zigthedog's picture


Observed: 3rd November 2012 By: zigthedog
Sparrow Like
Sparrow Like

We have two or three of these birds visiting our garden. At first we thought they were dunnocks and hop in a similar way but it's the grey head that makes us think otherwise.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Chalkie's picture

grey head

Not sure what you mean about the grey head - dunnocks have grey heads surely! That's how I recognise them!

zigthedog's picture

Grey Head

I always understood the dunnock's head was grey round the eyes with brown plumage over the crown yet these birds have completely grey heads with no markings on the crown at all. The example photographs on Ispot of the dunnock clearly show markings on the crown.

ophrys's picture


It's a good point you make about the brown on the crown. It can be seen clearly in this picture...


Sometimes it is not so obvious, though, and perhaps that relates to age. Older birds may have more grey? I shall look at them, when I catch any for ringing...it's not something I have thought about before.


My Flickr photos...


Chalkie's picture

How many shades of grey?!

Ah, I see what you mean now. I clearly haven't been looking as carefully as I thought. My Collins Bird Guide says 'characteristic blue-grey head (ear-coverts and crown tinged grey brown)' and that 'males on average have slightly more lead-grey on head and throat than females but many are alike'.

Doing a search of dunnock images does seem to show some variation in the brown/greyness.

I'll be looking at our garden dunnocks much more closely now, thank you!