Leucistic Willow Warbler

Keith Smith sent me these images of a leucistic Willow Warbler, with plumage reminiscent of a domestic Canary, recently photographed at Summer Leys. It was along the old railway track at the far end of the reserve (opposite end to the car park) frequently dropping down out of view to feed, then appearing again in the same general area. Leucistic Willow

Leucistic Willow Warbler, Summer Leys LNR, June 2011 (Keith J Smith)

Leucistic Willow Warbler, Summer Leys LNR, June 2011 (Keith J Smith)

Warblers are rare but not without precedent. There are two recent, similarly striking, examples from Scotland involving returning breeding individuals (paired to ‘normal’ Willow Warblers) with a female on Mull in 2003 and 2004 www.mullbirds.com/Leucistuc%20Warbler.html and a male near Dalry, north Ayrshire in 2010 and again this year www.lizworld.com/Leucistic/Leucistic_WW.html.

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