Subalpine Warblers: dig out your descriptions!

The British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) is planning a review this year of all past British records of Subalpine Warblers, following recent taxonomic changes. This will include the 2019 record from Beachy Head and also a 1988 record from the same location that has recently been resubmitted to BBRC. There have been many other Sussex records of this species group since the first in 1961, so if you were one of the finders or observers and would like the record reassessed please let me know, ideally attaching a copy of the documentation prepared at the time. This will only be worth doing if a very good description with sketches or photos is available, with transcriptions or recordings of calls and/or song. If the description is in manuscript, please include a typed version to aid assessment by BBRC.

The current taxonomic position is:

Western Subalpine Warbler Curruca iberiae. North Africa (Tunisia to Morocco), Iberia, southern France, and north-west Italy.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler Curruca cantillans cantillians. Southern Italy and Sicily; and C. c. albistriata (north-east Italy, the Balkans, Greece, and western Turkey).

There is also a third species, previously considered to be a subspecies of Subalpine Warbler:

Moltoni’s Warbler Curruca subalpina (north-central Italy, Sardinia, Corsica and Balearic Islands).


Mark Mallalieu, County Recorder