Mystery bird

by Dot King
(South west France)

In amongst my returning birds this weekend was a small, no bigger than a blue-tit, greenish-yellowish bird. Quite bright plumage. It was sleek-shaped rather than round, with a fine, short beak, like that of say a wren or robin, so not a finch or siskin, nothing chunky about the beak.

I am inclined to think it is a willow warbler, or a warbler of some kind - except that - it has a red streak on the cheek - not a patch around the beak and face like a goldfinch, nor a crest like a goldcrest or firecrest, but a red streak along the side of its face below the eye or possibly the eyeline that willow warblers have before and after the eye.
I haven't been able to find a picture that matches, nor to take one - any movement and they all fly off.

Can you help please?

I live in south-west France in a part that is a migration route, but I think this one is a winter visitor or one who is discreet all summer. There are wooded cliffs, woodland and a river close by.

Thank you in advance for any help in identifying this lovely bird.

Dot King

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