Pallas's Warbler

Phylloscopus proregulus

9-10cm

Appearance

This is a very small warbler with a relatively big head, a short tail and a slight bill. The birds that visit the region are usually first-winter birds. They are olive-greenish above, pale underneath with a dark strip over the eye and vivid yellow patches around the eyes. The wings have two whitish bars, the rump is yellow (but often not visible), there are yellow secondary feathers which give the wings a striped effect, and the legs are grey.

Habitat

Tends to feed in proximity to the coast when migrating, and sycamore trees are also a favourite. When in its native Asian territories, it prefers forests and mountainous heights.

Character

The Pallas's Warbler is agile and antsy, rarely stationary, twitching tail and wings while it eats. It hovers beneath leaves in order to collect insects, and may even dangle from foliage upside down. It can be highly camouflaged in bushes, and is usually closer to the canopy than to the base of trees.

Food

Main source of food is insects.

Breeding

The Pallas's Warbler does not breed in the region.

Population

These birds depart their breeding territories in August and September, headed south-east. A small number, 78 a year on average, may reach Britain during autumn. These visiting birds are undertaking 'reverse migration', travelling the opposite route of others in the species. Birds return to their breeding grounds in April and May.

Observation Tips

Pallas's Warbler is found in the region towards the end of autumn, typically in October, and the visiting birds are usually of their first winter. The Scilly Isles and the East Anglian coast are prime spots to scout these birds.

Voice

Has an ascending 'chu-eep' call.
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