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turtledove

The ONLY thing that fits is a rare warbler here!

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Sorry these photos are HORRIBLE, and don't do justice. It was a dark overcast day and just about dusk to boot. The belly and undertail look so much darker than it was. 
I watched it forage in the tree tops, in the presence of about 60 other warblers. It's an area of my farm/woods that the migrating birds love to use. This is in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The face was black and white, the belly white, the throat bright lemon yellow, but you can't tell from these shots. I watched it for 20 minutes with binoculars at about 20 feet. It had grey back and black beak, black legs. Tail seemed shortish but body was rather stout and long, so maybe making the tail look short. Lots of artifacts on these photos from reflected golden leaves In one where it's basically a grey blog looking to the side, in the image you can see the black bill, it's long for a warbler, and seems to look to have a slight curve. 

In one image it seems to have a "necklace" but it did not, this is shadow of feathers creasing. Also the yellow was pure yellow, not the gold and shades you can see here, it was almost dark in the evening. I have not lightened or anything, the camera tried to bring up the light (Canon Powershot).

Thanks!

IMG_2976.JPG.3bbdadbbd6b29ba6505f492bd59ec12e.JPGIMG_2975.JPG.fe21e6f3a63f2d1295e425e6e5746795.JPGIMG_2978.JPG.e5ed38649c8a27074c602a79845583e5.JPG


To me it's definitely a Yellow-throated Warbler, but I don't think it's easy to tell that from the images!!

 IMG_2977.JPG.40e0d8872c43edb431df8875e47dca82.JPG

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The undertail was also not dark like it looks in this, it was white, lined with black on the sides of the tail feathers, a bit heavier towards bottom of tail feathers.

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So basically, looking for what more expert birders think. Do these photos indicate it is what it looked like to me, the Yellow-throated Warbler? They are rare here but we get a few each year who go astray on migration or end up here on a storm, like Dorian.

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I see why you'd say that from the photos, because all the details are blurred and the tail looks it from the angle... if it was just the photos and not the bird I saw, I might say same thing. Worse than no photos is bad photos. I'm going to post another few photos that hopefully show why it's not.

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Yellow-throated Warblers have a distinct facial pattern and black and white body. Regardless of photo quality, this is not one.

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One thing to look for in your photos is the bill, which will be dark/black on Yellow-throated Warblers versus bi-colored on the Northern Parula, with the lower mandible being yellow--almost like an extension of the throat color. Also, as akiley mentioned, the Yellow-throated Warbler has a distinct facial pattern, which is similar in both sexes, with young females and non-breeding males being only slightly faded in appearance. Below are two shots of a Yellow-throated Warbler from yesterday. Even at a distance and slightly blurred, the Yellow-throated Warbler is still unique in appearance. The distant shot also features an American Redstart.

Yellow-throated warbler 9-26-19.JPG

Yellow-throated warbler 2 9-26-19.JPG

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I'm well familiar with the NOPA having seen them hundreds of times. Yes, they have a lower mandible that's yellowish. They have an eye-ring that's the only white on the face... they have a distinctive greenish warm patch on the back, and most have an orange chest band, along with the yellow--this one did not! I watched it with binos for 20 minutes or so, it had a black and white patterned face, the throat was plain yellow. These shots are taken with my camera on lowest setting--which I wasn't aware of until I downloaded. It was almost dark, and the light coming through leaves give a stain-glass reflection as well. If you look at this cropped distant detail shot which, you can see the plain black bill with no light shining on the surface, as well as part of the white eyebrow--blocked partly by a leaf, the black eye-line and the white under-eye partial ring , and the lower face is also obscured by another leaf. The right side of the shot is obscured by another golden leaf, blurred out of focus and going beyond the body of the bird. 

I respect what you're saying and wish I had better shots to show this is not a Parula… these images are in no way comparable to the clear defined shots you have posted. My images are full of artifacts from reflected light, blurred twigs and leaves, and excessive cropping! I agree the YTWA is very distinctive and unmistakable. Which is why I can say what I saw and watched was not a Parula, it had the black and white face, a CLEAR yellow throat which the shadowy blurred photos do not show. I know that's all you have to go on, but I observed the bird! 

Thanks for your responses. 

yellow throat warbler i.d. shot face throat.jpg

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These photos definitely prove that this is not a Yellow-throated Warbler. This is a Northern Parula. A Yellow-throated shows an entirely different facial pattern that would be evident in these photos.

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On 9/26/2019 at 11:05 AM, turtledove said:

So basically, looking for what more expert birders think. Do these photos indicate it is what it looked like to me, the Yellow-throated Warbler? 

I believe your question was answered. Obviously you had some doubt about what it was, or you wouldn't have posted it. Keep looking, maybe you'll find a rarity today. Fall migration is the best!

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I'm not comfortable with eastern warblers, but from what I have seen of them I can tell you this isnt a Yellow-throated Warbler from everything that is clear in the photo. The shape of this bird is fairly short and stumpy, not long and lean like ytwa. In addition, the undertail pattern does not even resemble that of ytwas.

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