HELP ME TO IDENTIFY THIS LOVELY WARBLER
While in Devon, I came across this warbler constantly ‘flycatching’ along a tree line. I didn’t have my bins but I did have a bridge camera, but the problem was the bird never stopped moving! I did get the attached photos though. To me, it looks like a Western Bonelli’s Warbler. We get them in Extremadura, but up in the mountains, so I am not that familiar with them. What do you reckon? I should say that I am colour blind and these sort of warblers are not something I am overly familiar with. Ian Parsons, Extremadura
QYellow-green warblers can be difficult to separate even for experienced birders, like Ian. These photos [Ian supplied more], however, are nice and clear, and there are several features on this particular bird that do seem to be pointing towards Western Bonelli’s Warbler as the correct identification. For a start, there is that pale, clean, almost silky underneath, along with the bright rump and pale-edged tertials (that’s the inner wing feathers). However, Western Bonelli’s Warbler usually has a complete eye ring, and the one on this bird definitely seems to be broken. This doesn’t count the species out as an identification, though, as individual birds can vary quite widely from standard descriptions, and this may be such a variation. Western Bonelli’s Warbler is quite a rare sight in the UK, and we haven’t seen any reports of one from the Exeter region, but, like the eye ring that’s hardly conclusive evidence against the identification. So we’re going to stick out our necks and say that unless a warbler expert can tell us otherwise, there is a possibility that this is indeed a Western Bonelli’s Warbler.