Marsh and Reed Warbler

Heads up

Its only 3 days ago! Had such a full on few days and just catching up. Last monday was the start of the 3 day guided event at Spurn which started bang on with singing Marsh Warbler in the canal hedge thanks to finder, Andy Roadhouse. If they are singing they are not too tricky. Non-singers being more problematic. In spring: besides being more olivey green above (yellowy-rumped) with bits of  yellow below than Reed Warbler (which are browner, rust rumped and no yellow below) the face often looks different. To me the white eye-ring on Reed Warbler nearly always jumps out is the most prominent feature of the face followed by the weak thin pale ‘squiggly’ stripe running from eye to bill. The bill is long.

On Marsh Warbler the face is more open (even ‘hippolais warbler-like) and any pale around the eye less obvious than on Reed with the pale area between bill and eye, being big, pale and open (not thin and squiggly as on Reed).

Here  is last Mondays Marsh Warbler compared with a Reed Warbler photographed in the nearby canal zone.

Marsh Warbler, Spurn, 28th May 2012. This was a particularly short-billed individual with measurement below that found in the ringer’s manual ‘Svensson’.

Reed Warbler, Spurn, May 2012

Marsh Warbler, Spurn, 28th May 2012

Reed Warbler, Canal Zone, Spurn, May 2012. A prominent white eyering is often the first thing noticed when head of a skulking Reed Warbler pops out!

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
This entry was posted in Spurn Guided Events, Warblers. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Marsh and Reed Warbler

  1. Pim Wolf says:

    Hi Martin, I remember one of the ringers at the Chorocki Delta (Republic of Georgia) mentioning that many of the autumn Marsh Warblers they caught had shorter wings compared to the birds they usually catch in Belgium. Different migration strategies per population? Population specific adaptations?

    cheers, Pim

    • Martin Garner says:

      Interesting Pim- do you think such bios appear in the Reed and Bush Warblers book?- sure Peter Kennerley and David Pearson would be keen to know, and add stats to database


  2. Martin Garner says:

    Reblogged this on Birding Frontiers and commented:

    Heads-up on the tricky acro’s- these were taken at Spurn a year ago. Good time of year to watch the Reeds and search for the skulking Marsh Warbler.

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