The unsound approach


Summer Quizz Results

Posted on July 4, 2009 at 7:14 AM

So the moment you've all been waiting for........

Bird 1. was identified by the majority of contestants as Marsh Warbler. What is it? Well, I'm not 100% sure as it was taken on the 24th October on Lundy. The rumour that this whole exercise was actually an undercover attempt at working out what this bird was has some foundation. Loads more images of this bird here. What do folk think?

Bird 2. Tricky, a tailess yellow passerine, no size comparsion and no bill morphology, its looks American, because, well it is. A 1st cal Common Yellowthroat (Western subsp) at SJWS, the OC, California in September 2000. Nice one Stu.

Bird 3. Again hard but bill morphology and bare part coloration are a give away, its an adult Cape (Kelp) Gull, South Africa, August, 2007. Half a point for 'Sea-gull'. Same bird below:

 Bird 4... was an October Lesser Whitethroat on Shetland, presumably (?) of an eastern origin, same bird below...

Bird 5. Some recs, Cercotrichas was a good guess but surely the white spotting is more extensive even in a juv.? Our bird is a young Black-billed Cuckoo photographed in Canada in October 2002.... same bird below.... 

Bird 6. A warbler in a bush... It does have a feel for Ruppell's but the eye ring, tertial tipping and elder bush are a give away that its a young Barred Warbler... in August 2007 on East Hills, same below...

Bird 7. An empid, well, the scan of my slide is labelled 'Alder', but then this was scanned about 5 years after I handled the bird. Certainly I can't prove its not a Willow from the images but I still feel I got it right (although am willing to be proven wrong). Bill shape and colour, head shape and general colouration and build (inc tail length) still feel good for a Trail's type. Comparsion of Alder and Least below (also September 2002 in Canada) and I'm more sure of these two....

Bird 8. This was taken on 3rd October 2007, the day when many people ticked Brown Flycatcher. The image was however taken in Norfolk, one of two Red-breasted Flycatchers present on East Hills that day. Them's the breaks!

All images AL.

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