might be there, or not, it is probably not quite yellowish enough for either chiffchaff or willow warbler.

If it were in reeds, I'd bet good money any warbler was a reed warbler, or, failing that, a sedge warbler.

RoyW's picture

It is a Garden Warbler

I have no doubt whatsoever that the bird in the photo is a Garden Warbler.
It's far less easy to say why - you often hear it said that the distinguishing features of a Garden Warbler are that it doesn't have any distinguishing features!

The edges to some of the wing feathers can be slightly paler than the centres on many birds that generally look fairly plain. In this photo this seems to have been emphasized by the lighting.

the naturalist man's picture

Garden Warbler

Definitely a garden warbler.

You can not see the beak clearly but you can see all the other features:

Hint of a pale super-cilium above the eye, not extending before or behind the eye.
Buff flanks and upper chest with paler underside.
Pale throat feeding round to grey on the side of the neck.
Very plain tertials (wing feathers).
Stout, heavy looking (for a small passerine), dark grey legs.
Pale vent area.
Darkish tips to the tail feathers.

Graham Banwell

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SomersetWanderer's picture

Thanks ....

.... for all the comments, much appreciated. Garden Warbler is a first for me! Thanks again.