The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.

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8 years 1 month ago #13057 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
If it were a European Reed Warbler and not an African would it not have literally only just arrived as an early migrant? Would we not expect to see feather wear?
Doesn't look like it has just flown a few thousand miles?

When I saw my first African Reed Warbler at Marievale it was early July and I think European can pretty much be ruled out altogether then - so perhaps seeing one in June or July gives you less of a headache in ticking it.

Neil

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  • Dewi Edwards
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8 years 1 month ago #13058 by Dewi Edwards
Dewi Edwards replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.

some texts I read refer to severe feather wear on long migration greatly shortening primary projection


That makes sense. And explains the problem.

Ah well, back to the drawing board, or should I say mist net!

Someone will come up with an ID clincher one day, but it won't be me though!

Interesting reading up on it though and lots yet to learn.

Cheers,

Dewi.

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8 years 1 month ago #13062 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
Hey all......
We are being very silly here. I quote directly from Birdsinsa.com....

The Acrocephalus baeticatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 631..

.

So if you can count you should be able to separate these two bird without a hitch. <!-- s:rotfl: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rotfl.gif" alt=":rotfl:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:rotfl: -->

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  • Dave Shedman
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8 years 1 month ago #13063 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
We are indeed being very silly. If you scroll up to the top you'll see my original question was not what is the ID of the bird but is it the same bird / species in pic 3 as in 1 & 2. :D

That said, it's been a very useful and informative, if frustrating, discussion. In Shed Man's head the jury is still out (about 11-1 in favour of African Reed Warbler at the moment - we may have to send them to a hotel). <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Ô¿Ô

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8 years 1 month ago #13064 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
Applying some numerology to your last post....

3 x 2 = 6

Append to that the 3 and the 1...

631 - African Reed-warbler.... <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: -->

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8 years 1 month ago #13065 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
Doug, you've been watching too many Jim Carrey movies! <!-- s:rotfl: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rotfl.gif" alt=":rotfl:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:rotfl: -->

Ô¿Ô

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8 years 1 month ago #13066 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
In all seriousness though, here is an in-the-hand pic of an African Reed-warbler
[url:13fldeb0]http://www.flickr.com/photos/18634801@N08/2954560900[/url:13fldeb0]

Check the primary projection against an in-the hand European Reed-warbler
[url:13fldeb0]http://www.birdsireland.com/pages/site_pages/features/bird_in_hand.html[/url:13fldeb0]

Realistically how reliable is that wing projection as a field ID feature bearing in mind the European Reead-warbler is a summer bird in europe with fresher and longer primaries. Even in that case I am not sure anyone would reliably be able to tell the difference?

Comments welcome of course.

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8 years 1 month ago #13068 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
BY the way if it is marsh warbler you have no hassles with ID. That has a distinctive call.

Marsh warbler has a hurried jumble of sounds including some mimics and the notes sort of rush into each other as if the bird is in a hurry.

The two reed-warblers have a distinctive three to four -noted grouped phrasing as they call [i:3dy01dzc]chip-chip-chip-chur-chur-chur-tik-tik-tik-zwee-zwee-zwee[/i:3dy01dzc] and so on (although not distinctive from each other sadly).

All other warblers, especially when taking call into account are fairly easy to ID. It is just those two reed-warblers.

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  • Dave Shedman
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8 years 1 month ago #13069 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
You're right, Doug, impossible to ID this bird on photos, binocular observation and call - in the hand of an expert is probably the only way (anybody got Ian Sinclair's phone number? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ). The thing that's making me go in favour of African is nothing more than likelihood. This bird, or at least one of this species, has appeared in our garden around this time for the past two years. This one's been here two or three weeks now, it's just taken me a while to get clear photos. Obviously I'm very far from an expert but is it likely that such a rare vagrant would migrate to exactly the same location two years in a row? Also, do Eurasians breed here? We think there are two of them now (we only saw one last year), though of course they could both be the same sex. The problem with confirming there are two is that it tends to stay in our neighbours' tree which has dense foliage and is also a favourite haunt of Cape White Eyes and both Tawny Flanked and Black Chested Prinias. With so many tiny birds flitting restlessly around it's hard to tell if there are two warblers. Mariana claims to have seen two in our tree but she can't be 100% certain.

Maybe I'll have a think about this while I'm on holiday next month and come to a decision. I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure...

Ô¿Ô

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8 years 1 month ago #13070 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: The warbler issue rears its ugly head again.
Hi Dave.

If two males try to breed in your garden please try and get photos of their mating rituals for us <!-- s:rotfl: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rotfl.gif" alt=":rotfl:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:rotfl: -->

Cheers,
Doug

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