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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 17:28   #1
Ravenwing
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Pine Bunting, Shropshire England ?

I'm struggling a bit, is this a picture of the Pine Bunting currently at Venus Pools, Staffordshire ? The white edges to the primaries look good to me ....
thanks
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 17:32   #2
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I think so?

A

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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 17:39   #3
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There were about 2 dozen people who had it down as the Pine this morning, just wasn't sure when I got home and looked at the photos but the primaries have so much white on the edges ?
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I think so?

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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 17:51   #4
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To me the bird on the picture does look like a Corn Bunting. Grey all over and I can't see white in tail...
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 18:03   #5
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No, there is no rufous rump that is shown by Pine Bunting for starters... To me thats a Corn Bunting, also note the shape of the dark centers of the tertials.

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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 18:10   #6
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OK, thanks, wahat about the lower bird in this photo ?
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No, there is no rufous rump that is shown by Pine Bunting for starters... I'd say thats a Corn Bunting.....
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 18:17   #7
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OK, thanks, wahat about the lower bird in this photo ?
Another Corn Bunting
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2017, 19:16   #8
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The bird in question appears to have a contrasty pale central crown stripe, a modest relatively speaking all grey bill, and contrasting lines to the mantle....strange Corn Bunting?

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Old Thursday 5th January 2017, 09:31   #9
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The bird in question appears to have a contrasty pale central crown stripe, a modest relatively speaking all grey bill, and contrasting lines to the mantle....strange Corn Bunting?

Cheers
The bird in question is obviously so much bigger than the Yellowhammer in the near background. Surely Corn Bunting.

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Old Thursday 5th January 2017, 12:51   #10
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Part of the problem of this twitch is that just like the Wadbrough Pine Bunting, it is about one or two hundred metres to different point of the hedgerow, and unless you have top quality optics, the plumage differences are hard to distinguish. It's a very tricky bird amongst at least 300 finches present, all flying to and fro.
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Old Thursday 5th January 2017, 13:59   #11
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Part of the problem with any twitch is that you have so many trigger-happy birders in one place and all wanting desperately to see a rarity - surely a recipe for error!
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Old Thursday 5th January 2017, 14:19   #12
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Am I getting way too old? When I was twitching in the 90's I don't remember any of this. Admittedly there were almost no cameras but the thought of someone retrospectively ticking anything from a photograph confirmation - well lets face it, I never saw it happen?
No offence to those that do as most of you probably weren't born when I saw my first Pine Bunting in Dagenham - different times, different rules?
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Old Friday 6th January 2017, 19:39   #13
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Am I getting way too old? When I was twitching in the 90's I don't remember any of this. Admittedly there were almost no cameras but the thought of someone retrospectively ticking anything from a photograph confirmation - well lets face it, I never saw it happen?
No offence to those that do as most of you probably weren't born when I saw my first Pine Bunting in Dagenham - different times, different rules?
Luv Dave
Well said Dave! It's all a bit 'fake' to me too. Take photos and get someone else to identify everything for you later. The old field skills are dying; next stop virtual reality birding, so you don't even have to leave your comfy front room!

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Old Friday 6th January 2017, 19:48   #14
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Actually, this side of the pond, there has been a program developed that works like this: you point your phone camera at a bird (hope it will hold still long enough), it reads key features then tells you what the bird is (or at least a short list). This is based on community scientist input, location, and existing data. I guess it won't work well for rarities, but it makes honing bird identification skills unnecessary....then maybe virtual reality birding....
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Old Friday 6th January 2017, 19:57   #15
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Well said Dave! It's all a bit 'fake' to me too. Take photos and get someone else to identify everything for you later. The old field skills are dying; next stop virtual reality birding, so you don't even have to leave your comfy front room!

RB
I think it is possible that a different thing is at play: excitement at the spot makes one feel "yes, got it", but when coming home, doubt start creeping in. 25 years ago, that doubt would have nowhere to go, today there are the photos.

I cannot know which of the two scenarios is correct in this case\

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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 10:13   #16
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Well said Dave! It's all a bit 'fake' to me too. Take photos and get someone else to identify everything for you later. The old field skills are dying; next stop virtual reality birding, so you don't even have to leave your comfy front room!

RB
I can understand that viewpoint from a "common" species perspective, but the whole point of twitching something is often that you haven't seen that species before and thus don't necessarily have the confidence in your own skills to be positive in that identification. Surely far better that than going back to a point where when in doubt people can just think that they saw something and take that as read without review by more experienced people to confirm it?
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 11:33   #17
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Well said Dave! It's all a bit 'fake' to me too. Take photos and get someone else to identify everything for you later. The old field skills are dying; next stop virtual reality birding, so you don't even have to leave your comfy front room!

RB
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I can understand that viewpoint from a "common" species perspective, but the whole point of twitching something is often that you haven't seen that species before and thus don't necessarily have the confidence in your own skills to be positive in that identification. Surely far better that than going back to a point where when in doubt people can just think that they saw something and take that as read without review by more experienced people to confirm it?
Yes if just taking a photo and making no effort to id at the time (taking notes, comparing size, shape, sound, behaviour etc) then yes, I think that's a bit lazy.

However, if you do as much as you can at the time and are able to take a photo, and have an idea of the species but want confirmation, then feedback from more experienced birders will help you for the next time.

Even for the more experienced this is useful for say gulls, or subspecies of wagtail or recent splits of stonechat etc

In both cases above the threads provide thought provoking discussion.
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 12:43   #18
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Well said Dave! It's all a bit 'fake' to me too. Take photos and get someone else to identify everything for you later. The old field skills are dying; next stop virtual reality birding, so you don't even have to leave your comfy front room!

RB
I guess it works both ways. Two recent star birds, the Eyebrowed and Dusky Thrush were both posted by non-birders and identified online. Cyberspace does have its rewards.

Everyone who bothered to go certainly enjoyed the latter.
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 12:44   #19
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I guess it works both ways. Two recent star birds, the Eyebrowed and Dusky Thrush were both posted by non-birders and identified online. Cyberspace does have its rewards.

Everyone who bothered to go certainly enjoyed the latter.
Don't you mean three with the Blue Rock Thrush?
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 13:54   #20
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Don't you mean three with the Blue Rock Thrush?
LOL, thought best not... that's a comedy in itself, all gone 'Harry Potter'
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 16:11   #21
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Yes if just taking a photo and making no effort to id at the time (taking notes, comparing size, shape, sound, behaviour etc) then yes, I think that's a bit lazy.

However, if you do as much as you can at the time and are able to take a photo, and have an idea of the species but want confirmation, then feedback from more experienced birders will help you for the next time.

Even for the more experienced this is useful for say gulls, or subspecies of wagtail or recent splits of stonechat etc

In both cases above the threads provide thought provoking discussion.
On this (off topic) subject I would add the value and importance of photographs has for me personally increased as two trends have come into my birding (been at it from under 10 to now over-60)..... namely improving digital optical equipment (and more money to buy it!), and deteriorating eyesight, and with the latter seemingly a decreasing ability to be really sure of features on a flying or rapidly moving bird.

I have been fortunate to have excellent eyesight for most of my life, and I am not bad at art/drawing so in my early years I did not find it difficult, even with glimpsed views or flying birds, to assess features and remember them clearly enough to record them. Now I need glasses to read, and although my eyes are still good by any standard, I find a few photographs that I can study at leisure are wonderful for confirming what I thought I saw in the field ..... and occasionally undermining it as well!

The photos are also by far the best way to record colour-rings.

I await with some trepidation the next trend - an inability to carry all this cr*p around with me ....

Mick
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 17:30   #22
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On this (off topic) subject I would add the value and importance of photographs has for me personally increased as two trends have come into my birding (been at it from under 10 to now over-60)..... namely improving digital optical equipment (and more money to buy it!), and deteriorating eyesight, and with the latter seemingly a decreasing ability to be really sure of features on a flying or rapidly moving bird.

I have been fortunate to have excellent eyesight for most of my life, and I am not bad at art/drawing so in my early years I did not find it difficult, even with glimpsed views or flying birds, to assess features and remember them clearly enough to record them. Now I need glasses to read, and although my eyes are still good by any standard, I find a few photographs that I can study at leisure are wonderful for confirming what I thought I saw in the field ..... and occasionally undermining it as well!

The photos are also by far the best way to record colour-rings.

I await with some trepidation the next trend - an inability to carry all this cr*p around with me ....

Mick
In praise of Bridge cameras!

Mick, reminds me of an hours train ride (couple of years ago now) through rural Hungary, straight railway line through plains, either side of which was an intermittent tall tree/short hedge parallel. Hanging out of said sliding window and espying "two separated" brown blobs in the field at almost 9.0'clock to my "standing up..rocking" position in the guards van (train doing a good 50-60mph).

Much in the manner of the way that press photographers attempt a shot with camera held high above the head firing blindly into the prison van window, hoping to get an image of the subject. I pressed the "film record" button aiming at the "blob" point, and compensating for the moving train (panning) to the said spot, hoping that there might be a break in the hedgerow for me to image. Further to this, I took lots more images of Shrikes,Turtle Doves,Storks etc before pulling into the terminus. It was much later that evening (having forgot about the film clip) when I suddenly remembered....to my total surprise two Great Bustards in the field clearly imaged....a Life Tick!

I would certainly (in all probability) have been unable to record those Bustards through bins only. I got about 4 frames (at 25 fps) barely an eye-blink!

I never leave home without it.
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 20:17   #23
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I am not criticising the use of cameras per se; they can be useful for all the reasons mentioned. What is worrying, if that's the right word, is the increasing number of contributors who post large numbers of images and ask others to identify them so that they can 'tick' them and add them to their list! Just who is learning what here? Each to their own I know, but it does seem a bit of a waste for all concerned. It's a bit galling when skills have been learned over decades of birding while others seem content just to use this experience and not put in the effort to learn these skills for themselves. I'm sure that their enjoyment of birding would be greater but, when that all important 'tick' is at stake ...
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 20:54   #24
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I am not criticising the use of cameras per se; they can be useful for all the reasons mentioned. What is worrying, if that's the right word, is the increasing number of contributors who post large numbers of images and ask others to identify them so that they can 'tick' them and add them to their list! Just who is learning what here? Each to their own I know, but it does seem a bit of a waste for all concerned. It's a bit galling when skills have been learned over decades of birding while others seem content just to use this experience and not put in the effort to learn these skills for themselves. I'm sure that their enjoyment of birding would be greater but, when that all important 'tick' is at stake ...
I understand what is being said here as well as understanding the use of cameras to 'confirm' tricky IDs... or flag up records that would otherwise be missed (important to some, less so to others - not saying one is more valuable than the other). However there also appears to be a decline in the knowledge about, and recognition of, 'common' species. Do people not notice things until they 'become birders'? Therefore, by definition, everything is new - I've certainly experienced this in the past from acquaintances/work colleagues who have started to take an interest. Do people have no mentors any more, is birding something taken up on a whim without encouragement or inspiration from others ( I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends at school who nurtured my fledgling interest). Do people not look at field-guides any more? Posts asking "Is this a [insert species name]?" is good, posting images with "What's this?" suggests no effort at all has been made. One that particularly irritated me was "Please confirm the ID" with no suggestion as to what the bird was - what were we supposed to confirm?
Does all of this explain the plethora of Dunnock/Chaffinch/Blackbird photos along with the assertion "I've never seen one of those before"? Is it symptomatic of life these days, everything has to be 'easy' and all have to be spoon-fed? Slight rant over and I apologise to those who don't know me from Adam, especially as I'm not a regular poster outside my local patch threads.
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Old Saturday 7th January 2017, 21:37   #25
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I understand what is being said here as well as understanding the use of cameras to 'confirm' tricky IDs... or flag up records that would otherwise be missed (important to some, less so to others - not saying one is more valuable than the other). However there also appears to be a decline in the knowledge about, and recognition of, 'common' species. Do people not notice things until they 'become birders'? Therefore, by definition, everything is new - I've certainly experienced this in the past from acquaintances/work colleagues who have started to take an interest. Do people have no mentors any more, is birding something taken up on a whim without encouragement or inspiration from others ( I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends at school who nurtured my fledgling interest). Do people not look at field-guides any more? Posts asking "Is this a [insert species name]?" is good, posting images with "What's this?" suggests no effort at all has been made. One that particularly irritated me was "Please confirm the ID" with no suggestion as to what the bird was - what were we supposed to confirm?
Does all of this explain the plethora of Dunnock/Chaffinch/Blackbird photos along with the assertion "I've never seen one of those before"? Is it symptomatic of life these days, everything has to be 'easy' and all have to be spoon-fed? Slight rant over and I apologise to those who don't know me from Adam, especially as I'm not a regular poster outside my local patch threads.
Of course one always has the option of not responding!...Or possibly the images might be from a newbie whose prime aim is to show of their shots, or who lives ''isolated'' within a non birding culture....or as unimaginable as it might seem....sheer unadulterated stringers
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