Please help me with this mystery warbler - I'm on holiday in Orkney

Saw this warbler picking off insects from a bush in the garden of a holiday cottage in Orkney.  It was largeish, and very noticeably VERY yellow underneath going right down the body, with only the hint of a supercilium.  The photographs were taken through a window, so the vividness of the colour has been bleached out a bit, but I didn't want to lighten/brighten the image for ID purposes.

  • A Chiff Chaff seems the likely contender.
  • I'm pretty sure it's not a chiffchaff, unless there are varations with age that I'm not familiar with (which is possible!) I know them as fairly dull, even boring looking birds - quite buff-brown with a slight yellowy tinge around the edges. This is a really bright, zingingly yellow bird.
  • Have you googled Wood warbler Kiera?

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Sunlight can make feather colour look more bright as shadow can do the opposite,

    Leg colour - as well as overall colour markings - when we judge a bird by photographs, can be affected by the camera settings and technical things like chromatic aberration.

    Looking at the bird we must first rule out why it isn't the most common and simple answer - to me, here, Chiffchaff - and then look for more clues.

    The supercilium isn't the most dynamic - in your photos - and therefore isn't conclusive of anything more 'exciting'.

    Chiffchaffs 'can' be bright and stunning birds - see Google.

    And if you heard the bird's call then, of course, it would have made the identification a lot simpler.

    I am not saying that this bird isn't something else, but judging by the evidence presented I'd be happy to go with Chiffchaff.
  • rspbailey said:


    Looking at the bird we must first rule out why it isn't the most common and simple answer - to me, here, Chiffchaff - and then look for more clues.

    Think I've written a very similar point on many occasions on here! I totally agree. Often there are posts from people stating what it isn't, and seeking other suggestions, while the photo is strongly suggesting it is what it apparently isn't!

    Re this individual, I'd suggest it's quite possibly an immature chiffchaff. If it is not, it's quite possibly an immature willow warbler.