Monday 8 July 2024

7-7-2024 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - SARDINIAN WARBLER (MALE) (Sylvia melanocephala)

Slender warbler with long tail, short wings and pointed bill. Restless and alert with frequently raised crown feathers and dark eye framed in red. Male with black head, white throat, greyish upperparts and off-white underparts. Female less striking, with grey head grey-brown upperparts, distinct buff flanks and paler belly. Both sexes with white sides and corners to tail. Rarely sits exposed, and usually betrays itself by it's frequently used scolding call. Often just glimpsed when it dives into a bush, spreading it's tail and showing the white markings.

Scolding call a machinegun-like, short and harsh rattle. Usually consisting of 2-5 notes with some variation in timbre and delivery. Song a stream of varied, short notes, constantly interspersed with variations of the scolding call. Phrases 2-5 sec. long. Easily confused with several other sylvias, especially in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Rattling sound (in both song and call) differs from most other congeners by being considerably harder and more "smacking". Dartford Warbler most similar, but usually betrays itself by it's characteristic and frequently used contact call (also interspersed when singing).

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