HABITAT AND CONTEXT
Habitat can be a great first clue when it comes to identifying birds. For example, a brownish warbler with a white throat in a reedbed is less likely to be a Whitethroat than a Reed Warbler. And a bunting singing from that same reedbed is more likely to be a Reed Bunting than a Yellowhammer (which prefer trees and hedges to sing from). Once you get a feel for which bird ‘should’ be where, it is a great short cut to identification. Beware, though, exceptions should be expected!