Help with bird identification... (Grebeman or others?)

Discussion in 'Nature' started by tbhv55, May 23, 2012.

  1. tbhv55

    tbhv55 Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 26, 2010
    Devon
    I snapped this picture of a bird at Slapton Ley in Devon recently, but have been unable to identify it satisfactorily from our "Idiot's Guide"(!) to British Birds, so I wondered whether Grebeman (as the local expert at Slapton) - or any other knowledgeable person here - would be kind enough to identify it?

    (Note: It wasn't taken on my m43 kit, so I'm not sure whether this is Ok... if it isn't, then mods please delete the thread).
    Many thanks...
    Tim.
     

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  2. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    262
    Mar 2, 2010
    A reed bunting? not that I'm an expert...
     
  3. tbhv55

    tbhv55 Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 26, 2010
    Devon
    The reed bunting picture in our reference book doesn't look like the bird that I saw - however, sometimes the book pictures aren't all that great, in my experience. Thanks for the suggestion anyway.:thumbup:

    I'm still interested to know if anyone has any other thoughts on this - thanks...
     
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    It appears to be a juvenile, many/most birds will display slightly different plumage as a youngster than an adult.

    G
     
  5. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Hi Tim,

    What you have photographed is an adult Reed Warbler.

    Barrie
     
  6. tbhv55

    tbhv55 Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 26, 2010
    Devon
    Barrie,
    Many thanks... as I suspected, the picture (it was a drawing, rather than a photograph) in my reference book is not too accurate.

    Thanks also, to the others who replied.

    The reed warbler's song was a delight to hear, but does it also have a sharp - almost explosive - call of alarm? I heard such a sound coming from the reed beds, but was unable to see whether it was the same bird making it.

    Slightly off-topic here, but I really enjoyed your recent series of photographs of the South Devon Railway on the Serious Compacts site. I've never managed to capture the atmosphere of the S.D.R. quite as nicely as you did... a great set!:2thumbs:
     
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  7. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Tim,

    The explosive song you heard would be a Cetti's Warbler, more often heard than seen. A darker bird than the Reed Warbler with an almost mahogany coloured back and greyer underparts. It has a distinctive large tail, very broad but with only 10 feathers rather than other passerines which have 12 and is related to the Indian scrub warblers.

    Many thanks for your kind comments about my SDR photographs.

    Barrie
     
  8. tbhv55

    tbhv55 Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 26, 2010
    Devon
    Barrie,
    Many thanks for the incredibly detailed information.

    The bird in the attached shots - which I took a week or so later (also at Slapton) - appears to fit your description of the Cetti's Warbler, and I'm fairly certain that it was this fellow making the loud noise. There was only a fleeting moment to capture these shots; he disappeared very rapidly... that's my excuse for the not-very-good focus accuracy...!

    Would you concur that this is a Cetti's? Thanks.
     

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  9. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Tim,

    Yes that's a Cetti's Warbler. I see from the LH photograph that the bird is ringed on the left leg. Most ringers ring on the right leg, but I can tell that that one was ringed by a lady called Judith Read who rings on the left leg. I was shown a good photograph of one by a visitor a couple of years ago, but he'd been there all week and had taken hundreds of photographs to get his good one, so no shame in yours. That's about as much as you'll see of them. A friend of mine was colour ringing them for a study a few years ago and he recruited me to find them in the field and recognise individuals from the sequence of colour rings. That was fun!

    Barrie
     
  10. tbhv55

    tbhv55 Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 26, 2010
    Devon
    Barrie,
    Thanks for confirming the bird ID... it's great to have access to such expertise on the forum.

    It's also good to know that the limitations in my efforts at photographing the Cetti's Warbler were excusable - cheers!! :biggrin:
     
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