Wise Birding Holidays

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Pallas's Warbler Re-visited

Pallas's Warbler is a quality rarity, an exciting find and straight forward to identify. However, so often when faced with finding a rarity the reality is quite different. Wind, rain, lighting conditions, vegetation cover, behaviour of the bird etc etc often hinder what on paper should be a straight forward process of identification. You may only glimpse part of a bird, or only hear a call and at this point that you make the crucial decision - follow it up or disregard and move on? A great find or you miss your opportunity!

Thanks to everyone (especially Mike Langman) who made comments to me personally and on the blog regarding my previous post, on the id of the "wing-barred phyllosc." Opinions were fairly mixed between YBW and Pallas's and perhaps not that surprising given the poor quality of the photos! I have now come to the conclusion that it would appear to be the Pallas's Warbler. If I am honest to myself, even after thinking YBW in the morning after views in poor light, there was always something that niggled me about the bird throughout the day, so much so that it forced me to return in the afternoon!

I have enlarged a couple of the original photos below. The first photo would clearly seem to show a very yellow supercilium, (I wasn't convinced at first) and more importantly a central crown stripe would also seem to just be visible. The second photo shows a clear thick strong black fore-supercilium and maybe just a hint of a yellow rump.

Moral of the story: Always follow up anything that niggles you! I am just glad I did, though I wish it had stayed a little longer for more people to enjoy.

Of interest to me personally, was the monosyllabic call that I heard  just once. At the time, it seemed to match the less known YBW call that I have heard in the field on previous occasions. It did not sound like the typical Pallas's call. However, I have since learned that Pallas's Warbler can also give a single note call that is somewhat similar. See links below.

Less known monosyllabic YBW call
https://soundcloud.com/birdingfrontiers/yellow-browed-warbler-east-shore-virkie-shetland-3rd-october-2015

Single note call of Pallas's Warbler at start of recording
https://soundcloud.com/portland-bird-observatory/pallass-warbler-portland-bill-311014



Pallas's Warbler, Otter Estuary


Pallas's Warbler, Otter Estuary

No comments:

Post a Comment