Which war­bler?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QRe­cently on a cruise through the Mediter­ranean, the ship at­tracted sev­eral avian hitch-hik­ers (in­clud­ing a Long-eared Owl!), most of them war­blers. This one di­vided opin­ion, with some sug­gest­ing Melo­di­ous and oth­ers Ic­ter­ine. Can you put us right please? David Cun­niffe

AMost guide books would say that Melo­di­ous War­bler would be a more likely spot in the Mediter­ranean, es­pe­cially the western part, and we would agree that this bird re­sem­bles that species more closely than the very sim­i­lar Ic­ter­ine. Both species share the yel­low un­der­parts, ‘open’ face and grey legs and bi-coloured bill. How­ever, this bird has medium length rather than very long pri­maries (which Ic­ter­ine War­blers have) and does not show any pale lon­gi­tu­di­nal panel in the wing, as is of­ten shown by Ic­ter­ine War­blers. So, we be­lieve this is a Melodius War­bler.

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