The current Work-in-Progress (WIP) file shows 6 records for Marmora’s Warbler as being back ‘in circulation’. This has NOTHING to do with the acceptability of these records – they remain OK you will be glad to hear! BBRC have been intending to review the records to determine if they could be assigned to sub-species for some time, with the perception that all records related to the more migratory nominate form Sylvia sarda sarda, as opposed to S. s. balearica.  The announcement that the two sub-species have been split into two species, Marmora’s Warbler S. sarda and Balearic Warbler S. balearica (BOURC 41st Report), provided a greater impetus to review the records.


The key features that need to be described to enable separation of the new species are underpart colouration, call and bare part colour. We have pulled together files for the 6 records so far and hope that there is enough detail for each record to be attributed to a species.  Once the BBRC review is concluded the decisions will be forwarded to BOURC to enable the correct attribution on the British List.


Observers fortunate enough to locate a Marmora’s Warbler in future are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the key features that distinguish the species, to ensure sufficient detail is recorded to enable an acceptable identification.   Photographs and sound recordings of the call will provide valuable material. Useful references can be downloaded from the BB website here, with an article by Brian Small (BBRC’s Museum Consultant and former member) here.