My decent(ish) finds in Feb 2012: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Water Pipit Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Smew Loe Pool 01/02

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Saturday, 31 October 2009

Green(ish) Warbler - part 3

Managed to get down before first light and nail a recording of the bird as it emerged from roost calling. Downloadable from here. Recorded with a Seinheisser ME66 onto an Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM digital recorder as a wav file (thanks to Thor Veen for the loan of the equipment - Dave when am I getting mine back!).  Excuse the rather poor quality and sounds of Stuart Piner getting the assembled masses onto the bird. It was quite distant with a lot of background noise. A mp3 version kindly cleaned by Hugh Harrop using a high-pass filter is available from here. In my opinion very similar to this call of a normal Greenish on the Xeno-Canto website by Wouter Halfwerk in Kiat Ngong wetland.

A recording of a Green Warbler by Stuart Fisher in Kumarakom, India is available here and one of a Two-barred Greenish by James Eaton at Mondulkiri in Cambodia here. Note the lack of House Sparrow like "chirrup" quality to the Greenish Warbler, present in both Two-barred and Green. The Church Cove bird also lacks this.

The top sonogram was kindly created by Hugh Harrop is a high temporal resolution version of two of the clearer calls. The bottom version, created by Neil Hagley is a longer version of the recording. Both are a near-perfect match of the Greenish Warbler sonograms published in the 2001 Dutch birding article by van der Vliet et al, available here (if you subscribe to RBA - you can also get it with the 7 day free trial), Green has a W-shaped sonogram and Two-barred even more peaks and troughs. There are a whole bunch of useful songs and sonograms here.

Incidentally - there are some more photos of the bird here. The third one down initially struck me as particularly interesting as it does suggest that the bird had a more typical Green Warbler wing formula - i.e. P3 and P4 are the longest and P2 is between P6 and P7 in length. In Greenish P4 and P5 are generally (although not always) the longest and in only 14% of females and 9% of males is P2=P6-7 (see Dutch Birding article here). However, there are some more photos in the UK400Club blog here. On this photo, the wing formula is suggestive of Greenish - i.e. P4 & 5 look the longest and p2=P7-8. This demonstrates the hazard of determing wing formulae from photographs.

6 comments:

  1. From Magnus Robb:

    Dear Ilya,

    Good that you got a recording. It solves the i.d. in a jiff. This is a Greenish for sure. Greenish sounds like this all the way to Kazakhstan at least. I have recordings from there that I couldn't distinguish from European birds.

    As you would have realised from the DB article, Green Warblers have more complex calls. In sonagrams, Green tends to have more W-shaped calls, with more modulations (wavy lines). They really sound very different.

    Hope this won't be too big a disappointment for those who travelled furthest to see the bird!

    cheers,

    Magnus

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  2. http://reservoircatz.blogspot.com/2009/10/twitchers-deny-being-stupid.html

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  3. I have never seen Greenish, Arctic or Green warbler anywhere and personally I would have been ecstatic to find a Greenish on my patch. I do think there is a lot of wishful thinking amongst twitchers that creates more doubt than is necessary.

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  4. Watcha mate

    I've managed to dig up a few bits and bobs on Turkish Green Warblers and it's a bit of a minefield with very little known for sure, especially on the western birds. Plumage can be rather dull, and calls can be very similar indeed to Greenish but whether a bird would give so many calls (Alan Lewis says 70+) that are entirely compatible with Greenish seems very unlikely...

    Looking forward to birding, beer and pool (and some Green/Green-ish/Greenish talk!) in a week or two!

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  5. Cheers Tim Look forwards to catching up too mate. Would be interesting to find out about a bit more about the western Turkish Green. What do the bills look like (two-toned, or uniform horn?). Also any photos of 1st winters?

    That said, claiming the Church Cove as one smacks a bit of clutching at straws to me - surely the entire population only numbers a few hundred at most?

    I'd like to say I hope your pool skills are improving, but seem to recall getting my arse thoroughly whooped last time round, so it's probably me that should be practising!

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  6. Hey there

    yes, sounds very unlikely indeed. I expect someone will record the Turkish birds next spring. It sounds as if although they CAN be 'very similar' they often sound 'different' with a third syllable being detectable at least now and then. And it's reasonable to expect that would be apparent over a long series of calls over a few days. And we thought our Greenish last year was a bit tricky eh?

    Pool skills are premier league these days... until the beer takes over.

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