27 July 2015
Ageing and sexing of Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria can be difficult at times. The bird below, trapped at Akkol lake, Zhambyl province on 21 May 2015 (photo Arend Wassink), can be safely identified as a second calendar-year male, based on the combination of the mostly juvenile wing feathers and the lemon-yellow iris.
24 July 2015
This Sykes’s Warbler Iduna rama, trapped at Kyzylkol lake, South Kazakhstan province on 24 May 2015 (photos Arend Wassink) shows the full set of characters of this species, i.e. long, thin bill and long tail, giving the bird an attenuated (Acrocephalus-like) appearance, short supercilium only prominent between eye and bill and merging with eye-ring, lack of dark lateral crown-stripe, complety orange lower mandible and uniform and pale tertial centres with concolorous shafts. Also, tail-feather 5 and 6 show contrasting pale tips and fringes, extending on inner webs.
Compare with Booted Warbler Iduna caligata trapped in the Nura valley, Aqmola province on 11 May 2011 (photo Patrick Palmen). Due to the relative short bill and tail Booted Warbler looks much more proportionate (more Phylloscopus– like) than Sykes’s. It usually also shows a dark tipped lower mandible and rather dark centred tertials. The lateral crown-stripe is visible but not very developed, due to wear.
21 July 2016
This yellow morph Seebohm’s Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia straminea we trapped in the Nura valley, Aqmola province on 12 May 2013 (photos Patrick Palmen) shows all good characters for this taxon, i.e. pale lores, more contrasting upperparts than in nominate, with large, rounded feather centres and narrower, paler fringes, lack of spots on the throat and well-defined thin, black streaks on the flanks. However, out of range identification would only be possible on measurements and wing structure.