Looks like willow warbler, but didn't sound like one

I came across four birds apparently feeding on and around an overgrown dry-stane dyke at the edge of woodland.  I only managed to get photographs of one of them, as the others were partially hidden by vegetation.  They looked like willow warblers, but their calls were a sort-of single-syllable "tcheep".  (Didn't sound like chiffchaff either.)  Could they be wood warblers?

  

  • I'd say it is a Willow Warbler, Lesley. I think what you are hearing is the contact call which both Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers often make at this time of year when they've stopped singing.
    The Chiffchaff's call is often described as a single syllable "hueet" (I've heard this many times) whereas the Willow Warbler's is described as a double syllable "hoo-eet". I'm not sure I could tell the difference as we don't get many Willow Warblers around my patch.
    Nice photo by the way.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Thanks, Tony.

    It definitely wasn't a typical willow warbler call. There are quite a few of them in the area and I'm familiar with both the song and the call. As I say, it was a single syllable, with a harder, thinner kind of quality to it. I'm less familiar with chiffchaff, but I have heard the call and am fairly confident I can recognise it.

    Willow warbler would be the most obvious choice, as they are quite common here, and I've never seen wood warbler.

    Maybe they were Gaelic-speaking willow warblers!

    I can't take much credit for the photo - the bird helpfully perched in full view quite close to where I was standing. I'd been watching a thrush on the ground, and when I looked up, there it was on the wall.

  • In reply to LesleyL:

    It's a very fresh looking bird so maybe one of this year's youngsters which hasn't perfected the call yet.
    I'm not very familiar with Wood Warblers but all the field guides show them with white bellies. This bird is quite coloured in that area.
    Let's see what others think.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Ah - you're right about too much colour underneath. It also seems too brown, rather than yellow, around the throat and breast.  Blurred photo, but you can see that much.