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A Yellow Warbler in Iceland

This Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia was discovered by Yann Kolbeinsson, on 10th September 2003. It stayed in a ca 30 year old tree plantation (mainly spruce) at Ţorbjörn, north of Grindavík (south-west Iceland). This shy bird was only seen briefly on few occasions after it was found until it was mistnetted in the morning of 12th September by Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson. It was photographed and measured as follows:
- tarsus : 16,2 mm
- bill length (f) : 9,2 mm
- bill depth (f): 3,3 mm
- wing length : 65 mm
- p3-p5 were emarginated and p2-p5 were clearly notched and only faintly on p6 (see photo)

It is considered to be a first-winter bird, according to shape of tail feathers (pointed) and white edges on tertials; and a female due lack of red streaking. The subspecies D. p. aestiva fits our bird quite well because of the bright coloured plumage.

Other birds present at this site were Northern Fulmars (flying over!), Merlin (4), Common Snipe (1), Lesser Black-backed Gulls (flying over), Meadow Pipits, Redwings, Willow Warbler (1), Goldcrest (4), Common Raven (1) and Common Redpoll (9).

There has been two accepted records of this species in Iceland (Oct. 1996 and August 2000). So this bird will be the third record for Iceland and, as far as I know, the 12th for the Western Palearctic (3 in UK, 2 in Azores, 2 in Madeira & 2 in Ireland). - YK & GŢH

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Ţorbjörn, Grindavík (SW)
12 September 2003

First-winter female.

© Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Ţorbjörn, Grindavík (SW)
12 September 2003

© Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Ţorbjörn, Grindavík (SW)
12 September 2003

Wing formula.

© Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Ţorbjörn, Grindavík (SW)
12 September 2003

Outer tail feathers.

© Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Ţorbjörn, Grindavík (SW)
12 September 2003

Undertail coverts.

© Gunnar Ţór Hallgrímsson