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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Yellow-browed Warbler

Hebrides bird sightings -  Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler

(Inornate Warbler)

Phylloscopus inornatus

Photography © Ceri Dyke
Croir - Isle of Great Bernera - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
12th November, 2008


'It is a Yellow-brow, rather than a Hume's.

Yellow-browed Warbler
The later are duller and more washed grey, have darker legs and bill, and have duller edges to the tertials, with the centres being less dark too, so overall less of a contrast. The nape is greyer too almost creating a shoal effect. All pretty subtle.

The call is the best feature - both species tend to be quite vocal.

I note your bird is 'tailless' - maybe a cat has had a go at it?

A few years ago the two were one species, Yellow browed Warbler, with the first Hume's in Scotland back in the early 1990's near Arbroath. I remember because I was lucky enough to find that one! The rule of thumb is that birds from mid Sept tend to be Yellow-brows, with Hume'snot appearing till later in the autumn. All Nov Yellow-brows are certainly worth double checking for Hume's is the way many birders think.'



Our Yellow-browed Warbler photographs

Yellow- browed Warbler
 Yellow-browed Warbler



  • Yellow-browed Warbler
  • Phylloscopus inornatus
  • UK: 320 annual records BTO
  • WI: Scarce autumn visitor (Very small numbers each year)
  • Breeds: North & Central Asia, Russia (UK is 3000km from it's breeding grounds! )
  • Winters: South-East Asia
  • Habitat: Mountain & lowland woodland, open forest, scrub, usually in tree canopy
  • Diet: Mostly insects
  • One of the smallest warblers. Greenish upperparts, off-white below, prominent double wing bars and long supercilia (eyebrow). Pale legs. Highly active -constant motion, not shy
  • Similar birds: Hume's Yellow Browed Warbler (single wing-bar, dark legs), Goldcrest, Firecrest, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff


The BTO records figure includes occurences of Phylloscopus humei (Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler AKA Hume's Leaf Warbler)


Yellow-browed Warbler records in the Western Isles

Scarce autumn visitor (Very small numbers each year)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)


The chart below shows how abundant the Yellow-browed Warbler is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.















(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)


Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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