Ringing Features


Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus at Hengistbury Head - 13th October 2008

On a day when I was ringing on my own I didn't hold out much hope of a good session, especially as the forecast was for showers later. However, with just 4 nets to tend I managed a good haul including 13 Lesser Redpoll, 12 Chiffchaff and 8 Goldcrest. The morning soon exploded into life when around 9.00am, a visiting birder informed me that I had a Dusky Warbler in one of my nets. Finishing off the processing of some Redpolls, I quickly made my way to the net in question. There was indeed a small warbler in the net, but it turned out to be just a Chiffchaff. On checking a nearby net, I noticed it had caught several more Chiffchaffs - however, on close inspection, the first bird had a distinct pale-yellow supercilium and a double wing-bar. By this time, I had been joined by Dave Taylor and Ian Southworth - I called them over and explained that I was pretty sure I had trapped a Yellow-browed Warbler. Dave asked me to check the rump and crown just so that Pallas's Warbler could be ruled out.

Ian made several phone-calls with Dave to inform local birders and the information services. Back at my car. I checked the identification, which included ruling out the even rarer Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler. The pale lower mandible and the faint crown-stripe confirmed this identification, see photos below.

Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler - Alan Hayden
Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler - Mark Andrews

Ageing & Sexing The bird was aged as a first-winter (Euring Age Code 3) female. The bird showed signs of abraded tips to its tail-feathers, indicating a juvenile bird. The tail was measured as 38mm, which according to Svensson marks it down as a female. The wing was measured at 55m, also indicating a female, the bird weighed-in at only 6.2g.

After processing, the bird was released into nearby scrub and was photographed again by Alan Hayden, see below.

Yellow-browed Warbler
Yellow-browed Warbler - Alan Hayden

References

Identification Guide to European Passerines, Lars Svensson, 4th Edition 1992

Kevin Sayer