Sunday, 12 October 2014

Subalpine Warbler showing characteristics of Moltoni's Warbler?

Two distant images of the male subalpine warbler seen at Porthgwarra.  One surprising aspect of this bird is how pale and washed out it looks.  There's barely any dark red in the throat at all, just a uniform, pale pinkish wash covering the complete underparts.  Some observers though believe this is just a feature of an adult male Western Subalpine that has completed its moult and is in winter plumage. I would like to have got some images of the upper tail pattern but other photographers have now managed to.  One of the key ID features is the tail pattern.  A Moltoni's T5 tail feather (ie second one in from the outside) would show no white intrusion onto the inner web.  Photo's of this bird's T5 tail feather are spot on.  The one clincher for Moltoni's though is the call, which should be similar to a Wren-like rattle.  Tony McGowan clearly heard it call at close range and all he could hear was a single "tek"....

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