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jpoyner
Saturday 16th October 2004, 23:14
Chestnut Eared Bunting (unknown origin)Fair Isle and Grey Necked Bunting in NL. RBA just reporting that CE Bunting now being considered as potential vagrant by some birders.Anyone know their respective ranges?
Certainly the airmass curently feeding into UK has it's source from deep within the continent. The chart clearly showing a good "funneling" effect from as far away as south of the Caspian sea........interesting!!!
I wouldn't dismiss these as being from a cage too easily.

JP

David FG
Sunday 17th October 2004, 11:11
Chestnut Eared Bunting (unknown origin)Fair Isle and Grey Necked Bunting in NL. RBA just reporting that CE Bunting now being considered as potential vagrant by some birders.Anyone know their respective ranges?
Certainly the airmass curently feeding into UK has it's source from deep within the continent. The chart clearly showing a good "funneling" effect from as far away as south of the Caspian sea........interesting!!!
I wouldn't dismiss these as being from a cage too easily.

JP

Grey-necked is from South-Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Eastern Turkey, that sort of area around the southern Caspian.) The CE is from Mongolia, Northern China, Siberia.

Edward woodwood
Sunday 17th October 2004, 11:16
this bird is almost certainly NOT from a cage

if i were a lister i'd be getting on the plane..... :eek!:

tom mckinney
Sunday 17th October 2004, 11:28
I don't know about this one. I've been swatting up on it a bit and it seems as though the key to it being wild (aside from finding out how common they are in captivity) will be based on correctly IDing the race.

There are three races: fucata, kuatunensis and arcuata.

fucata and arcuata are the migrants (although still not really long distance) and fucata shows a slightly more typical migration route for eastern vagrants, although arcuata also has a similar route shared by an eastern vagrant such as Hume's Warbler.

I'd say it has zero chance of being wild if it is kuatunensis which appears to be pretty much resident.

Not sure about how they feature in the captive bird world, but I'm trying to find out...

Edward woodwood
Sunday 17th October 2004, 11:30
I don't think they do Tom!

and are very difficult to breed apparently. Craig Robson said last night it is almost certainly wild, to add a bit of gravitas to my lightweight comments!

tom mckinney
Sunday 17th October 2004, 11:52
Blimey you're right! Not exactly thorough, but I've been googling away and checking the Pet Forums and online cage bird suppliers and not a single match.

Can't go till Tuesday and the Bank of McKinney says that I may have to do it the poor mans way - a three dayer!!! That's unless the Bank of Coley is in a giving mood...

tom mckinney
Sunday 17th October 2004, 12:01
Piccies...

http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk/latest.htm

Edward woodwood
Sunday 17th October 2004, 12:34
cheers Tommo

nice bird....

jpoyner
Sunday 17th October 2004, 15:43
RBA are still using the "Unknown Origin" label. Shame they can't get up there to see it. ;) ;)

Darrell Clegg
Sunday 17th October 2004, 17:09
I've just been discussing this with Steve Madge who probably knows more about Central Asian and Eastern Pal birds than anyone I know. His first thought when told that the bird was a first winter was that it was good for a wild bird. They have much the same range as Dusky Warbler so could easily turn up here.

Darrell

Birdspotter
Sunday 17th October 2004, 20:12
Whatever its origins it looks well smart in the pics.
Well done Fair Isle.

jpoyner
Monday 18th October 2004, 00:13
Well seems to be getting plenty of attention. Just heard from a friend who was already on the Island and he's lost count of the number of charter flights which have come in today.

JP

Rich Bonser
Monday 18th October 2004, 01:42
Posted this same message on the Rare Bird Info thread, and reading this vagrant buntings thread can see that some of my points have been made already!!

All,

I'm not normally one for posting on this forum but I will quickly write a couple of points regarding the portrayal of this species (CHESTNUT-EARED BUNTING)by national paging networks:

1. A note exclaimed last night on (at least) one service that 'this species is a short distance migrant... but is a potential vagrant'. This latter point is obviously true with most species (as they have wings!!), but reference to the Buntings book and, in particular a quote from Steve Votier's article 'Eastern Buntings: a photo-gallery' (Birding World Vol 14:390-396) contradicts entirely that this species is a short distance migrant. Indeed, under a neat shot of what is a first-winter Chestnut-eared Bunting (although not aged in the text) it can be extrapolated word-for-word that this species is 'middle to long distance migrants to their wintering grounds in southeast Asia [from northeast China and Korea]'.

2. The caveat 'unknown origin' is obviously based upon a species where there is an element of doubt as to whether the species is occurring in a wild state. With no evidence, at current knowledge, of this species being kept in captivity (in comparison to Yellow-throated, Chestnut, Sibe Meadow and even Black-faced Buntings) then why was this add-on immediately given to this species??

As is always the case, if the pager says so, then many of its users treat it as gospel. This is not an attack whatsoever on the pager service, but people do need to think for themselves and not immediately discount a bird they may not be familiar of having potential to add on to the British List.

If anybody has any information on this species in captivity (which can also be named Grey-headed/hooded Bunting) then it may well be worth letting other people know. Initial discussions have revealed nothing yet...

At least a couple of very well-respected individuals with vast Asian experience are known to be in favour of this species as a genuine vagrant, based on the current Fair Isle individual.

Excellent shots of the bird on the Fair Isle Bird Obs website - labeled 'Chestnut-eared Bunting - the first record for the Western Palearctic'.

Btw - I had excellent views of this bird on 17/10/04 along with at least 25 other birders who travelled to Fair Isle so this dispels Rob Smallwood's comment that there is little interest. However, some do appear hesitant...

Cheers

Rich