Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (ssp?)
Kuwait, December 2013
Chiffchaff, Al Abraq, Kuwait, December 2nd 2013
Certain Chiffchaffs wintering in Kuwait show little yellow in their plumage but have evident olive fringes to the flight-feathers. The crown and mantle are olive-brown while the underparts are rather pale. The plumage lacks the rusty-buff or 'tan' suffusions typical of Siberian Chiffchaff. They have a distinctive call, which rises and then falls, the sonogram having the shape of a flattened 'S' (see below). The call can be heard here ►. In quality, the sound is rather in-between that of nominate collybita and Siberian tristis. The subspecies involved is subject to a great deal of speculation, with suggestions including menzbieri. See <here> for discussion of Chiffchaffs of somewhat similar appearance but with a more-shallowly rising and falling call encountered in the breeding season in Iran, in the region spanning the ranges of caucasicus and menzbieri.