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'Siberian' Chiffchaff in Italy

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  • 'Siberian' Chiffchaff in Italy

    A photo of a 'Siberian' Chiffchaff at the same site as the first twitchable Pallas's Warbler for Italy are on the Euro Stop Press - http://www.surfbirds.com/media/galle...0129100611.jpg and http://www.surfbirds.com/media/galle...0129100739.jpg

    More images can be seen here - http://www.pbase.com/lep/recent

    My first impression is too much olive-yellow on the remige fringes and the fore-supercilium. Its general pallidity and colour looks like abietinus (or intergrade?).

    Any other thoughts? Alan?

    Brian S

  • #2
    The image on Surfbirds, which is also the first image on the pbase site, is not convincing as tristis - the olive in the remiges is OK but the extent of yellow 'bleeding' from bend of wing onto sides of breast, and the (apparent) yellow tinges in underparts and fore-supercilium are not. Together with the (apparent) lack of the distinctive grey-brown hue of upperparts and the 'rusty' buff tinge to supercilium, cheeks and breast sides which characterise a classic tristis, the features as depicted in this image recall abietinus more than tristis. However, are the often-cited and problematic vagaries of digital photographs yet again coming into play? The 2nd, 3rd and 4th images on the pbase site (which I presume are the same individual) while still not totally convincing are yet a step in the right direction. They have a better grey-brown hue to the upperparts, less olive appearance overall and reduced appearance of yellow streaking. If these three images are more accurate than the first, then they could indicate a 'fulvescens'. As noted in the BB items, the appearance of 'fulvescens' and 'riphaeus' types from the overlap zone (and even some eastern abietinus) converge to a considerable extent. Was a call heard - or preferably recorded?

    Alan
    Last edited by ARD; January 30th, 2012, 08:03 PM. Reason: typo

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    • #3
      Ciao Brian and Alan,

      I didn't see the bird by myself and I was quite worried by the same features you pointed out. Luckily the bird was quite well sound recorded: it seems to give both quite tipical tristis call "iiih" and some more up-down slurred calls, those with a U shaped sonogram. Even these sweeo-like calls though sound quite low pitched and very sad; I'll upload some recordings later if people who got them allow me (one of them could also send it by himself, Igor are you reading? ; )

      This is for sure a very interesting bird, but maybe not the best to be seen by many people in Italy where there is still a too semplistic identification view of Siberian Chiffchaff (often a greyish chiffchaff is too fastly labelled as tristis!).

      Cheers
      Michele
      Last edited by heuglini; January 30th, 2012, 07:22 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have seen a tristis on Sicily with Andrea in 2010 at Siracusa - I have some video somewhere....

        Brian S

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        • #5
          It's a short sound-record of this bird
          Igor
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            A little bit fuzzier and slightly more inflected than a classic tristis call but within range of variation. Attached here is a composite with, first, a Russian-recorded tristis and then the Italian bird. Also a sonogram of the two calls.

            Alan
            Attached Files
            Last edited by ARD; January 31st, 2012, 09:57 AM.

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            • #7
              Thanks to Igor and Alan ; )
              Igor got the "easy-call type". Here you can ear the more U shaped one.

              http://www.ornitho.it/index.php?m_id=54&mid=32991

              best wishes
              Michele

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              • #8
                And here is the sonogram!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The precise shape of sonograms depends upon the frequency and time scales employed and it's important to compare 'like with like'. So, here's another composite sonogram which shows, first, a Russian-recorded tristis and then the Italian 'call B'. This shows that the 'call B' is indeed a 'shallow sweeoo' call, as discussed in an earlier thread. There it was suggested that such 'shallow sweeoo' calls might well be given by pure-bred tristis (perhaps first-winter birds especially?) as such calls have been recorded from presumed tristis in India. However, recordings of this type from unequivocal tristis in the core breeding range appear to be lacking (if primarily a 1W call then that would not be surprising however). When there's a rather non-classic plumage plus a 'shallow sweeoo' call then it has to be admitted that we are in rather 'tentative' territory.

                  Alan
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by ARD; January 31st, 2012, 03:33 PM. Reason: Added link to earlier thread

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ARD View Post
                    The precise shape of sonograms depends upon the frequency and time scales employed and it's important to compare 'like with like'. So, here's another composite sonogram which shows, first, a Russian-recorded tristis and then the Italian 'call B'. This shows that the 'call B' is indeed a 'shallow sweeoo' call, as discussed in an earlier thread. There it was suggested that such 'shallow sweeoo' calls might well be given by pure-bred tristis (perhaps first-winter birds especially?) as such calls have been recorded from presumed tristis in India. However, recordings of this type from unequivocal tristis in the core breeding range appear to be lacking (if primarily a 1W call then that would not be surprising however). When there's a rather non-classic plumage plus a 'shallow sweeoo' call then it has to be admitted that we are in rather 'tentative' territory.

                    Alan
                    I don't see any reason to believe that "sweeoo"-callers would be first winters in tristis as it's not the case with abietinus.

                    The subject bird has relatively pale bareparts coloration for tristis and i see even a hint of olive in the crown here;
                    http://www.pbase.com/lep/image/141063958/original


                    Interesting bird anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Petteri Mäkelä View Post
                      I don't see any reason to believe that "sweeoo"-callers would be first winters in tristis as it's not the case with abietinus.
                      In suggesting that there may be a preponderance of 1W involved in the 'shallow sweeoo' call of [apparent] tristis I am following the current perception in the UK of the 'fulsome 'sweeoo' call given by collybita. The 'fulsome sweeoo' call of collybita is heard most frequently as a late summer and autumn call and it has been suggested that juveniles are most often involved. The idea that it is primarily a call from young birds has been supported by e.g. 'The Sound Approach to Birding', where it is discussed at length on pages 88 - 91 (including a reference to Killian Mullarney recording a brood of juveniles giving this call while they were being fed by an adult). In a 'typical' year, the incidence of the 'sweeoo' call declines significantly after the late-summer/early autumn. However, we know that adults give this call too, and that in some years it may even be the prevalent call in Spring. See here for a lengthy Surfbirds thread which I initiated on this very topic. The extent to which the 'sweeoo' type of call is used by adults in autumn is not truly established. Any fully-substantiated statistics relating to its use by different age-groups at different seasons would be very welcome.

                      Alan
                      Last edited by ARD; February 4th, 2012, 11:27 AM.

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                      • #12
                        A photo of a very similar bird to that in Italy from Kuwait - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed1...in/photostream

                        Brian S

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                        • #13
                          This is the same bird, recorded one week later.
                          Attached Files
                          maudoc
                          Maurizio Sighele
                          Verona, Italy
                          maudoc.comveronabirdwatching.org

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            and some shots by my son Giacomo

                            cheers
                            Attached Files
                            maudoc
                            Maurizio Sighele
                            Verona, Italy
                            maudoc.comveronabirdwatching.org

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maurizio

                              Thanks for the extra recordings, the first part of the recording, though plaintive still has the down-slur at the end.

                              Please thank your son for the great photos.

                              Brian S

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