Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus breeds Caucasus Mountains to China, with sindianus (“Sind Mountain Chiffchaff”) in Kunlun Mountains and Tianshan in Xinjiang. HABITAT In forests and alpine scrub to 4400 m (14,440 ft.); usually at higher elevations than Common Chiffchaff P. collybita. ID & COMPARISON Lacks green in upperparts and yellow in underparts. Pale brown from crown to rump; darker brown on tail and wings. Has white supercilium and dark-brown eye-stripe. Throat white, sometimes contrasting with otherwise pinkish-brown underparts, but underparts may also be more uniform buffish-white. Best features against Common Chiffchaff are browner upperparts (especially crown), lack of green edges to wings and tail, and whiter supercilium and throat. Dusky Warbler P. fuscatus is slightly larger and slimmer and has more distinct supercilium and eye-stripe, paler legs, and a different call. BARE PARTS Bill black with yellowish-brown basal half to lower mandible; feet black. Plaintive huit call higher-pitched than Common Chiffchaff. — Craig Brelsford
Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.