Male Sardinian Warbler identification points
Long, slender, dark tail with white edges
Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
Adult male
Deep black head and cheeks
Pale grey back
Female generally duller, her head is grey with red eye ring, her throat is white but her upper parts are much browner and paler than the male. She still has the white outer tail feathers but her tail is browner.  Note the posture of this plump female which is rather Robin like.
Whitish underside
Red eye ring

Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia melanocephala
White throat
Similar Species
Subalpine Warbler (Rare)
Long tail
Pinkish red breast
White stripe on cheek
Pale blue-grey head
Red eye ring
Paler belly
Adult Female
Subalpine Warbler
Play call
Play Song
Dartford Warbler (Rare)
Long tail
Dark red breast
Pale spots on throat
Brownish-grey head and back
Red eye ring
Bill yellow at base
Dartford warbler
White eye ring
Pale whitish underside
Bright chestnut wings
Bluish grey head
Dull brown back
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Female Sardinian Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Dark smudge through eye
Pale whitish underside pink tinge
Dull grey-brown back
Bluish grey head
Dark grey legs
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Lesser Whitethroat
Warbler Menu
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Sylviidae

Genus: Sylvia

Species: S. melanocephala
Can appear anywhere in the UK as a very rare accidental vagrant. Breeds in the Mediterranean area and winters in Africa.

Bush and scrub in dry arid areas.
A very rare vagrant to the UK, the Male Sardinian Warbler is very distinctive with his jet black head and white throat, although in poor light conditions he could be mistaken for a Dartford or Subalpine Warbler due to his long tail and disposition. Vagrant males to the UK can be much duller than males in their natural range. The female can be harder to identify, lacking the black cap and dark grey back of the male. Not unlike a Common Whitethroat with her white throat and grey head, her main unique features are her long tail with white outer feathers and her red eye ring.