Mystery Warblers

An email from Norman Freeman:

Even with Faansie Peacocks LBJ book I have doubts on a number of LBJ’s.

Could we post these on our website for comment from folk in the know please. To reply please add your comments at the end of this post or on the photos as you enlarge them.

While birding at the Eston Sugar Mill ponds this week I focussed a little on the LBJ’s skulking in the dense water grass just above water level. Three of these have me doubting my labelling them with certainty.

These are:

1. Two photo’s of a warbler at the waters edge, very elusive, and moving in amongst the broad leafed water grass and sedges. My thinking, with it’s very distinctive white / cream circled eye, steep crown at times and dark legs is that it could be:
a. Marsh Warbler – the habitat at waters edge in broad leafed vegetation; its steep crown seem to say yes, but it does not have yellow legs.
b. African Reed Warbler – but lacks dark stripe from eye to beak. The habitat is right. Many of the photo’s on Roberts Multi-media of this bird lack the dark stripe. (This is my 1st choice)
c. Lesser Swamp Warbler – but lacks conspicuous white eye brow.
d. Why not a Eurasian reed warbler?

2. The next photo (753) below is of a warbler which was with another bird which had awesome clear distinct markings and which I ID’d as a Sedge Warbler (no photo unfortunately). Both birds were together. Could this photo attached be the same but just drab?

Mystery Bird No. 2.
Mystery Bird No. 2.

3. And finally, photo 766 below has light coloured legs, a white eye brow and distinct stripes on breast. Not too many warblers have striped breasts.
Could it be:
a. Lesser Swamp Warbler
b. Marsh Warbler
c. A Cisticola???

Mystery Bird No. 3
Mystery Bird No. 3

Thanking you,

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Norman Freeman says:

    Thanks to all for your comments. Most helpful. Norman

  2. Jenny Norman says:

    Ian’s comments are under the first pic.

  3. Penny de Vries says:

    Norman, Ian’s comments are under the picture of Mystery bird 1

  4. Penny de Vries says:

    Not convince about 3 being a Sedge Warbler – should it not have an obvious dark crown?

  5. Jenny Norman says:

    Agree with Ian.

    1. Norman Freeman says:

      Hi Jenny, I can’t seem to find Ian’s comments. Please assist. Norman

  6. Dawie Rotteveel says:

    I’m not near Faansie’s LBJ book, but I can offer a comment on no. 3. It is a Sedge Warbler 🙂

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