lesser whitethroat defined in 1930 yearlesser whitethroat - Lesser Whitethroat;
lesser whitethroat - Head, neck, and back smoke-grey; ear coverts almost black; wings brown edged with grey; tail dusky, outer feather as in the last species, the two next tipped with white; lower parts nearly pure white; feet lead colour. Length, five and a quarter inches.
The difference in size between this warbler and the one last described is very slight; still, there is a difference; and the descriptive epithet of lesser would also be a suitable one if applied in another sense. He is a less important bird. To begin with, he is much rarer, being only of local distribution in England and Scotland, and unknown in Ireland; in colouring he is more obscure; his trivial song has nothing in it to attract attention; he is shyer in habits, passes much of the time among the higher foliage of the trees he frequents, and is, consequently, not often seen.
He arrives in this country about or shortly after the middle of April, and is found in thickets and copses, and hedges in the neighbourhood of trees. Like most of the warblers, he is exceedingly restless, and moves incessantly among the leaves, picking up the aphides and minute caterpillars, and from time to time darts into the air to capture some small passing insect. Like the common whitethroat, he is also fond of ripe fruit, especially currants and raspberries. He is often on the wing, passing directly from place to place with an undulating flight and rapidly-beating wings. When singing he swells his throat out, and delivers his strain with considerable vigour; but his song is of the shortest, and is composed of one or two notes, hurriedly repeated two or three times without variation, and with scarcely any musical quality in it. No sooner is it finished than the bird is off again on his flitting rambles among the leaves and twigs; it is less like a song than an exclamation of pleasure - a cheerful call that bursts out from time to time.
The lesser whitethroat nests in orchards, coppices, thick hedge rows, bramble and furze bushes on commons, and among tangled vegetation overhanging streams, but in all cases the nest is placed in the midst of a dense mass of foliage. This is a somewhat loosely made and shallow structure, composed of dry grass-stems and small twigs, bound together with cobwebs and cocoons, and lined with fine rootlets and horsehair. Four or five eggs are laid, in ground-colour white or dull buff, blotched and speckled with greenish brown, with underlying markings of purplish grey.
near lesser whitethroat in Knolik
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