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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 14:32   #1
Howard King
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Olive-backed Pipit and Gt Grey Shrike Bahrain

I have just put some images of the Olive-backed Pipit ringed last October here in Bahrain and some of a Great Grey Shrike caught yesterday along with many other species on our ringing page. We would like comments and thoughts on- ssp of the shrike in particular

http://www.hawar-islands.com/blog/gen_stub.php
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 18:34   #2
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Why do you think its an olive back??

It is a Tree Pipit I suppose ...

Cheers

Andrea
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 23:44   #3
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Hello Howard.

Agree with Andrea.

The pipit shows characters more in line with Tree pipit than Olive-backed.

Note in the Olive-backed below the distinct white supercilium which is unstreaked and white only behind the eye and bordered blackish above, rich buff in front of the eye and part of the lore closest to the bill. The white spot below the rear end of the white supercilium is of variable size and seems always to show rather well, and a dark spot immediately below the white spot. However this white spot is also seen in some Tree and sometimes as obvious as the well marked Olive.

http://www.club300.se/Gallery/ViewIm...x?imageID=7485

http://www.club300.se/Gallery/ViewIm...x?imageID=4077

Note the almost unstreaked back (yunnanensis - which would be the race found also in Bahrain).

http://www.club300.se/Gallery/ViewIm...x?imageID=4078

Also whitish breast is a good indication of Tree over Olive which at this time of year is richer buff compared to paler in Tree.

JanJ
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 02:15   #4
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I think you had better email Brendan - bkavanagh@rcsi-mub.com -- I was not there when the bird was ringed - however have you compared the measurements given with those in Svensson - Bill width and depth too small for trivialis (tree) at 3.6 and 3.3 hind claw was only 6.8 and measurements of 5th primary at 2.5 and distinct emargination on this plus colouration of tail feathers 4, 5, 6
many factors in favour of Olive-backed over Tree

I am more interested myself in the Shrike

Last edited by Howard King : Wednesday 27th February 2008 at 02:47.
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 10:36   #5
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Talking in general, ringers are too strict in considering measurements or thinking that a acros or phyllos could be just identified on wing formula or hind claws and that they are the only one able to age a bird ... and that anything outisde Svensson is not identifiable. Always had this problem in Italy (as for. ex. they have no idea how to ID. an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler and about the call, therefore I had to fight to let my obs. in Sicily accepted)

I've seen Song Thrush as small as a Swainson's and a Bar-tailed Godwit preserved at Catania University Museum (here in Sicily) as big as a Marbled Godwit ....

We should be able always to combine measurements with filed apparance and birds characters....

As opposite, most birders are still convinced that pale tips to greater coverts, in for ex. turdidae, are just surely a 1st y bird feature (I've handled a Robin with such tips being ringed 4 yeasr earlier, and many other examples)... or that a marsh harrier with pale shoulders are adult females...

So, always advisable to combine both practise and knowledges....

Anyhow, your pipit its indeed a Tree Pipit without any doubt,

as for the shrikes, I'll check and see what could be figured out...

thanks

Andrea
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 13:20   #6
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I have passed your comments on to Brendan he will reply in due course himself - however I would point He is a bloody good birders as well as a ringer. I think its fair to say as a University Proffessor he does not make ANY of his decisions without due consideration of all factors - He did a lot of work on Grey Partridge I remember him saying - can't remember how long he's been ringing though but I know its longer than I have be birding.

But this links might help you

http://www.google.com.bh/search?hl=e...n%C2%A0results
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 14:13   #7
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Ok...may be I could be wrong...who knows... :-)

Would you be happy if I send the link to my good friend Lars Svensson and ask his master opinion?

May be also to the great Killian Mullarney or Hans Larsson?

I would be happy to may help as probably it is a rare record indeed for your country, therefore its better and always advisable to be 1000% sure and sought for as most opinion as possible (see about the recent Italian Willet, I was sure but I asked support to as many as possible person)...

Cheers and thanks

Andrea Corso
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 18:00   #8
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However, indeed interesting and difficult bird as underparts streaking/spotting quite interesting as well as tertails and remiges pattern and colour etc...

as well as measurements indeed

so deserve more study about

Andrea
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 02:23   #9
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Send the link by all means - we have no objections at all, we welcome all comments and suggestions - Its all part of the leaning curve - It has to be said that there is so little information on birds passing through the middle east that not only for this species but for many others we often struggle with simply ID's as the measurements taken are inconsistent with those expected. Many species are not at all well documented in terms of variance for these part of the world hence my questions on the shrike and previously the Clamorous Reed Warbler.

Last year Oman was hit by a cyclone so who knows what wintering species it drew into the region from Asia, cyclones in the Sea of Oman although scarce are a regular feature. Birds caught up in such weather would after then move north through the gulf, assuming that is the urge to move north remains instinctive for that species. I should think covering the gulf there are less than 30 birders from Oman to Kuwait, maybe even less. So we probably miss more than we see, it is a much under watched part of the world.

Add to this that some of the old records, visual observations that is, including some of mine I have to say I now know are dubious. We also have to contend with those from visiting birders who misidentify our species here for those they are familiar with as plumage seen here on migration for many species is unlike anything previously encountered or illustrated in field guides.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 10:46   #10
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I should think covering the gulf there are less than 30 birders from Oman to Kuwait, maybe even less. So we probably miss more than we see, it is a much under watched part of the world. ...

And you all do a very good work and rather hard one...

therefore compliments...

As I love North African and Middle Eastern countries I would like to help, that's it.

I would love to go to Kuwait, this winter my best friend Hans "HASSE" Larsson invited me to join his Swedish team but I was short of money to join :-( So SAD!

They have seen so many nice species, and came back very full and satisfied!

I would ask also him about the pipit, that indeed, looking with a fresher, more objective eye, later after first impression, is rather interesting and odd bird indeed....

Hans' opinion wuld be helpful as he is one of the very TOP birder I ever met and I knew...


Thanks foir sharing all your ME records and obs.


Another matter, in the ringing webpage you sent as link, after some pages of searching through the photos, I noticed a Desert Wheatear ringed as Isabelline WH. or at least labelled on the webpage as so....

I think it shouldn't be Issy, a species which I knwo rather well

If you like we can discuss also about this...
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 15:29   #11
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Oops that probablly me if its a mistake - hopefully a simple typo - often I do the updates late at night or first thing in the morning normally at 5 before going to work we start at 7 so errors are easily made email me on

correct you where right I found the error put the wrong days pictures up

on Isabelline - I think this week we have trapped nine so far only 2 desert - tomorrow morning we are going after Mourning, Red Tailed, Desert,and Isabelline plus Pied, Black-eared and Northern if they have started to move up - all are to be found at one site.

Last edited by Howard King : Friday 29th February 2008 at 01:19.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 20:11   #12
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Somehow it looks like Tree Pipit to me too..
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Old Saturday 1st March 2008, 11:10   #13
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I've ringed many spring and fall Trees and just one fall Olive-backed so I don't have extensive experience on both species, but I'd be veeeery surprised if this bird is not a Tree Pipit. Primary tips hardly longer than wing tips (noticiably longer in Olive-backed), head design very pro-Tree, can't see anything wrong with the underparts or back streaking for Tree-looks fine to my eyes, tertial colours also more in line with Tree, p-5 (6) looks shorter than p-4 (7) - should look almost equal in Olive-backed.
Check this october Olive-backed wing for comparison of tertial lenght/pattern/colours and wing formula:
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Old Saturday 1st March 2008, 13:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motmot View Post
I've ringed many spring and fall Trees and just one fall Olive-backed so I don't have extensive experience on both species, but I'd be veeeery surprised if this bird is not a Tree Pipit. Primary tips hardly longer than wing tips (noticiably longer in Olive-backed), head design very pro-Tree, can't see anything wrong with the underparts or back streaking for Tree-looks fine to my eyes, tertial colours also more in line with Tree, p-5 (6) looks shorter than p-4 (7) - should look almost equal in Olive-backed.
Check this october Olive-backed wing for comparison of tertial lenght/pattern/colours and wing formula:
Can say anything myself or pass further comment - I was not in Bahrain when the Bird was caught - Brendan did the ringing Jahanni took the photos.

Can you contact Brendan directly his email is - bkavanagh@rcsi-mub.com
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 02:48   #15
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Hind claw 6.8 (see photo!)
Wing 85
Weight 17.9
Tail 58
Bill skull 15.0
Bill depth 3.3 (dist edge nostril)
Bill depth (Proximal edge of nostril) 3.6
Bill width (Proximal edge of nostril) 4.2
Emargination 3,4,5
2nd Primary 4/5
5th Primary 2.5 less than Wing point

The bill measurments are particularly important as they are totally inconsistant with Tree pipit but fit well with A.h yunnanensis
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 11:06   #16
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That's what I found after checking some data in Alstrom&Mild Pipits and Wagtails and also Svensson's passerines:

Hind claw 6.8 (see photo!)- Good for both sps
Wing 85 - Good for both
Weight 17.9 - Good for both
Tail 58 - Good for both
Bill skull 15.0 - Good for both
Bill depth 3.3 (dist edge nostril). No data.
Bill depth (Proximal edge of nostril) 3.6. Tree (Siberia) 3.8-4.9/Olive-backed (Svensson; no data in Pipits and Wagtails) 3.6-4.6. Very slightly better for Olive-backed.
Bill width (Proximal edge of nostril) 4.2. Tree 4.0-4.7/Olive-backed 3.8-4.5 (Svensson; no data in Pipits and Wagtails). Good for both.
Emargination 3,4,5. Good for both
2nd Primary 4/5. Tree 4/5. Olive-backed 5/6. Good for Tree.
5th Primary 2.5 less than Wing point. Good for both (Svensson).

So, the only I found that matches better Olive-backed is bill depth proximal and only very slightly. I don´t think that'll make a strong case for this bird being an Olive-backed. Sorry.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 14:39   #17
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I agree with Motmot!

Svensson says that Olive-backet has almost fully coloured (olive-brown) outer web of outer tail feather and this does not match in this individual.

Although Svensson says too that Tree Pipit's outer tf is much like in Olive-backet, but I think that this is not exact description from reality!!

I think that this outer web of outer tf is one feature which differs these species: at least follow pic the outer web of outer tf in Tree is almost pale as in this case.
And this feature (and the colour of supercium, etc) refers to Tree indeed.
http://www.tarsiger.com/images/hande/Anttri1.jpg
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 16:09   #18
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Motmot can you email Brendan - I have posted his email again - bkavanagh@rcsi-mub.com - Brendan would love to discuss the bird with a fellow ringer especially someone with experience of both species in the hand - I can only make a guess from the pictures and I am not particularly familiar with either species and have never seen Olive-backed - as said before I was away in the states at the time the bird was ringed.

Last edited by Howard King : Monday 3rd March 2008 at 16:16.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 16:17   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard King View Post
Motmot can you email Brendan - I have posted his email again - bkavanagh@rcsi-mub.com - Brendan would love to discuss the bird with a fellow ringer especially someone with experience of both species in the hand - I can only make a guess from the pictures and I am not particularly familiar with either species and have never seen Olive-backed - as said before I was away in the states at the time the bird was ringed.
I'll email him.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 16:51   #20
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I agree with Motmot!

Svensson says that Olive-backet has almost fully coloured (olive-brown) outer web of outer tail feather and this does not match in this individual.

Although Svensson says too that Tree Pipit's outer tf is much like in Olive-backet, but I think that this is not exact description from reality!!

I think that this outer web of outer tf is one feature which differs these species: at least follow pic the outer web of outer tf in Tree is almost pale as in this case.
And this feature (and the colour of supercium, etc) refers to Tree indeed.
http://www.tarsiger.com/images/hande/Anttri1.jpg
In this pic you can see the outer tf outer web of an october Olive-backed. It is fully coloured olive-brown indeed. Unfortunately the outer tf in Tree is not too different, maybe paler in some individuals but surely is quite variable in both sps. Check outer tf of autumn Tree down the linked page and compare:

http://www.ibercajalav.net/img/312_Anthus_trivialis.pdf
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Last edited by Motmot : Monday 3rd March 2008 at 17:24.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 18:09   #21
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Yep, Motmot, it seems that there is not so big difference between these species in all cases, but this feature varies individually (at least in Tree). But obviously almost pale outer web as in this case fits better for Tree?
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 18:36   #22
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I guess so.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 20:27   #23
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interesting case indeed

this a truely interesting and important occasion to study more in depth and details some ID problems, otherwise that seems so easy from general filed guides...
And also discover how much we have still to learn and check and how great its nature variability

Cheers



Thanks Motmot for the info and comments

Andrea C
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 11:19   #24
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Lars Svensson replied to my mail and indeed he think is a Tree Pipit, the Shrike is a pallidirostris as I thought too

Ciao

Andrea Corso
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 14:05   #25
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Lars Svensson replied to my mail and indeed he think is a Tree Pipit, the Shrike is a pallidirostris as I thought too

Ciao

Andrea Corso

Brendan got the mail he will reply tomorrow he said - He has ringed two Tree Pipit here during the current project I think before we had digital cameras though - Brendan will fish out those details as well - He is inclined his says to agree with the diagnosis - we really do exist in a vacumn here and have read every word and comment made very carefully - and really do appreciate the time and effort people have made in their replies Thanks -
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