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Old Monday 14th May 2007, 21:44   #35
Howard King
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,588
Hi Paul (Frenchy) -

Some of the replies I receive are sent privately more so for MEB than EBN as such I am not prepared to place those here. Network traffic for EBN & MEB is fully documented on the web not certain of the url's however. I sent the intial inquiry to both networks so replies can often appear on both. I did received an update from Killian, sent to me direct, I will ask him to reply as he has read these discussions.

My photoshop bits and pieces I discarded -

Hi Hannu -

Swensson (in my english copy page 178) also states for H. pallida, the following:
NB.1 The smallest individuals of H. p. elaeica may be difficult to separate from H caligata Booted Warbler –
NB. 2 H. P. elaeica may also be very difficult to seperate from ad. Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth's Reed Warbler.

You mention that head shape and size as being wrong for Booted it is precisely these features that many birders here in the middle east, feel do not fit into their perceived jizz for Olivaceous or Upcher's they state that those species are much more flat headed. I however still remain open minded and await a clinical diagnosis of the pictures. I now change my mind yet again to "don't Know"

We do also face a problem with Swensson for some species - a lack of data so we have to use a variety of other books. The reason being that in the Arabian Gulf so few birds have been fully studied or collected that the sub species thought to occur for some has to yet to be proven scientifically and could in fact be wrong. In fact so much of the old data we have here is based purely on field obs, separation for many Ssp can be dificult enough even with the bird in the hand. We are fortunate to be able to call on Mike Jennings coordinator of Arabian Breeding Bird Atlas he has an incredible database and bibliography plus a wealth of local birding expertise.

An example of observations from our old records - I will quote one of my favourites from Rogers & Gallagher 1973 Birds of Bahrain (privately published)
"Records not at present accepted. Melanitta fusca Velvet Scoter - not accepted misidentification of Cormorants fishing offshore". The observers name wasn't given but it does make you wonder a bit as to the quality of Historic obs, however this is nothing as I am constantly being amazed also at just how good some visiting birders are when they report that have been able to separate in the field at a hundred metres in our light certain species down to subspecies level.

Last edited by Howard King : Monday 14th May 2007 at 22:45. Reason: spelling
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