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Thread: "Off the radar" ??

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default "Off the radar" ??

    The recent thread about a Pied Bushchat being dismissed in the past as a potential vagrant makes me wonder what else this might apply to?

    One obvious one I can think of: Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus. Breeding, and wintering, ranges very similar to Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei. Numerous UK records of Hume's and presumably plenty more elsewhere in Europe. No European records of Sulphur-bellied, as far as I'm aware. Are they being overlooked as 'rather bright Chiffchaffs'?

    Anyone want to suggest others?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Norfolk, UK


    In 1980 Ian Wallace published a paper in British Birds (73: 388-398) listing what he considered to be potential vagrants to the UK. A few of the species on his list have since turned up, a few with some regularity. Some of the other species might seem a little far-fetched, but now that something as unlikely as a Pied Bushchat has turned up, who knows? Wallace's 1980 list was:

    Blyth's Pipit, Whistling Nightingale, Siberian Blue Robin, Eversmann's Redstart, Daurian Redstart, Grey-backed Thrush, Pale Thrush, Gray's Grasshopper Warbler, Menetrie's Warbler, Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler, Sooty Flycatcher, Grey-steaked Flycatcher, Brown Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Brown Shrike, Daurian Jackdaw, Daurian Starling, Oriental Greenfinch, Pallas's Rosefinch, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Black-faced Bunting, Meadow Bunting, Yellow-browed Bunting and Chestnut Bunting.

    Taking away the ones that have occurred in the 30 years since Wallace compiled his list, and ignoring the ones that will always be clouded by the escape issue, that's still a lot of possibilities!

    In the very next issue of BB the same exercise was done for Nearctic landbird vagrants by Chandler S Robbins. Interestingly, Alder Flycatcher is well up towards the top of the list but Willow Flycatcher didn't feature at all.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Well I guess all of those count as 'on the radar' since he mentioned them

    They are all more eastern Siberian / northeast Asian; nothing from central Asia where Hume's Warbler and the northernmost Pied Bushchats come from, and other regulars like Isabelline Shrike and Desert Wheatear. I suspect this is more the area to look for, to get new ideas.

    Large-billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus . . . Recently found to be a medium-long distance migrant from the mountain valleys of western Central Asia to Thailand . . . will one take a 'wrong turning' and end up in Europe?

  4. #4
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Suffolk, UK


    I might guess at Yellow-streaked Warbler Phylloscopus armandii - surely this will be seen in the UK/WP one day?

    Brian S

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Same breeding area as Eastern Crowned Warbler - yes, good call.

    Edit: on second thoughts, maybe not so good - it isn't such a long-distance migrant, only goes less than half the distance south that ECW does. It might not have the staying power to reach Europe.
    Last edited by MichaelF; October 10th, 2010 at 04:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Long-billed Reed Warbler is rather rare which counts against it. What you are looking at would be long-distance migrants which are common within their range. So off the top of my head:

    Blue and White Flycatcher
    Siberian Flycatcher
    Grey-streaked Flycatcher
    Pale-legged Leaf Warbler
    Ashy Minivet
    Black-browed Reed Warbler
    Black-naped Oriole
    Yellow-rumped Flycatcher
    Stejneger's Stonechat
    Asian House Martin
    Pale Martin
    Asian Stubtail
    Baikal Bush Warbler
    Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler
    Oriental Reed Warbler
    Chinese Leaf Warbler
    Buff-bellied Pipit (japonicus)
    Forest Wagtail

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    And looking to America, i reckon the following passerines will occur sooner or later, most likely on the Azores obviously.

    Olive-sided Flycatcher
    Eastern Wood-Pewee
    Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
    Great Crested Flycatcher
    Eastern Kingbird
    Blue-headed Vireo
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow
    Golden-crowned Kinglet
    Eastern Bluebird
    Nashville Warbler
    Orange-crowned Warbler
    Pine Warbler
    Prairie Warbler
    Mourning Warbler
    Connecticut Warbler
    Chipping Sparrow
    American Tree Sparrow
    Vesper Sparrow
    Swamp Sparrow
    Red-winged Blackbird
    Rusty Blackbird

    Plus the following have an outside chance:
    Loggerhead Shrike
    Cave Swallow
    Bicknell's Thrush
    Yellow-throated Warbler
    Prothonotary Warbler
    Worm-eating Warbler
    Kentucky Warbler
    Swainson's Warbler
    Yellow-breasted Chat
    Common Grackle
    American Goldfinch
    Pine Siskin
    Blue Grosbeak
    Orchard Oriole
    Clay-coloured Sparrow
    Field Sparrow

    Still a lot of potential for anyone looking to find a 1st for the WP...

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