Passing visitor?

Two of these in the willow tree in my garden this morning. We are out in quite open country near Wick, Caithness. Never seen there here before. Any help very much appreciated. 

  • Looks a lot like a whitethroat to me but the eye stripe is throwing me. I even had a muddle through my shrikes in case I'm wrong XD

    Whitethroats are known willow warblers so it would make sense.
  • Yes, as Robbo says - the bird is upside down in that photo.

    The darker 'mask' is a notable marker for a Lesser.
  • Hi David,   What a lovely bird to have visit your garden and I agree with Rob that it is an Lesser Whitethroat which is pointing downwards;   to help I have added a photo of one I took a few years ago ......

    not the best of photos but enough I think to give you the overall impression 


    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks Hazel, nice picture of a lesser whitethroat! I have seen a whitethroat before (near Dornoch in springtime) but lesser whitethroat is new to me.
    They were active birds and indeed were often upside down among the branches. I think we had them for a few hours and now they are gone. Thanks for your help. :)
  • In reply to Shezkah:

    I also thought shrike but size more like lesser whitethroat. Seems quite far north for this time of year. Thanks for your help :)
  • In reply to rspbailey:

    Thanks for your help. I'm glad I had the camera at hand though my photography isn't too good and my windows need cleaned! Lesser whitethroat is a new spot for me. They were very active and stayed around a few hours but are now gone.
  • In reply to David Bremner:

    A nice find in the garden David, I am over at the other side of Caithness, several miles west of Thurso and have never had them here.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to rspbailey:

    Thanks for the info! We had only ever had very faint striped or not at all so I looked it up online after you said this and lo and behold there are big populations known to have a distinct stripe. So cool!