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  • ID Please

    Me again, looking for ID on a bird I saw in my garden this morning. It was all brown, slightly larger than a robin. Quite compact in its body shape and had a paler (Light brownish) chest. I didn't think it was a wren because the tail was Longer, about the length of the body. The bird kept wagging its long brown tail up and down. The bird had a eye stripe that seemed darker than the brown head but it could have just been shadow. I saw it fly off, it had fast wingbeats flapping them at least twice a second.

    I was thinking it was a Nightingale however according to my guide, Nightingales are summer visitors only. Could the recently hot weather have impacted movement or was it just a wren, a resident species. Or is it something completely different?

  • #2
    Maybe a Song Thrush or a Redwing?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MichaelF View Post
      Maybe a Song Thrush or a Redwing?
      No Way! My bird had a really long tail that was brown and the chest was a smooth pale brown no spots at all. It was just like a nightingale

      Comment


      • #4
        OWW; If you can even consider wren, when looking at a bird " larger than a robin "? Then we have our work cut out.

        Have ye been able to positively discount female blackbird?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ditch View Post
          OWW; If you can even consider wren, when looking at a bird " larger than a robin "? Then we have our work cut out.

          Have ye been able to positively discount female blackbird?
          Yes, the bird I saw had a smooth brown chest, no spots whatsoever or patterning just brown, same with the back of the bird. The tail was too short for a wren. My birds tail was about the length of its actual body. I guess I will never know what it is but am bound to see a bird identical to it as I go out birding more often.

          Thanks for now,

          OWW

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          • #6
            Hi OWW,

            Sorry, but . . .
            My bird had a really long tail
            The tail was too short for a wren
            . . . these two just don't fit together - Wren has a short tail, so your bird, whatever it is, can't have a long tail, and be shorter-tailed than a Wren, at the same time

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm glad to see you're at last telling us what you actually saw and not just posting an unidentifiable photo! Well done for that!

              As you get more experienced you will learn to pick out which features are relevant and in the meantime you won't get an ID for everything. The shape of the bill is often a good one to note, for example - that can help rule out whole families of birds. You'll also find that your descriptions become more accurate.

              What was it doing? Was it on the ground, or in a tree or on a fence post? Was it feeding - if so how - and what on? If it was just perched, was its body held horizontally like a Wagtail or upright? Was it still (apart from wagging its tail) or was it moving around? Did you hear it?

              So far the description fits Blackbird best - they pump their tails up and down and, compared to most other brown garden birds they have longish tails (assuming it was long, despite the contradiction Michael pointed out). The underparts are very variable on female Blackbirds - some are much less spotty than others. Certainly the description doesn't match Nightingale which, as you've realised, would in any case not be a possibility. If it was definitely plain brown with no streaking on the upperparts or wing bars or other distinct plumage features, then there really isn't much else in the frame apart from Blackbird. But I guess that depends on how good a view you got - if it might have been better marked but you didn't have adequate views to see the markings then the possibilities are much wider.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MichaelF View Post
                Hi OWW,

                Sorry, but . . .
                . . . these two just don't fit together - Wren has a short tail, so your bird, whatever it is, can't have a long tail, and be shorter-tailed than a Wren, at the same time
                i think you missed the main part of the id........ nightingale has been mentioned twice

                given the description,nightingale can be ruled out due to range at this time of year,what about rufous tailed robin or siberian blue robin
                regards darrell j prest

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Old World Warbler View Post
                  Me again, looking for ID on a bird I saw in my garden this morning. It was all brown, slightly larger than a robin. Quite compact in its body shape and had a paler (Light brownish) chest. I didn't think it was a wren because the tail was Longer, about the length of the body. The bird kept wagging its long brown tail up and down. The bird had a eye stripe that seemed darker than the brown head but it could have just been shadow. I saw it fly off, it had fast wingbeats flapping them at least twice a second.

                  I was thinking it was a Nightingale however according to my guide, Nightingales are summer visitors only. Could the recently hot weather have impacted movement or was it just a wren, a resident species. Or is it something completely different?
                  Not an Old World Warbler then...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MichaelF View Post
                    Hi OWW,

                    Sorry, but . . .
                    . . . these two just don't fit together - Wren has a short tail, so your bird, whatever it is, can't have a long tail, and be shorter-tailed than a Wren, at the same time
                    Sorry I meant too long for a wren.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MichaelF View Post
                      Hi OWW,

                      Sorry, but . . .
                      . . . these two just don't fit together - Wren has a short tail, so your bird, whatever it is, can't have a long tail, and be shorter-tailed than a Wren, at the same time
                      Originally posted by greenwithensbirder View Post
                      i think you missed the main part of the id........ nightingale has been mentioned twice

                      given the description,nightingale can be ruled out due to range at this time of year,what about rufous tailed robin or siberian blue robin
                      As rare as it is, it did look quite like a rufous tailed robin but wasn't one I think it's safe to say.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You've discounted Dunnock I suppose?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by appleton.dave View Post
                          I'm glad to see you're at last telling us what you actually saw and not just posting an unidentifiable photo! Well done for that!

                          As you get more experienced you will learn to pick out which features are relevant and in the meantime you won't get an ID for everything. The shape of the bill is often a good one to note, for example - that can help rule out whole families of birds. You'll also find that your descriptions become more accurate.

                          What was it doing? Was it on the ground, or in a tree or on a fence post? Was it feeding - if so how - and what on? If it was just perched, was its body held horizontally like a Wagtail or upright? Was it still (apart from wagging its tail) or was it moving around? Did you hear it?

                          So far the description fits Blackbird best - they pump their tails up and down and, compared to most other brown garden birds they have longish tails (assuming it was long, despite the contradiction Michael pointed out). The underparts are very variable on female Blackbirds - some are much less spotty than others. Certainly the description doesn't match Nightingale which, as you've realised, would in any case not be a possibility. If it was definitely plain brown with no streaking on the upperparts or wing bars or other distinct plumage features, then there really isn't much else in the frame apart from Blackbird. But I guess that depends on how good a view you got - if it might have been better marked but you didn't have adequate views to see the markings then the possibilities are much wider.
                          The bird was sitting on top of the shed wagging it's tail up and down. It was silent, so I didn't get to hear it. It moved about slightly taking a few steps up and down across the shed. I saw it fly off too, it was quick indeed seeming all brown in flight. If I'd seen it in flight only I would of thought wren but there is no way it was a wren with such a long tail.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Firecrest15 View Post
                            You've discounted Dunnock I suppose?
                            Yeh, no purple whatsoever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Old World Warbler View Post
                              Yeh, no purple whatsoever.

                              are dunnocks purple??? if so then your descriptions leave a lot to be desired. have you tried birdforum??
                              regards darrell j prest

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