john4352's picture

Willow warbler

Observed: 8th April 2013 By: john4352john4352’s reputation in Birdsjohn4352’s reputation in Birdsjohn4352’s reputation in Birdsjohn4352’s reputation in Birds
willow warbler IMG_1406
willow warbler IMG_1369
willow warbler IMG_1405
willow warbler IMG_1407

not sure if this is what I think,maybe Chiffchaff.The legs seem quire dark but I may be wrong.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) interacts


chrisbrooks's picture

Chiffchaff v WW

I will admit I find these two difficult but I believe the primary projection is about half the length of the tertials which would indicate Chiffchaff.

Simon Walker's picture

It's a Chiffchaff

I spent ages confused between Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. The song is an easy way to tell the difference.
Also, take a look at the primary projection (the amount the primary feathers extend beyond the tertials). It's shorter on a Chiffchaff, and about equal on a Willow Warbler.
And, of course, everything Chris says!



ophrys's picture


To be fair, this looks like quite a long-winged (probably male) Chiffchaff. There is quite a step between the two visible long primaries and then the next one inside those. Certainly, the primary projection is not noticeably short on this bird. Wing length does vary between birds and between sexes. A small female Chiffchaff can have a wing length of 54mm, a large male can reach 64mm. Willow warbler, incidentally, can vary between about 59mm and 70mm, so there is much overlap with Chiffchaff, in terms of size.

That's why looking at other factors like legs, underparts colour, cheeks is important, too. Primary projection is the best criterion, of course, but some birds are difficult even with that.

No Willows back here yet, but if the weekend reaches 21 degrees, as they are saying, I'd expect the odd one to appear.


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john4352's picture


Thanks for all the comments,after the last one I think i'll need a sound recorder as well.