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Subalpine Warbler

Subalpine Warbler
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-03-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 70-200 F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200, Sony SAL 14 TC
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Italy - IV Chapter [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-05-20 1:03
Viewed: 4770
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here the first one I made during my last seatrip,we were underway from Turkey to Iceland with a cargo of Quartz,while sailing in the mediteranean we had some small birds resting on our deck,(probably migrating birds which we see regularly during these months (depending off course where we sail),anyway I took some pictures,sorry for the unatural settings,but you cant have all on a ship,I Used my 70-200mm lens and a 1,4 converter and used the in build flash to brighten things up,thanks for your time and visit

While at home I made some investigation about the ID of this colorfull bird,on board I guesed already that it could be a kind of warbler,I think it is a Subalpine Warbler,but you may correct me if I am wrong

The Subalpine Warbler, Sylvia cantillans, is a small typical warbler which breeds in the southernmost areas of Europe and northwest Africa. This small passerine bird is migratory, and winters along the southern edge of the Sahara. It occurs as a vagrant well away from the breeding range, in both spring and autumn as far north as Great Britain.

Like most Sylvia species, it has distinct male and female plumages. The adult male has a grey back and head, brick-red underparts, and white malar streaks ("moustaches"). The female is mainly brown above, with a greyer head, and whitish below with a pink flush. The Subalpine Warbler's song is fast and rattling, and is similar to the Lesser Whitethroat.

This bird seems to be related to the Sardinian Warbler-Menetries' Warbler superspecies. They all have white malar areas, the heads being dark above in adult males, and naked eye-rings. These three species are related to a superspecies consisting of Rüppell's Warbler and the Cyprus Warbler, which also share the white malar area with blackish above.( The Subalpine Warbler is divided into three distinct subspecies groups, which may possibly be sufficiently diverged to qualify as three separate species . The three groups have differing male plumages, distinctive calls, and are allopatric; further study is needed.

These groups are as follows (areas given below are breeding ranges; all forms winter in Africa):

* Western Subalpine Warbler - subspecies cantillans, found in north-west and peninsular Italy, Sicily, southern France and Iberia, and inornata found in north-west Africa
* Eastern Subalpine Warbler - subspecies albistriata, found from north-east Italy southeastwards to southern Turkey
* Moltoni's (Subalpine) Warbler - subspecies moltonii, an endemic taxon of the western Mediterranean islands: Corsica, Sardinia, the Balearic Islands; and the Ligurian Apennines

Eastern Subalpine Warbler differs from the nominate race by its deeper blue-grey upperparts, a blackish mask on the lores and ear-coverts, brick reddish-brown coloration confined to the throat and breast and sharply demarcated from a largely white belly, paler flanks and a wider white submoustachial stripe.

This is a bird of dry open country, often on hill slopes, with bushes for nesting. The nest is built in low shrub or gorse, and 3-5 eggs are laid. Like most "warblers", it is insectivorous, but will also take berries.

Miss_Piggy, boreocypriensis, eng55, cloud, jconceicao, jaycee, Alex99, Argus, nardophoto has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Paul
Indeed a beauty. Such a lovely, tiny bird with striking features. The fine feathers look delicate and smooth, and I am sure it will feel the same when one has the opportunity to stroke it. Just love the red-brown circle around the eye, and the patch of white just below it. I also like the almost cheeky expression captured on the face. The lime green surface it is captured on highlights the beautiful colours of the feathers. Thanks for sharing, this dainty Subalpine Warbler.
Best regards

Hi Paul
Stunningly perfect and lovely capture of this cute warbler with neat details from a nice POV .
TFS and cheers!
Have a nice day!


  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2009-05-20 1:43]

Ha Paul,

Dit is een leuke gast op de boot. Heb deze soort nog nooit gezien!
Originele foto met mooie kleuren en goede scherpte.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-05-20 1:58]

Hi Paul,
Excellent capture.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.I liked lighting,details and visual impact also a lot.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-05-20 2:21]

Hello Paul,
It's very joyful bird, perfect POV and sharpness. Against such BG look very interesting. Our attention isn't distracted.
Best regards, Pawel

Hello Paul,

Great capture of this beautiful bird.
Nice colours with fantastic detail.
Lighting and composition are splendid.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-05-20 3:14]

Hallo Paul,
Volgens mij zit je helemaal goed met de Baardgrasmus, sylvia cantillans. Geinig dat je plotseling zulke vogels aan boord krijgt.
Prachtige foto in uitstekende scherpte en natuurlijke kleuren. Goede pose en compositie.

Hi Paul
Wonderful picture.
Composition, sharpness, and details are first rated. Congratulations and with best regards,

Ciao Paul, lovely bird in nice pose with wonderful colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-05-20 16:41]

Hi Paul,

I have never seen this particular Warbler but it certainly has the Warbler "look" and expression. A wonderful shot of this little bird with an attitude. The eye is amazing! Beautiful colors and fine details of the face, eye, and feathers. I love the pose and even though the background isn't natural (which never bothers me) the color is perfect to show off this Subalpine Warbler.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-05-21 10:06]

Hi Paul.
Brilliant shot of the cute bird. You have used your amazing equipment perfectly. Stunning details, sharpness and amazing colours. Bravo. Well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-05-22 1:56]

Hello Paul,
An oppportunity well taken on your ship to capture this male Subalpine warbler taken with excellent sharpness and a from fine POV to show its features with excellent colours.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Ottima occasione per vedere e fotografare da vicino questo magnifico silvide. Scatto ben eseguito. Bravo.

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