Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 15 votes, 4.80 average.
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:25   #376
Docmartin
Thought Police
 
Docmartin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 924
Just for interest, here's another old SBC specimen. Does anyone want to guess its provenance?


Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Slender-billed-Curlew.jpeg
Views:	163
Size:	22.8 KB
ID:	14196  
Docmartin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:28   #377
marek_walford
Registered User
 
marek_walford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Reading
Posts: 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docmartin
Just for interest, here's another old SBC specimen. Does anyone want to guess its provenance?
Hastings (allegedly)
marek_walford is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:28   #378
Harry Hussey
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Cork,Ireland
Posts: 3,906
Hi Martin,
I seem to recall that there was a North American record: would this be that bird?
Harry
Harry Hussey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:36   #379
marklhawkes
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom mckinney
Hi Marek,

Totally agree with your comment about wildly different descriptions. I overheard one guy say that he thought the "rear neck was really dark" whilst his mate told him "no chance its really silvery."

I pity whoever has to assess it, cuz there is going to be some crazy ass descriptions!!!
I doubt it will even be submitted now. Having been involved in a private email discussion with many of the key people involved in this bird, it appears that all have come to the conclusion that, although they dont' know what it is, it has too many anomolies to be regarded as a SBC.

One thing is for sure - EVERYBODY - regardless of their opinion (which their entitled too) have learnt much about curlew identification. Anyone who steps forward and crows 'i told you so', should be careful incase they ever stumble across a bird that is as tricky as this to confirm (not just claim, but confirm!)
marklhawkes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:43   #380
Harry Hussey
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Cork,Ireland
Posts: 3,906
Hi Mark,
Quote:
Originally Posted by marklhawkes
One thing is for sure - EVERYBODY - regardless of their opinion (which their entitled too) have learnt much about curlew identification. Anyone who steps forward and crows 'i told you so', should be careful incase they ever stumble across a bird that is as tricky as this to confirm (not just claim, but confirm!)
Well said! In my opinion, there is never room for crowing when it comes to bird identification: I was extremely disappointed at comments I received from some birders here who didn't travel for the intriguing Aythya sp at Smerwick Harbour earlier in the autumn, to the effect that they found the whole affair hilarious!
We can all make the occasional mistake even when it comes to relatively 'obvious' birds, and of course there will always be birds such as this one that divide opinion and perhaps even defy positive identification at times. It always repays one to be cautious, and to be gracious in victory or defeat: after all, as you say, the same person could be confronted with something like a vagrant Empidonax sp at some stage....
Harry
Harry Hussey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:46   #381
Docmartin
Thought Police
 
Docmartin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by marek_walford
Hastings (allegedly)
Cor, that game didn't last long. Pevensey Sluice, 1916 from memory.

I'll have to think of another now.
Docmartin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:49   #382
Nightranger
Senior Moment
 
Nightranger's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Bury
Posts: 2,194
This amused me on the Bedsbirds group - the DNA results are now in and it isn't even an EC - it's a worm. LOL
__________________
'The Truth we learn by turning stones' - Judie Tzuke

Ian Peters
Nightranger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:55   #383
tom mckinney
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Peak District
Posts: 2,945
Apparently Didier Vangeluwe says that SBC share more in common, genetically, with worms than they do with birds... err... I think ... so it must be SBC ... ?
tom mckinney is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 15:57   #384
marek_walford
Registered User
 
marek_walford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Reading
Posts: 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docmartin
Cor, that game didn't last long. Pevensey Sluice, 1916 from memory.

I'll have to think of another now.
Saw it while searching the web. Must have seen every pic of SBC on the web by now! ;0)
marek_walford is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 16:13   #385
postcardcv
Super Moderator
 
postcardcv's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 16,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by marklhawkes
I doubt it will even be submitted now. Having been involved in a private email discussion with many of the key people involved in this bird, it appears that all have come to the conclusion that, although they dont' know what it is, it has too many anomolies to be regarded as a SBC.
I think that from day one there were doubts as to whether anyone would submit a record for this bird - which personally I think is a shame - worth recording what ever it is.

Personally when I saw it first I came away thinking it was sbc - however reading comments here and trawling through books has certainly highlighted some features that make sbc unlikely. I do not however feel comfortable with this bird being written off as just an odd curlew - seems far to different for this. The idea of orientalis seemed interesting until I read that these are always bigger, and have been unable to find anythink on the race that Tim has mentioned (anyone have any info?)

All the friends I've spoken to about this bird, whilst not being convinced it's sbc, seem sure it's not just ec either... as one put it - "whatever this bird is, it should change a lot of peoples thinking on curlew ID" - I know it's made me look a lot closer at a species I thought I was familiar with.

I find it interesting that there is talk of wanting to collect samples for dna analysis - that would suggest to me that this bird is of interest, even if we're not sure what it is.
postcardcv is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 16:48   #386
Bluetail
Senior Moment

 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 6,409
I do hope it gets submitted. It deserves the detailed, objective assessment the BBRC would give it. The record might just get pended, but we might just end up finding out what the bird really is!
__________________
Jason
Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

(Anon c.1607)
Bluetail is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 17:09   #387
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Hi Postie

apologies for reposting - i think i put something like this earlier on....

sushkini are closest known curlew to SBC phenotypically, large, pale, have white axilaries and wing linings, and are very poorly known (a handful of specimens)

Talking about making 'mistakes' does no one any good, although some of the pro-SBC posts were rather of the 'forceful' kind. Just think with the possible magnitude of it, combined with the lack of knowledge about SBC/Curlew forms and variation, the gun was jumped just a little bit, not by the finder though it must be said.

I have learned again the value of a good thorough set of field notes and field observation and the sometimes uselessness of photographs. Plus i had a great time reading about Ushakov searching for SBC. Didn't enjoy clapping eyes on that thing with a mighty big hangover though.......
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 17:16   #388
Bluetail
Senior Moment

 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 6,409
Tom: Thanks for your detailed reply to my queries. Comments below.

1) Why is the bill so thick and without the fine tip characteristic of SBC?
Subjective, but I would say it most certainly is NOT thick and has a very fine tip.

Agree I'm being subjective, but personally I thought the bill did look quite thick. Apart from that, the structure looked feasible. It was whimbrel rather than curlew that kept going through my head.

2) Why is the bill so extensively pinkish-brown (as mentioned above by Marek)?
I spoke to Jimmy Steele and this is not a problem and features in many of Vangeluwe's skin photos.

Good! Thanks.

3) Why is the mantle no darker than Eurasian Curlew?
Why should it be?
Perhaps my expectation was wrong. I was just going by what the BB paper said about SBC having a very dark mantle (IIRC - still at work at the mo). Maybe I've not allowed for the fact that they were assessing a bird with pale wing coverts, but I've seen pics showing some very solidly dark feather centres.

4) Why is there such a clear eye-ring?
Because that's what Slender-billed have. Check out John Harriman's pics from Morrocco and the 1968 French bird.
They were adults though. What about imms?

5) Why are the tertials and tail more closely barred than the Druridge bird?
No photos show the Druridge birds' tail well enough to make such comparison, but I don't see any difference in the tertials.
There are. Which photo it was that showed the tail I can't remember offhand, but I'll post when I've checked. Take a magnifying glass to the photo in the BB artisle and you can see the tertials clearly enough. The pattern's the same as the Minsmere bird, but the spacing is noticeably wider. Maybe it's within acceptable individual variation; I don't know - that's partly why I asked the question.

6) Why is the breast streaking so indistinct?
Individual variation?

I wonder. Again the impression I got from the article was that well-defined breast streaking is a feature of SBC. I'm not sure how much reliance to put on skins which suggest the opposite since skins are prone to becoming dirty/tatty.

7) Why is there such a dark ground colour to the breast?
I would say it has a very pale breast. Just asked 2 other people who also agree!

Hmm... Maybe just me then, but I still think it looks darker than the literature suggests it ought to.

My only doubt about this bird has always been that it certainly does look big. But even this is apparently okay.
Perversely, I didn't find this a problem. When I first saw the bird it was alongside a Curlew and I reckoned it was 20% smaller, which is within the accepted range - though I admit I find such percentages difficult to judge.
__________________
Jason
Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

(Anon c.1607)
Bluetail is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 18:31   #389
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
here ya go folks:

just got it from a friend - don't know who the photographer is
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Curlew_minsmere.jpg
Views:	203
Size:	26.4 KB
ID:	14202  
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 18:49   #390
Bluetail
Senior Moment

 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 6,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Hutchinson
I would definitely echo the thoughs re. Bill Shape (Particularly the broad base) & colouration, I thought these where the main negative points on the bird, how do you think they compare to the photos on the link I post earlier however, look very similar to me.
Hi Rob. The bill of the Hungarian skin does look superficially much like the Minsmere bird's, but IMO that's because it's slightly open. I'd like to see it with its bill shut! As I said before I was very happy with the bill apart from the thickness and the colour. The colour seems to have been sorted now. If the SBC experts deem the thickness to be OK then I'll be more than happy to take their word for it - obviously.
__________________
Jason
Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

(Anon c.1607)
Bluetail is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 18:57   #391
marklhawkes
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
Talking about making 'mistakes' does no one any good, although some of the pro-SBC posts were rather of the 'forceful' kind. Just think with the possible magnitude of it, combined with the lack of knowledge about SBC/Curlew forms and variation, the gun was jumped just a little bit, not by the finder though it must be said.
A couple of points:

1st) the last photo posted by Tim was taken by Tony Disley
2nd) mtDNA would (to the best of my knowledge) only provide the identification to one of the parents (the female i think), so this may not be as conclusive as people think. If it turns out to be a SBC, it could be a hybrid, or if its believed to be a EC, it could still be a hybrid!
3rd) Tim, your right that the finder didn't jump to a conclusion, however, i know of his current thinking on this issue, and you maybe surprised! Im not going to quote his email to me here, but i will await further info. Also, i think he took a neutral stand for political reasons, as well as being as confused as the rest of us.

Those still saying something like 'it's clearly a Eurasian Curlew' should take out a dictionary, and check the definition of 'clearly'.
marklhawkes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 19:12   #392
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Quote:
Originally Posted by marklhawkes
Tim, your right that the finder didn't jump to a conclusion, however, i know of his current thinking on this issue, and you maybe surprised!
Watcha Mark

betcha i wouldn't be suprised - 'current' 'thinking' is very fluid with this bird

museum specimens labelled 'SBC' could do with a thorough grilling as could samples of all known subspecies/races/forms and any known hybrid specimens too (maybe a few hybrids could be discovered?) etc.... Collaboration with Russian scientists and museums is surely essential?

I'm sure there will be a major article or two on 'SBC' / Curlew / races/ hybrids / maybe even alboaxilaris Whimbrel included (God you have to be so careful how you phrase these things ) identification in the pipeline already.

And it's a timely reminder that what's currently in the books is perhaps a long way from the last word and an open mind is always useful.

atb
Tim

Last edited by Edward woodwood : Thursday 7th October 2004 at 19:16.
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 19:21   #393
Swift
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Up North
Posts: 575
Some more info from the Ukraine.

Dear Alexander Abuladze , I'd like to point out that
the observations of Slender billed Curlews on the
website referred to were made by well respected
Ukrainian professional ornithologists during a special
foreign funded survey for the species and that
continuing efforts have resulted in serious claims
from Ukraine's Black Sea coast for the autumns of
2002, 2003 and 2004.Sites where the species has been
claimed over the past four years include the Danube
Delta, Sivash, the Black Sea Nature Reserve, the
Molochniy Liman and, most frequently of all, the
Lebyazhyi Ostrova off northwest Crimea.The best month
seems to be September and there have been hardly any
spring claims.The only problem with all this is that,
as far as I know, there have been no published
descriptions showing how these birds were
identified.This deficiency may now have been
rectified, as the new edition of Branta ( no 6 ) has
an article on Curlews on the Black Sea coast and this
( I've been told) mentions Slender billed Curlews.As I
haven't obtained a copy yet I can't say whether any
descriptions are given here, but I will comment as
soon as I get my copy .The website of the Melitopol
Ornithological Station, mentioned below,
http://ornitology.narod.ru/ should have details about
how to obtain Branta. In general my feeling is that
some of these claims are probably genuine, but it's
best to wait for the desciptions.

All the best, Paul Bradbeer.
Swift is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 19:53   #394
marklhawkes
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,688
That is interesting - maybe not so extinct then. To claim a bird as extinct, esp. considering the HUGE potential breeing area SBC have to choose from, does seem to be 'jumping the gun'. If all the birders in Norfolk were told there was one 'somewhere' in the county, i doubt they could collectivley find it. The chances of a few scientists, searching an area bigger then England, seems long odds to me. Also, their known or suspected, wintering grounds are very underwatched (esp. Iran!). As a friend quoted to me recently, "Takahe (Porphyrio mantelli mantelli - from New Zealand) was thought to extict for some time, until rediscovered, and they're 'purple footballs'!"
marklhawkes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:10   #395
John Cantelo
Registered User
 
John Cantelo's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canterbury, UK
Posts: 4,767
I didn't go to see the 'curlew' - though I very nearly did so. What I found interesting is how different features looked on various photos. You've got to be so careful drawing conclusions from distant poorly focussed pictures. Frankly, I suspect if the current crop of photos (esp. from "magikbirds") had been available from the start then the SBC wouldn't have been seriuosly considered. A great debate and learning opportunity would have been lost though, John
John Cantelo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:22   #396
marklhawkes
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,688
I think it should be known - that not everyone is convinced of the age of this bird, im not naming names, and don't want the 'age debate' to start again, but some respected birders still think it's a juvenile, and they have good reasoning behind their theories too.
marklhawkes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:24   #397
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Hiya Mark

surely the reasons can be posted......

names can be witheld to protect the innocent?

knowledge is power and all that....
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:39   #398
marklhawkes
Forum Member

 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,688
Cant' upload picture - its too big - anyone wants a copy, email me
marklhawkes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:46   #399
ortolan10
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Posts: 32
SBC found dead in Germany near Dutch border in 1998

From German Birdnet: D. Beckmann has digged out information that a possible SBC has been found dead in a barbed wire 5 Oct 1998 near the German Dutch border. The bird is said to be in a private collection in Switzerland. A photo can be found under
www.lauwersmeer.com
hidden under "waarnemingen".
Unfortunately, my browser does not let me see it, but I have been sent the image by D. Beckmann.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	dunbekwulp.JPG
Views:	199
Size:	41.2 KB
ID:	14211  
ortolan10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 21:27   #400
Bluetail
Senior Moment

 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Plymouth, Devon
Posts: 6,409
Thanks for that, Ortolan. Definitely an adult SBC. Very interesting.
__________________
Jason
Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

(Anon c.1607)
Bluetail is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004
Click here to Support BirdForum
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone been to Minsmere? Talons Birds & Birding 12 Thursday 29th July 2004 16:14
Minsmere cjay Your Birding Day 2 Sunday 3rd August 2003 20:14
Crab eating Curlew takes the biscuit! peter hayes Birds & Birding 12 Monday 14th April 2003 20:17
A prelude to Minsmere part 2 (Suffolk) Reader Your Birding Day 3 Wednesday 9th April 2003 19:11
Chasing the Stone Curlew Reader Your Birding Day 4 Monday 24th March 2003 20:32

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.28872800 seconds with 35 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 10:09.