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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Warblers /Sylviidae

Barred Warbler/Sylvia nisoria - Male

L 15½-17 cm. Breeds in tall bushes with scattered trees in open country, but also in bushy glades in open forest; shares habitat, and often territory, with Red-backed Shrike. Summer visitor, migration as Garden Warbler; passage migrant in Britain, mainly on E coast (Aug-mid Oct, rare in spring). Skulking, but occasionally seen flying between bushes, and in spring in near-level song-flight.
IDENTIFICATION: A large, heavily built Sylvia; long-tailed. Wingcoverts and tertials ± pale-edged. Some white at tips of tail-feathers. - Adult male: Iris bright yellow. Upperparts lead-grey, darkest on head, with distinct white fringes to wing-coverts and tertials. Entire underparts closely and heavily vermiculated dark grey. - Adult o/1st-year male: Like adult male, but iris often slightly duller yellow, upperparts more brown-grey and barring below not so obvious and complete. (1st-year female minimally barred, has browner tone above and yellow-brown iris.) - 1st-autumn: Grey-brown above, buffish-grey and unbarred below. Iris dark. Identified by light buffishgrey tertial and covert fringes.
VOICE: Call characteristic, a loud rattle, dying towards end, ‘trrrrr’t’t’t-t’, somewhat recalling scolding House Sparrow; sometimes also added to song; tempo varies, is occasionally slower. Alarm a hoarse, muffled ‘chaihr’. Song like Garden Warbler’s (at times confusingly so!), but almost always audibly harder and more rasping and with slightly higher pitch. Even more similar is the ecstatic song of some Whitethroats, and at times the rattling call must be heard or the bird seen before certain identification is made.

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