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Old Saturday 20th July 2013, 16:25   #1
Samuel Perfect
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juv. chat, Wales

Taken earlier this week (17/7/13) on the edge of some heather moorland in west Wales.

My first assumption was juvenile Whinchat as it was closely accompanied by a pair of Whinchats.

1st CY birds look relatively easy to separate from Stonechats after their post-juvenile moult but I'm struggling to find reliable features for separating fledglings at this age.

A supercilium seems to be coming through but it's not as clear as on other pictures of Whinchats of the same age that I've been looking at.

Any help as always much appreciated,
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Old Saturday 20th July 2013, 17:13   #2
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Priamry-projection is a consistent difference between these two in full-grown birds when you're confused by plumage: it's about half the length of the tertials in Stonechat, three-quarters in Whinchat (and somewhere in between in Siberian Stonechat).
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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 08:14   #3
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On plumage alone...strong rufous underparts, contrasting pale supercillium, white speckling on the mantle all point towards juv.Whinchat. Concerning the supposed pp difference between the two species..I can't comment.

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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 13:17   #4
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Ken, the bird has an all-dark tail...
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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 19:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiths View Post
Ken, the bird has an all-dark tail...
Smiths..the only ''darker'' part of the tail that I can discern is up to where the pp overlaps. Assuming the tail is closed? then it would be difficult to discern the amount of paler contrast that might be visible in the uppertail, particularly so on this shot, which Is not Ideal for comparison purposes. Having trawled the web looking at ''this aspect'', there would appear to be a degree of variability for both.
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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 23:24   #6
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I disagree, Ken. It takes a lot of inventivity to explain away the characters that point to Stonechat. On the other hand, I see nothing that indicates Whinchat here; a pale supercilium is not that unusual in Stonechat, at least on the continent.

See attachment.
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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 23:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiths View Post
It takes a lot of inventivity to explain away the characters that point to Stonechat.
...which are...?
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Old Sunday 21st July 2013, 23:51   #8
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This is a juv. bird presumably this we can agree on? And as such...It's pp and tail might not be fully formed? It's not just one feature that I'm questioning, It's the whole package! This image although less than perfect for a 100% ID, IMO shows more rubetra than torquatus....Of course Infallibility is not an option..although some might differ.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 05:08   #9
Valéry Schollaert
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Stonechat for me
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 07:01   #10
lou salomon
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anymore doubts after post 6?
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 10:32   #11
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anymore doubts after post 6?
Well apparently they are at least 2 doubters, Lou. And one of them can't read a photo editing, so it seems...
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 10:42   #12
ChipsAhoy!
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anymore doubts after post 6?
...and its list of pro-stonechat features(!).

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Originally Posted by Tib78 View Post
Well apparently they are at least 2 doubters
That's Ken and... who?

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one of them can't read a photo editing
Just clarifying.... Not sure what you mean by that... 'one of them can't interpret a photo'?
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 10:56   #13
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ChipsAhoys,

Sounds like I completely misunderstood what you meant in post #7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipsAhoy! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiths View Post
It takes a lot of inventivity to explain away the characters that point to Stonechat.
...which are...?
I thought you meant there was nothing in Peter's editing that point towards Stonechat. With your new post it seems you agree with Stonechat, therefore I obviously missed something. My English isn't as good as I thought...
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:10   #14
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Originally Posted by ChipsAhoy! View Post
No, I don't agree with anything. I don't know what it is, as I find photos of juvs of these two species very confusing (much easier in the field). So I'd like to know what features people are using to ID this as stonechat - and no-one is providing any.
Have you seen Peter's (smiths) editing/collage in post #6????

Edit: Now your post has disappeared...
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:17   #15
ChipsAhoy!
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My English isn't as good as I thought...
English good! Silly me hadn't noticed that Mr Smiths had written helpful stuff all over the photo - har har :-)
Given individual variation and the vagaries of fuzzy photos, etc., the only feature there that I'd find convincing is the primary projection - but all useful. Thanks for pointing me at it! - and for assuming that I can't read rather than that I'd simply missed it

Last edited by ChipsAhoy! : Monday 22nd July 2013 at 11:22.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:17   #16
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This is a juv. bird presumably this we can agree on? And as such...It's pp and tail might not be fully formed?
You have answered your own question: pp and tail. If primaries are still growing, so should the tail, which does not seem to be the case here. I doubt there are many passerines that finish tail moult before growing their outer primaries. A not fully grown juv Whinchat looks like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/farmer55/9116122295/
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:35   #17
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I doubt there are many passerines that finish tail moult before growing their outer primaries.
Eh? If stonechats are anything like most paserines, tail won't be moulted until autumn after the bird's 1st year of life (2nd calendar year) - so tail moult's not an issue here (or did you mean the growing of the juvenile tail?). Anyway, I take it that Ken's (entirely valid) point is... can one be sure that the relative-primary-projection criterion is safe to use on a newly-fledged bird given that primaries, tertials and tail may all still be growing and thus that their ratios may not be the same as an adult's? I don't find any of the other pro-stonechat criteria that've been adduced here fully convincing, so I'd certainly ike to hear views on that.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:47   #18
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To quote the very first post:

"My first assumption was juvenile Whinchat as it was closely accompanied by a pair of Whinchats."

Andy M.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:54   #19
Samuel Perfect
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Thanks all for your help with the ID,

Unfortunately, I'm struggling with internet connection at the moment so can't contribute as much as I'd like to the thread.

I've attached another photo of the same bird in almost exactly the same pose (all other pics are virtually identical). However, it does seem to show a paler outer tail feather.

Thanks,
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 11:58   #20
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(or did you mean the growing of the juvenile tail?).
Of course, yes.
The tail appears fully grown so, logically, the primaries should be as well.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:00   #21
ChipsAhoy!
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it does seem to show a paler outer tail feather.
Interesting. Yet another lesson in never trusting a photo - let alone a single one.
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:00   #22
Samuel Perfect
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy1979 View Post
To quote the very first post:

"My first assumption was juvenile Whinchat as it was closely accompanied by a pair of Whinchats."

Andy M.
As it was only an assumption I wanted to learning a safe way to separate the fledglings of Whinchat and Stonechat without relying on identifying the parent
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:02   #23
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Interesting. Yet another lesson in never trusting a photo - let alone a single one.
Apologies for not adding it sooner
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:27   #24
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It is entirely normal for Stonechat to show a thin whitish outer edge to the outermost tail feather. The difference is in the base of the tail.

http://www.ibercajalav.net/img/334_S...Storquatus.pdf
http://waarneming.nl/foto/view/4907045
http://waarneming.nl/foto/view/3463356
http://waarneming.nl/foto/view/3414636
http://waarneming.nl/foto/view/3419183

Having said all this, I have to admit that the short primary projection seems to be the main thing pointing away from Whinchat here (if we assume that tail base is completely covered by the uppertail coverts in the photos). If the bird really was associating with Whinchats, the mere presence of a long supercilium may be enough reason to simply assume it must be a Whinchat too. The juvenile plumage of Whinchat and Stonechat is very similar if the pattern of tail and upper tail coverts cannot be seen. I have no strong "need" for proving this bird as either species and was only trying to help, but maybe I am only confusing the issue so I better stop...
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Old Monday 22nd July 2013, 12:30   #25
Cristian Mihai
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better stop , but after a reply for this one:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=262403
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