Thread: Wheatear, UAE
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 02:00   #12
andyb39
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Posts: 1,334
Thank you to all for posting your thoughts on this Wheatear. I've since cropped and adjusted the images (attached) but the bird still looks unusual. I agree that it must be some form of Pied for the reasons given above, and I'd since come to that conclusion myself. It's just that I'm used to seeing Pied Wheatears like the one in the third image - rather dusky-looking, especially on the throat and upper breast. It's strange for a Pied to show a pronounced super, a pale collar and apparently white throat, not to mention these contrasting wing markings.

My interest in the bird in these images stems partly from some images of an unusually pale Pied posted on the UAE forum, which I thought might be vittata:

http://www.uaebirding.com/forum/atta...1&d=1508773768
http://www.uaebirding.com/forum/atta...2&d=1508773803

I was told that "I think this is no problem for a Pied Wheatear, albeit one slightly pale underneath. The darkness on the throat is obscured by the pale fringes on fresh feathers (these will wear off by spring to give a much darker, smudgier effect)".

Vittata was suggested for this bird instead:

http://www.uaebirding.com/forum/atta...6&d=1509386998
http://www.uaebirding.com/forum/atta...7&d=1509387024

Looking at some vittata images, the bird in the original images looks rather like image 19 on the page below - it has similar striking wing markings. However, that bird has a blacker mask and a "neck strap" linking it to the shoulder. So I'm still puzzled.

https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-H48SV/i-cs9PkmK

Bryon, check out image 13. It would be easy to pass that one off as Eastern Black-eared.
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Last edited by andyb39 : Saturday 11th November 2017 at 17:14.
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