Bird ID: Willow Warbler or something else?

Can anyone ID this? Was in the tree in my garden yesterday eating bugs off the leaves, had a distinctly yellow tinge to it, but only hung around long enough to get these very rushed snaps. Certainly a new one to my garden whatever it was, so an ID would be greatly appreciated:

  • Wait for other opinions from the experts but I'd go for Chiffchaff, mainly because of duller leg colour and bright under eye crescent. Having said that I got one wrong the other day when it was a Willow Warbler ! At least this reply will bump it back up to the top for the more knowledgeable members to ID

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Like Hazy says it looks like a Chiffchaff to me, it is a lot easier to tell the difference in Spring when they are singing

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I thought it was too colourful for a chiff chaff, but seems I am outvoted lol

    If anyone else wants to chip in, please do :)

  • Although have just read that chiffchaffs display more wing flicking, which the one I saw was certainly doing. So I suspect this may not get a definitive answer just from the pics. Appreciate the responses though.
  • Can't say for certain, but I'd go for willow warbler. There's a memory somewhere that's telling me that willow warblers are a bit weird, as the young are more brightly-coloured than the adults. Although I could be dreaming that.
  • Can anyone pick up and expand on Hazel's comment re the legs?

    We spent a puzzled half hour yesterday (in the company of Pied Flycatchers) and almost the only sure things we could take away with us were pale, colourless legs (the birds' not ours) and very, very little tail-flicking indeed.

    Dave
  • My money would have been on Willow Warbler, mainly from colour, but I remembered something from a BTO course about Willow Warbler having longer primaries.  Unfortunately, I can't find where I wrote that down , but my Collins Bird Guide says "primary projection roughly equivalent to tertial length" for Willow Warbler, and "primary projection only a good half of terial length" for Chiffchaff.

    So looking at the second photo, I'm now coming down in favour of Chiffchaff, too.  (But that's clearly not an expert opinion!)

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Dave - CH said:
    Can anyone pick up and expand on Hazel's comment re the legs?

    Not always 100% of the time but Chiffchaffs normally have browner legs whereas Willow Warbler has paler legs.    Chiffchaffs often have a bright undereye crescent.     

    HERE'S A BTO VIDEO which can help with ID although they are often hard birds to tell apart. 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    Not always 100% of the time but Chiffchaffs normally have browner legs whereas Willow Warbler has paler legs

    Thanks Hazel. And for the video.

    I posted Willow Warblers. If we get a "We are particularly interested in your observation of Willow Warblers..." e-mail, I'll send them to you.  ;-)

    Best regards - 

    Dave 

  • Here you go, perfectly simple -- just look for the P6 emargination! ;-) northantsbirds.com/.../

    Don't really do that, obvs, look at the picture halfway down showing the folded wing proportions. I think your bird looks more willowy than chiffy in the top-down pic. Then again, I have a very dodgy eye for such things so do judge for yourself.

    Def some very yellowy young willows around lately. Leg colour is apparently not a reliable indicator. Iberian chiff is more of a spring thing, I think, though I've never seen one so I could be talking rot.