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Thread: Chiffchaff or Reed Warbler?

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    Senior Member Jacqueline Burrell's Avatar
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    Default Chiffchaff or Reed Warbler?

    The images were taken in Luxor in mid-February.
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    Chiffchaff

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    Seconded - Chiffchaff.

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    It is a Chiffchaff but I can see why Jacqueline was doubtful; it is certainly not typical of Chiffys I am seeing at the moment.

    The backlighting is giving the legs an apparent pinkish colour (due to their transparency) when in fact they are black, but a Reed Warbler would also have an overall "warmer" and more brownish colour. Structurally, the bill is the best I.D. separator - much longer on Reed Warbler.

    Supercillium on this bird is very indistinct, and the overall colour (if it is a true respresentation) is very "washed out" - some Chiffys I have seen this afternoon varied from almost Canary yellow to Greenfinch green.

    Colin

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    Hi guys,

    notice the short primary projection- way too short for Reed warbler and the tail appears slightly notched not graduated.

    ))


    D

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    Senior Member Jacqueline Burrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Key View Post
    It is a Chiffchaff but I can see why Jacqueline was doubtful; it is certainly not typical of Chiffys I am seeing at the moment.

    The backlighting is giving the legs an apparent pinkish colour (due to their transparency) when in fact they are black, but a Reed Warbler would also have an overall "warmer" and more brownish colour. Structurally, the bill is the best I.D. separator - much longer on Reed Warbler.

    Supercillium on this bird is very indistinct, and the overall colour (if it is a true respresentation) is very "washed out" - some Chiffys I have seen this afternoon varied from almost Canary yellow to Greenfinch green.

    Colin
    Many thanks for the confirmation and the pointers for future identification. It was the colour of the legs and the overall "washed out" appearance that make me uncertain.

    The intensity of the light in Luxor in early spring also adds to the confusion so I'll be armed with a measuring tape next time and concentrate on the bill as well as taking more notice of the tail!

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    It is worth noting that Chiffchaffs can genuinely have pale legs, dark orange or fleshy coloured, but Willow Warbler never show dark legs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marklhawkes View Post
    It is worth noting that Chiffchaffs can genuinely have pale legs, dark orange or fleshy coloured, but Willow Warbler never show dark legs.
    True Mark, but in my experience very rare.

    If you look at the upper left tarsus (which is in shadow) of Jacqueline's bird it is clearly black. Same effect of "back-lighting" in this bird here (in this case it is the upper right tarsus in shadow):



    Colin

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    Senior Member Jacqueline Burrell's Avatar
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    If could could always achieve pix as good as Colin's, I wouldn't have nearly as much trouble with identification.

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